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Oregon State, Washington State Win Full Control of the Pac-12

  • The Washington Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a previous ruling.
  • OSU and WSU can decide how to distribute revenue as well as whether they want to rebuild the conference using its assets.
Oregon State and Washington State now have the blessing of the Washington state Supreme Court to take control of the Pac-12’s board.
Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon State and Washington State now have the blessing of the Washington state Supreme Court to take control of the Pac-12’s board. 

They will have that power until the case is settled or goes to trial.

On Friday, the Washington Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a preliminary injunction giving the two schools sole voting power. The appeal was filed by the University of Washington on behalf of the 10 departing schools.

The future of the Pac-12 rests on a court decision.

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“We are pleased with the Washington Supreme Court’s decision today,” Jayathi Murthy, President of OSU, and Kirk Schulz, President of WSU, told Front Office Sports in a joint statement. “We look forward to continuing our work of charting a path forward for the conference that is in the best interest of student-athletes and our wider university communities.”

The case, first filed in September in Whitman County court, argued that Oregon State and Washington State should take sole control — and that the conference’s bylaws clearly stated the 10 departing members immediately forfeited their control upon notifying the Pac-12 that they intended to leave.

OSU and WSU accused the departing schools of attempting to out-vote them to dissolve the conference and take the hundreds of millions in assets with them.

In a hearing for a temporary restraining order in September, a local judge ruled that all schools had to agree to convene on any board matters — effectively keeping the 10 schools from dissolving the Pac-12. A subsequent hearing found that OSU and WSU should gain control of the conference at least until the case went to trial — but an appeal by Washington to the state Supreme Court temporarily put that decision on hold.

Now, OSU and WSU can decide how to distribute revenue as well as whether they want to rebuild the conference using its assets. They’ve already entered into a scheduling partnership with the Mountain West to play football in 2024-25, and will have a grace period of two years to find six other members if they want to maintain their status as an FBS conference.

The Pac-12 declined to comment. Lawyers for departing schools did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Editor’s Note: This story will be updated with additional information.

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