Remember back during the 2010 college football season when Washington athletic director Scott Woodward made comments that disparaged the academics at the University of Oregon? The comments were made on a radio show before the Huskies game against the Ducks, and set off quite the public relations mess, ending with a strongly worded letter from UW president Phyllis Wise, urging Woodward to apologize. Turns out, Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott had a hand in all of this, and urged Wise to release a public statement denouncing Woodward's comments.
The Seattle Times did great work digging through public records and uncovering exactly what went on following Woodward's comments and found the connection to Scott in the process. Bob Condotta put together a report, serving as a timeline, of sorts, that details the chain of events back in November.
On the Monday following the Nov. 6 game, Scott sent to UW interim president Phyllis Wise what was referred to as "our suggestion" of a one-paragraph statement UW could release, apologizing for the incident. Woodward had released his own statement earlier in the day, apologizing.
The following day, Wise released a letter with a similar tone, though longer and with different wording in most sections, asking Woodward to personally apologize to Oregon officials for the comments.
There's no doubt Scott has taken a hand-on approach in his role as Pac-12 commissioner. From quickly working to expand the conference to positioning the conference for a lucrative television contract, he's been busy in the last year.
It comes as a surprise, though, that Scott took it upon himself to reach out to Wise about Woodward's comments, going so far as to suggest what kind of statement she should make. That was not lost on Wise, who asked if Scott would treat former UW president Mark Emmert this way, had he still been around.
Months later, Woodward's comments are just a blip on the radar and have faded into obscurity. Still, Condotta's report shows what Scott will do to keep the Pac-12's image clean in the eyes of the public while encouraging a united front, no matter how small Woodward's comments may have been.