Washington Supreme Court Denies Pac-12 Appeal, Control Of Conference To OSU, WSU

Dec 15, 2023, 8:25 PM

pac-12 logo...

TEMPE, AZ - OCTOBER 29: The PAC 12 logo on the field during the college football game between the Arizona State Sun Devils and the Colorado Buffaloes at Sun Devil Stadium on October 29, 2011 in Tempe, Arizona. The Sun Devils defeated the Buffaloes 48-14. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(AP) – The Washington state Supreme Court declined on Friday to review the Pac-12’s appeal of a lower court ruling that gives full control of the conference to Oregon State and Washington State, keeping in place a legal victory for the league’s two remaining schools over its 10 departing members.

“We are pleased with the Washington Supreme Court’s decision today. 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,” Oregon State President Jayathi Murthy and Washington State President Kirk Schulz said in a joint statement.

Last month, a superior court judge in Whitman County, Washington, granted the two remaining Pac-12 schools a preliminary injunction that sided with Oregon State and Washington State’s argument, saying 10 departing schools relinquished their right to be part of the conference’s decision-making board when they announced they were joining new leagues in 2024.

The decision put Oregon State and Washington State in control of hundreds of millions of dollars in Pac-12 assets but also made them fully responsible for the conference’s liabilities.

The departing schools appealed the ruling. They contend conference bylaws allow them to continue to be part of the Pac-12 board of directors and have a say in how the conference is run until they actually withdraw from the league in August 2024.

Are you on Threads yet? Let’s connect, give us a follow @kslsports

The Nov. 15 ruling was put on hold by the state Supreme Court a few days later and a ruling from September was kept in place that calls for unanimous vote by all 12 schools of any conference business.

Friday’s order lifts the stay and puts the preliminary injunction into effect.

Now Washington State and Oregon State can proceed as the sole decision-makers in the conference, though Superior Court Judge Gary Libey, while making his ruling in November, warned the schools about treating the departing schools unfairly and hoarding funds.

The 10 departing schools have said they are concerned that Oregon State and Washington State could deny them 2023-24 revenues from media rights contracts and postseason football and basketball participation that usually would be shared with the entire conference.

An in-season revenue distribution totaling $61 million dollars that otherwise would have been divvied up among 12 members in December was held up recently by the lack of a unanimous vote, according to a report by the San Jose Mercury News that was confirmed to the AP by a person with direct knowledge of the situation. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the conference was not making its internal business decisions public.

Ten Pac-12 schools have announced they are joining other power conferences next year, leaving Oregon State and Washington State facing a future with drastically reduced yearly revenues to fund their athletic departments.

Oregon State and Washington State have a plan to keep the Pac-12 alive and try to rebuild that includes operating as a two-team conference for at least one year, maybe two.

The schools announced earlier this month a football-scheduling partnership with the Mountain West. That partnership could eventually extend to other sports.

Want more coverage like Washington State Supreme Court shoots down Pac-12 appeal? Take us with you, wherever you go.

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

College Football

BYU Football Roster, Spring Camp, Kalani Sitake, Sam Vander Haar...

Mitch Harper

BYU Football Roster For 2024 Spring Camp

BYU's roster during spring football practices.

3 hours ago


Michelle Bodkin

Report: Utah Football Hiring Northwestern Offensive Coordinator As Analyst

Utah football is hiring former Northwestern offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian as an offensive analyst for the 2024 season.

8 hours ago


Kyle Ireland

Local Players Shine At 2024 NFL Scouting Combine

The 2024 NFL Scouting Combine featured multiple players with ties to the Beehive State who tested and performed at the pre-draft event.

2 days ago

BYU Football, Quarterback Battle, Jake Retzlaff, Gerry Bohanon...

Mitch Harper

BYU QB Battle: Gerry Bohanon, Jake Retzlaff Split First-Team Spring Ball Reps

It's a two-man race for the starting QB job at BYU.

3 days ago

BYU Football, Jake Retzlaff, QB Competition...

Mitch Harper

Jake Retzlaff Prepared For BYU QB Competition With Former Star

Returning lettermen Jake Retzlaff turned to a former BYU star to get ready for the quarterback competition.

4 days ago

BYU Football, Spring Practice, Gerry Bohanon...

Mitch Harper

Observations From Day One Of BYU Football Spring Practice

Observations from the first day of BYU football spring practice.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles


KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.


KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

Follow @kslsports...

The Road Home Mediathon 2023

The KSL Sports Zone and are proud to support the all-day Mediathon 2023 at the Road Home, an annual tradition to raise money and other essential items for the Road Home, a Homeless Shelter.

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.


KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Washington Supreme Court Denies Pac-12 Appeal, Control Of Conference To OSU, WSU