Good afternoon, Coug fans.
And Oregon State fans too!
Chant it with us- You Can’t Do That!
On Friday, news broke that Washington State University and Oregon State University filed a legal complaint - from what we gather, to protect the assets left behind by the departing ten members.
According to the initial article (cited here):
“Ten schools have given notice that they are leaving the Pac‑12 for other conferences. According to the Pac‑12 constitution and bylaws, if a member school gives notice of withdrawal, they automatically cease to be a member of the Pac‑12 Board of Directors. Therefore, Oregon State University and Washington State University now constitute the entire membership of the Pac‑12 Board of Directors, according to Oregon State President Jayathi Murthy and Washington State President Kirk Schulz.”
In their request for a temporary restraining order, the schools asked that the Pac-12 Board of Directors not be allowed to meet until it could be legally determined who should actually be on that board and making decisions for the future of the conference. Commissioner George Kliavkoff had called for a meeting, despite President Schulz request that he not, to involve all 12 schools this Wednesday to discuss the future, and both WSU and OSU were concerned enough that there would be 10 votes to just dissolve the conference and divide the assets, they asked for a TRO.
On Monday afternoon in Colfax, they got just that.
The court GRANTS the temporary restraining order against the Pac-12. So there will be no Board of Directors meeting wednesday, it seems.— Amanda Christovich (@achristovichh) September 11, 2023
The judge has noted all day-to-day business decisions to keep the conference going can be made. (Judge says this is a line in divorce cases)
An attorney for the schools laid out the case, centering around the fact that the other 10 schools had, in fact, given formal notice of withdrawal through news releases, social media and interviews despite their contention they’ve done nothing of the sort. The attorney also noted that the USC Trojans, UCLA Bruins and Colorado Buffaloes all lost voting rights from the moment they left- so no one else should be eligible to vote either.
And, in perhaps the most surprising revelation of all: a resolution would’ve been proposed at the Wednesday meeting for the conference to cover some of the associated costs with the departure of their soon to be former members.
We’re not kidding:
On Sat night, OSU/WSU's lawyers received docs saying Pac-12 wanted to vote on wed about how the Pac-12 is going to operate over the next 12 months. A proposal: Pac-12 would pay some of the money for the transition costs for departing members.— Amanda Christovich (@achristovichh) September 11, 2023
Excuse my language, but holy shit.
Superior Court Judge Gary Libey did amend his order to say that conference matters can be discussed but that it must be approved unanimously, meaning any action WSU and OSU don’t want to take in the near future won’t go forward.
A fun fact about our new favorite Superior Court Judge that makes him, in our humble opinion, even more superior than the rest?
Pre-Law, Washington State University, class of 1973.
Overall, this is a big initial win for Oregon State and Wazzu. They’ve assured the conference Board of Directors can’t meet until a court can determine who is actually on it and based on the case they laid out Monday morning, it should just be them. Schulz has spoken multiple times publicly about needing clarity on what will happen before they can determine their future and this is an important first step in that.
What that future is remains to be seen. We’ve floated a rather daring idea but OSU and Wazzu also need to know what they’re legally entitled to once everyone else departs. From there, you can try to determine the best path forward.