The two programs the wonʻt be departing the Pac-12 Conference next summer, Oregon State and Washington State, have been granted a restraining order by the Superior Court of Washington against their own conference. The order disallows the Pac-12 Conference and current members from conducting board meetings until further notice.
Oregon State and Washington State filed the complaint one week ago, ahead of the meeting. The concerns rise from OSU and WSU trying to get control of the conferences decisions due to them being the only programs remaining in the decimated Pac-12. The schools cited no team departing the conference has rights to make such decisions. Well, there are ten teams leaving.
Washington State University president Kirk Schulz said in his statement about the ruling, “It has always been our view that the future of the PAc-12 should be determined by the remaining members, not by those that are leaving the conference.”
He also added, “We look forward to the court putting the question of governance to rest so that Washington State University and Oregon State University can make reasonable and necessary decisions regarding the future of the Pac-12 Conference.”
OSU and WSU are making a case that all ten departing institutions should not have representation in the Pac-12 board of directors following their formal notice of exit from the conference. The main voting issue in question was the equal division of assets. Oregon State and Washington State had worries over the voting power of the other schools, which according to the constitution and bylaws of the Pac-12 Conference says, “if a member school gives notice of withdrawal, they automatically cease to be a member of the Pac-12 Board of Directors.”
While the 2023-24 academic year has only just begun, the two schools still have another important decision to make. They are, as it stands, without a conference for 2024-25. OSU and WSU have both been adamant about continuing the legacy of the Pac-12 by poaching members from other leagues, but the likelihood of pulling off that massive of a rebuild seems rather bleak. Instead, OSU and WSU might find a home in the Mountain West, where Utah and TCU were members for varying lengths of time between 1999 and 2012.
The saga continues between the departing members and the Pac-2, and it looks like Oregon State and Washington State will get their way, keeping the dream alive of a living and breathing Pac-12 Conference.
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