Vote Today On Pac-10 Tournament

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Pac-10 executives will vote this morning on whether or not the conference should bring back its end of season tournament for men's and women's basketball.

The Pac-10 cancelled the post-season event in 1990 due to poor attendance and low revenues. But in recent years, the Pac-10 has missed out on the financial windfalls and national exposure that other conferences receive from the tournaments.

"We are the only conference other than Ivy League that doesn't have a post-season tournament," said Jim Muldoon, assistant commissioner for the Pac-10. "During the last week of the season we drop into a black hole when all of the other conferences are playing in their tournaments."

UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Berdahl will represent Cal in the voting and a spokesperson for the chancellor said Berdahl will vote in support of the tournament.

In order for the tournament to return, eight of 10 conference executives must cast supporting votes. The tournament has already passed two previous votes, one by the conference's athletics directors and the other by the Pac-10 Council.

In the previous votes, only Stanford and Arizona officials have cast votes against the tournament. Cal, however, has been a staunch supporter.

"We are very much in favor of the tournament," Cal Director of Athletic Administration Bob Driscoll said. "As the only major conference in nation that doesn't have a tournament, we are doing ourselves a disservice by not getting that kind of exposure and not providing fans with the basketball they want to see."

A major selling point for bringing back the tournament is a fiscally appealing television package put together by FOX. The network has proposed a six-year agreement to broadcast the men's games, which will be played at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

The format of the tournament will also differ from its previous capacity. Only the top-eight Pac-10 teams will participate in the men's tournament. This move was made in order to limit class time missed by players, which was a major concern in the past. If it returns, the tournament can be played on a Thursday through Saturday schedule.

While the men's tournament will not include the conference's bottom dwellers and be held at the same venue for the foreseeable future, the women's tournament is more inclusive.

Every Pac-10 team will participate in women's tournament, which will be held at a yet to be determined, preferable on-campus location. Muldoon said that officials for Oregon and the San Jose Arena have expressed interest in hosting the event.

Driscoll also said that the Cal athletic department has interest in hosting the tournament at Haas Pavilion.

"We would love to have it here, " Driscoll said. "One of the reasons we we built Haas is to host events like this."


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