Oregon State and Washington State settle legal dispute with departing Pac-12 schools: What’s next?

Oregon State and Washington State have reached a tentative agreement with the 10 schools withdrawing from the Pac-12 to settle their ongoing legal battle over control of the conference’s governing body and assets, the 12 universities announced Thursday.

Oregon State President Jayathi Murthy and Washington State President Kirk Schulz said in a joint statement that the outgoing schools “agreed to waive a portion of distributions during the remainder of the 2023-2024 year and to provide specific assurances against potential future liabilities.” They added that the conference would also retain its assets and all future revenues.

The 10 schools withdrawing said in a statement that the agreement “allows OSU and OSU to maintain control over the hundreds of millions of dollars coming into the conference in future years, as we have always maintained they will, while claiming the vast majority of the money earned in 2023-24.” To be distributed equally among the 12 members. The schools added that final details will be worked out “in the coming days.”

Last week, OSU and WSU regained control of the Pac-12’s board of directors and conference assets following a decision by the Washington Supreme Court. The court declined to hear the appeal from the University of Washington and the Pac-12, and then lifted the temporary stay that weeks ago had stayed the original decision the Whitman County (Wash.) Superior Court issued last month to give the two schools control. Conference.

The decision gave OSU and WSU control of the league until a trial or settlement between the two sides.

OSU and WSU have spent the past several months figuring out their next move in the wake of the Pac-12 collapse. The two schools’ original case argued that the 10 departing members had lost their rights to join the board and make conference decisions when they announced their intent to join the Big Ten, Big 12 or ACC. Ohio State University and WSU were also concerned that the departing schools could vote to dissolve the conference and divide assets.

See also  Knight, USA's "underdog" team leads Canada for world hockey gold

The departing schools, in turn, expressed concern that OSU and WSU could withhold all 2023-24 conference revenue while still part of the league, adding that OSU and WSU are welcome to retain all future revenue and assets after they then leave. summer.

“Today’s news represents a major victory for our universities and an important step toward stabilizing the Pac-12 Conference and preserving its 108-year legacy,” Murthy and Schultz said Thursday. “This agreement ensures that the future of the Pac-12 will be determined by the schools that stay, not those that leave.”

Earlier Thursday, the West Coast Conference voted to add Ohio State University and WSU as affiliate members in most non-football sports for the 2024-25 academic year, a WCC source said — a key step in the schools’ work to resolve the relegation shortstop. Term. Places for their teams. Earlier this month, OSU and WSU finalized a one-year football scheduling agreement with the Mountain West for next season.

What does this decision mean?

We don’t know all the details, but based on OSU and WSU’s statement, it’s hard not to look at this as the two schools basically getting everything they could reasonably want out of this difficult situation. This legal battle began when Ohio State University and WSU became concerned that the 10 departing schools might vote to dissolve the league and divide the assets. Now, the two schools will retain all future assets, retain some of this year’s distribution funds from the 10 departing schools and receive guarantees from them against future liabilities. What more could you ask for? — Chris Vannini is a senior college football writer

What’s next for The Ohio State University, WSU?

With this legal dispute in the rearview mirror, it is finally time for Oregon State and Washington State to move on. The two schools gained control of the league’s assets and management going forward, so they can explore the idea of ​​fully restocking the league and keeping the Pac-12 brand alive. They signed a football scheduling agreement with the Mountain West, so they have a full football schedule next fall. They place most of their remaining sports in the West Coast Conference, giving those athletes and coaches schedules to look forward to as well.

See also  Possible Falcons first-round target: Jalen Carter

These two schools have come a long way from where they were in mid-August, lonely and deserted. They found transitional homes and temporary solutions, buying themselves the time they needed to figure out the long-term future. This is a big win. — Nicole Auerbach is a senior college football writer

Required reading

(Photo: Kirby Lee/USA Today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *