WSU, Oregon State hope to get answers in next month on Pac-12’s future

Sep 22, 2023, 3:33 PM

WSU Cougars Ron Stone Jr...

WSU Cougars linebacker Ron Stone Jr. reacts during a game against Oregon State on Oct. 15, 2022. (Ali Gradischer/Getty Images)

(Ali Gradischer/Getty Images)

The leadership at WSU and Oregon State believe they will have information within the next 30 days that they need to evaluate whether it makes sense to rebuild under the Pac-12 brand while also proceeding with a legal case to take control of the future direction of the conference.

“I don’t think it’s going to take us months to get the full picture,” WSU President Kirk Schulz said Thursday. “I’m optimistic that in the next 30 days or so we’re going to have a pretty decent idea of a lot of this and that’ll help our decision-making and our legal strategy.”

The presidents and athletic directors of both schools held a joint news conference two days before No. 14 Oregon State and No. 21 WSU meet on the football field in a Top 25 showdown.

Is it the Pac-2 title game when No. 14 Oregon State visits No. 21 WSU?

While they’ll be competitors Saturday, the two schools are unified in how they’re moving forward after they were left out in the most recent round of conference realignment.

WSU athletic director Pat Chun said the Cougars’ band will perform the Oregon State fight song before kickoff on Saturday.

Except for a few hours this weekend, they are partners in solving the puzzle of what comes next.

“Just to be clear that the partnership has been super strong, but it’s on pause come kickoff,” Oregon State athletic director Scott Barnes said.

Neither school feels secure about its future. Most important is the pending litigation the schools have brought seeking to make them the only decision-makers regarding the conference with the other 10 schools departing for new homes next year.

The two schools want to take control of the remaining Pac-12 assets and intellectual property while preserving its brand. They say they fear the outgoing schools will try to dissolve the conference and divvy up its assets on the way out the door.

Washington State and Oregon State won a temporary restraining order early last week to prevent departing Pac-12 members from meeting until it can be determined who has the right to chart the future of the disintegrating conference. They are now waiting for a hearing to be scheduled on a request for a preliminary injunction.

In the meantime, the leaders of the two schools say it’s vital to get a clear picture of where the conference stands right now — with its revenues, with its assets and perhaps most important its liabilities — to determine if it’s viable for the schools to move forward as a Pac-2 and start the process of rebuilding under the conference umbrella.

“The reality is the legal action that was just talked about really impacts our ability to make informed decisions,” Chun said. “And we owe it to ourselves, to our student-athletes, we owe it to all of our constituents to make as informed decisions as we can and getting to this asset liability piece has always been critical in terms of making those decisions.”

Cameron Ward throws 4 TDs, No. 23 WSU handles Northern Colorado 64-21


college football apple cup uw huskies wsu cougars... Staff

Brock Huard: ‘College football in its current form is unsustainable’

FOX college football analyst Brock Huard detailed his view on the "unsustainable" version of the sport in a conversation during Tuesday's Brock and Salk.

36 minutes ago

Gonzaga Zags Anton Watson...

Brent Stecker

AP Top 25: Gonzaga men crack top 10; Zags, WSU in women’s poll

It's a big Monday for the two Gonzaga basketball programs, as both the Zags men's and women's teams made a move in the latest Associated Press top 25 polls.

1 day ago

WSU Cougars Kyle Smith...

The Associated Press

Rice, Jones combine for 46 as WSU beats Portland State 71-61

Isaac Jones scored 27 points and Myles Rice scored 11 of his 19 points in the final 12 minutes, and WSU held off Portland State 71-61.

3 days ago


The Associated Press

Pac-12 ends on high note, but future is daunting for WSU and OSU

The Conference of Champions has been reduced to the Conference of Could've Beens, and the Pac-12 as we know it is no more.

3 days ago


Brandon Gustafson

Cameron Ward leaving WSU for either NFL Draft or transfer portal

The WSU Cougars will have a new starting QB next season as Cameron Ward announced he will either enter the NFL Draft or transfer.

4 days ago


Brandon Gustafson

WSU, Oregon State announce scheduling agreement with Mountain West

WSU and Oregon State will play plenty of Mountain West opponents in 2024, the two schools and conference announced Friday.

4 days ago

WSU, Oregon State hope to get answers in next month on Pac-12’s future