Oregon State, Washington State file complaint against Pac-12
CORVALLIS Ore. and PULLMAN Wash. (KPTV) – Oregon State University and Washington State University, the final two members of the Pac-12 Conference, began legal actions Friday against the conference.
According to the colleges, the legal action is a critical step in preserving the conference and will allow for insight into business information and will “protect the conference’s assets” by blocking a scheduled meeting of all 12 members Wednesday.
The two schools remain the only universities of ten, left who have not given notice they plan on leaving for other conferences. In August, the University of Oregon and the University of Washington were confirmed to be leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten conference.
Given the departure announcements from 10 out of the conference’s 12 members over the last 18 months, Pac-12 bylaws dictate that the board of directors should consist of the presidents from Oregon State and Washington State, the sole institutions yet to signal their withdrawal.
“We owe it to our student-athletes, coaches, and fans to do everything in our power to protect the Pac-12 Conference and explore all future options,” said Kirk Schulz, President of Washington State University and Chair of the Pac-12 Board of Directors. “WSU and OSU are working in lockstep to identify the best path forward. The future of the Pac-12 must be determined by the remaining members, not by those who are leaving.”
The legal action, led by both schools and their respective presidents, was initiated in Washington.
A major catalyst in the filing is the Pac-12′s remaining assets. According to the filing, the Pac-12 ended the 2022 fiscal year with $42.7 million in total net assets, not including the equity value of the conference’s ownership of the Pac-12 Network. During the 2021-22 financial year, the Pac-12 Network reported revenues of $117 million and expenses of $77 million.
OSU and WSU are concerned and attempting to block the meeting of the 12 current members because if they do meet, they could vote to dissolve or evenly distribute the remainder of Pac-12′s assets, according to court documents.
The temporary restraining order also seeks to allow both OSU and WSU to make “reasonable business decisions” for the conference. Both universities will need to seek collaboration and consultation for financial decisions.
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