Pac-12 Eyes Regular-Season Basketball Games In China As Part Of Asia Plan
Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott on Tuesday said that he expected the conference "to play regular season games in China within the next few years" and that he "hoped the league's cable network would someday be available there," according to Doug Feinberg of the AP. Scott said, "Taking the next step would be a regular season men's basketball game in China. Whether that's a non-conference game early in the season or during holiday time." Scott added that the "earliest such a game would happen would be" the '14-15 regular season. Feinberg noted this is the "second year of Scott's long-term effort to increase the Pac-12's presence in Asia." Arizona State's men's basketball team and Cal's women's basketball team "will head across the Pacific next month to play a series of exhibition games against Chinese teams." UCLA visited China last summer "in the first step of the conference's initiative." A delegation of Pac-12 coaches "will conduct clinics for Chinese coaches in August." Scott: "The ultimate goal is to build the brand of the schools in China and to develop other opportunities more broadly. That's tied to our philosophy of universities" (AP, 7/10). In San Jose, Jon Wilner wrote there are "plenty of logistical issues to solve, hurdles to overcome and, well, mountains to move" in connection with playing a regular season Pac-12 game in China. But it is "important to note that the Pac-12 CEOs are on board." They are in fact "the reason for Scott’s push into the Pacific Rim." The presidents and chancellors "have made it clear to Scott during his time in charge that China is a market they covet on numerous levels" (MERCURYNEWS.com, 7/10).