Pac-12 Lawsuit Ends in Settlement as Questions Remain

While the Pac-12’s future as a conference remains grim, its 12 member schools agreed in principle Thursday to settle litigation over who should control conference assets and hundreds of millions of dollars in conference revenue used to run athletic programs.

“We are pleased to have reached an agreement in principle that ends litigation,” the 12 schools said in a joint statement.

More from

The litigation was brought initially by Oregon State and Washington State, who were left stranded as the “Pac-2” when the other 10 members bolted over the past year for the Big Ten, Big 12 and ACC.

In a separate and more celebratory statement on Thursday, OSU president Jayathi Murthy and WSU president Kirk Schulz said, “Today’s news marks a huge victory for our universities and a significant step toward stabilizing the Pac-12 Conference and preserving its 108-year legacy.”  According to the two presidents, the 10 departing schools have agreed to “forfeit” an unspecified “portion of distributions over the remainder of the 2023-2024 year.” The 10 departing schools also agreed to “provide specific guarantees against potential future liabilities.”

The details of those provisions (assuming Murthy and Schulz have accurately described them) are crucial to understanding their true impact. A “portion” could be large or small and “guarantees” related to liabilities can range widely.

In some ways this was the only outcome that made sense following last Friday’s decision by the Washington Supreme Court to deny a review of a preliminary injunction. The injunction enables Oregon State and Washington State to control the conference. Since a trial would likely not have occurred for many months, the preliminary injunction could have remained in effect after the 10 departing schools were no longer…


Read More

You might like