Oct. 23, 2000
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - The Pacific-10 Conference Chief Executive Officers have approved the establishment of men's and women's post-season basketball tournaments.
The men's tournament will be an eight-team event to be staged at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The women's tournament will be a 10-team event hosted on campus by one of the Pac-10 members. Both tournaments will begin in March 2002.
The Conference previously conducted a men's tournament following the 1987 through 1990 seasons. It has never sponsored a similar event for women.
Commented University of California Director of Athletics John Kasser, chair of the Pac-10's committee to develop a men's tournament, "The Athletic Directors have been working to initiate a new tournament for the men's programs because of the increased visibility it will provide the Conference at the time of year when college basketball is nationally highlighted. Because of the high quality of Pac-10 teams, we believe the tournament will be a major attraction on the Pacific Coast."
Marie Tuite, Senior Woman Administrator at the University of Washington, who chaired a group to plan the women's tournament, was equally optimistic about the quality of the event, remarking, "The Pac-10 Tournament will be the culmination and highlight of the women's season. The television coverage and other exposure it will provide our teams should assist us in gaining berths in the NCAA Championship and good seedings."
"We are very pleased to commend the Pac-10 on its decision to have a post-season men's basketball tournament and we're thrilled that it will be an annual event at Staples Center," said Tim Leiweke, president of Anschutz Sports Group and Staples Center. "We are looking forward to working with the Pac-10 to establish a premier event for the Conference, its member schools, student-athletes and fans as well as for Los Angeles and Staples Center."
In each case, the winner of the Tournament will earn the Conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Championship.
The Chief Executive Officers also approved a recommendation that the Conference eliminate its current training table rule, which restricts provision of training table meals to the one meal per day during the competitive season. With the elimination of the Conference rule, member institutions are governed by the NCAA rule which allows one training table meal per day throughout the academic year. The CEOs noted that year-around training table is a significant student-athlete welfare issue, and that each institution should determine how best to implement training table on its campus.