The Washington state supreme court will not review a lower court’s decision that granted control of the Pac-12 board of directors to Oregon State and Washington State, the court ruled Friday.
With the ruling, a previous stay of the lower court’s decision has been lifted, granting immediate control of the board to OSU and WSU.
In a joint statement, Oregon State president Jayathi Murthy and Washington State president Kirk Schulz lauded the court’s decision.
“We are pleased with the Washington Supreme Court’s decision today,” they said. “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.”
For months, OSU and WSU have made it clear that they intend to rebuild the Pac-12 in the coming years; however, that process could not begin in earnest until this case was settled.
The ruling allows OSU and WSU full discretion to operate the conference as they see fit, including as it comes to revenue distributions. Last week, OSU and WSU voted to block a midyear conference-wide revenue payment, a move they said was made to protect the conference against pending liabilities.
It is unclear what immediate steps OSU and WSU will take now that the departing 10 universities have seemingly exhausted their legal remedies.
In a Whitman County courthouse last month, an attorney working on behalf of Washington, Dan Levin, raised the possibility that the departing schools could attempt to dissolve the conference.
“It’s simply the fact that the members could decide to dissolve that they wanted,” Levin said. “Of course, in all this time during these proceedings and before, no member has called for such a vote.” Lawyers for OSU and WSU disagreed vehemently with Levin’s interpretation of the law and said they are confident such action is not legally possible.
A statement from the departing 10 schools was not immediately available.