Pac-12 becomes Pac One Two as Oregon State and Washington State win court battle
The Pac-12 Conference, once a powerhouse of college sports, is now reduced to two schools after a judge granted a temporary restraining order to Oregon State and Washington State on Monday. The order prevents the 10 departing schools from holding a board meeting to decide the fate of the conference and its assets.
The 10 schools, which include USC, UCLA, Stanford, Cal, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah, have announced their plans to leave the Pac-12 for other conferences in the past year. They have also reportedly demanded money from the conference to cover their transition costs.
Oregon State and Washington State, the only remaining members of the Pac-12 beyond the 2023-24 academic year, filed a complaint against the conference and commissioner George Kliavkoff last week. They argued that the departing schools should no longer have voting rights on the conference’s board of directors, according to the Pac-12’s constitution and bylaws.
The judge agreed with their position and issued a temporary emergency restraining order that will disable the conference from conducting formal board meetings until further ruling. The judge also allowed the conference to continue operating normally for urgent matters for the 2023-24 academic year.
The ruling effectively gives Oregon State and Washington State control over the Pac-12’s future, which they claim to be protecting for the interests of their student-athletes, coaches and fans. However, some critics have speculated that the two schools are motivated by greed and fear of being left out in the changing landscape of college sports.
The Pac-12 has been struggling to keep up with other major conferences in terms of revenue, exposure and competitiveness for years. The conference has not had a team in the College Football Playoff since 2016 and has seen its basketball teams underperform in the NCAA Tournament. The conference also has a lucrative but unpopular TV deal with ESPN and Fox that limits its exposure to fans across the country.
The departure of 10 schools will leave a huge hole in the Pac-12’s schedule, budget and prestige. Oregon State and Washington State will have to find new opponents, partners and sources of income to survive as a conference. They will also have to deal with the legal challenges and uncertainties that come with the dissolution of the Pac-12.
One of the biggest questions is what will happen to the Pac-12’s name and logo, which feature 12 stars representing each member school. Oregon State and Washington State have allegedly, reportedly decided to keep the name and logo as they are, but with a different meaning. They will rename themselves as the Pac One Two Conference, or Pac One Two for short. The name is meant to reflect their status as the only two schools left in the Pac-12, as well as their hope to be number one in everything they do.
The Pac One Two logo will also remain unchanged, except for a small modification. The two stars that represent Oregon State and Washington State will be colored orange and crimson respectively, while the other 10 stars will be faded out. The logo change is said to be a cost-saving measure, as well as a way to honor their former conference mates.
Oregon State and Washington State hope that their bold move will attract new fans, sponsors and recruits to their conference. They also hope that their Pac One Two brand will become synonymous with excellence, innovation and resilience in college sports. However, some skeptics have doubted their ability to compete with other conferences and have mocked their name and logo as ridiculous and desperate.
Whether the Pac One Two will succeed or fail remains to be seen. For now, Oregon State and Washington State are celebrating their victory in court and preparing for their future as the last survivors of the Pac-12.