The California Golden Bears are a little bit less likely to play after dark this year. The Pac-12 announced that they will be cutting the number of games the conference will play in the late night hours on the Pac-12 Network.
The presidents and chancellors approved a recommendation from the Pac-12 Council to modify the Conference's TV agreements with ESPN and FOX Sports and reduce the number of Pac-12 Networks Saturday night football games (start time of 7 p.m. or later). Under the modification, a Pac-12 Network game can now start either at 2:30 p.m. or 6 p.m. local and overlap with an ESPN or FOX exclusive TV window. This change is expected to reduce the number of Pac-12 Networks night games by as many as four contests.
That will not end the practice of late night football games. ESPN and Fox still have plenty of late night windows they will use and exercise this year. But Cal can probably breathe easier about avoiding a situation like last season, when they had to play the entire month of November during Pac-12 After Dark.
Cal already has two guaranteed night games this season when they play at USC on a Thursday night and at home against Oregon on a Friday night.
Cal will also no longer be allowed to court storm. Sean Miller apparently complained enough about it that it won't be a part of the future curriculum of the conference.
The presidents and chancellors also approved a recommendation from the Pac-12 Council to add an institutional fine schedule to the Conference court and field storming policy. Starting in the 2016-17 academic year, fines will be applied to institutions as follows: $25,000 for first offense, $50,000 for a second offense, and $100,000 for a third offense.
But there is coolness coming! The Pac-12 is getting into that eSports life, and are the first NCAA conference to adapt the program.
Finally, following an internal review of the growing interest amongst Pac-12 students in competitive video gaming, the presidents and chancellors approved Pac-12 Networks to commence eSports competitions with Pac-12 universities this upcoming year. Teams from campuses will participate based on a specific game, and the competitions will include head-to-head matchups in studios as well as a tournament in conjunction with a Pac-12 championship event. The game titles and event formats are still to be determined, but will be announced in the coming months.
Get ready for Cal's future eSports coverage. It's going to be rocking.
Cal fans, your thoughts to all these Pac-12 rule changes?