Pac-10 Considers Basketball Tourney

Thursday, August 3rd 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Pac-10 could soon have a postseason basketball tournament.

The conference's athletic directors voted Wednesday to recommend an eight-team men's tournament at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, as well as a 10-team women's tournament to be played at a campus arena.

Two other panels, including one made up of university presidents, must ratify the agreement in October if it is to take effect for the 2001-02 season.

The Pac-10 is the only Division I conference besides the Ivy League that does not have a postseason basketball tournament.

Some of the league's coaches, including Arizona's Lute Olson, have long resisted the idea, saying it would cut into class time. They also point to the conference's first attempt at a tournament from 1987-90 as a financial failure.

But Pac-10 assistant commissioner Jim Muldoon said college basketball tournaments have become more economically sound in the past decade.

``In the last year or two the climate has changed a bit to a feeling that a tournament might be a positive thing for the Pac-10,'' Muldoon said.

He also said the new plan might actually cause players to miss less class time in the long run because the regular season would be pushed back one week into the winter break.

Deals with the Staples Center and for television rights would ``make for a very bright financial prospect for a tournament,'' Muldoon said.

The athletic directors panel does not reveal its vote tallies, but it needed just a simple majority to make the recommendation, Muldoon said.

A majority vote also will get the measure through the Pac-10 Council — made up of faculty athletics representatives, athletic directors and senior women administrators — but the proposal would require the support of eight of the 10 university presidents, who would vote on it Oct. 23.