Oregon State and Washington State are slowly but surely piecing together a survival plan for life after the Pac-12.
Once the conference as we know it dissolves next summer, the two schools are set to become affiliate members of the West Coast Conference for the next two seasons in all sports besides football and baseball, according to multiple reports. School presidents and athletic directors are expected to vote on the matter on Thursday.
It’s another key step for OSU and WSU, which have already lined up a football scheduling alliance with the Mountain West Conference for 2024 that will cost the remaining two Pac-12 schools $14 million. The college baseball season typically begins in February, so there remains ample time to find those programs a home for 2025. (They will compete in their final Pac-12 seasons this spring.)
Last week, OSU and WSU received the blessing of the Washington state Supreme Court to take control of the Pac-12’s board for the time being. The two schools are blocking revenue payments totaling $61 million to the entire conference, as the 10 departing schools battle OSU and WSU in court.
The WCC has media rights deals with ESPN and CBS Sports, although financial terms are unknown. OSU and WSU would be able to compete for regular-season and postseason titles in the WCC, unlike their agreement with the MWC.
In the WCC, they would join Gonzaga, Loyola, Pacific, Pepperdine, Portland, Saint Mary’s College of California, San Diego, San Francisco and Santa Clara. The WCC already has affiliate members for men’s water polo in Air Force, California Baptist and San Jose State, as well as Creighton for women’s rowing. Gonzaga is rumored to be exploring a move to the Big 12 as soon as next year.