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More teams are leaving the PAC-12, but OSU hopes to rebuild

A football player, holding the ball, is pursued by another football player who is wearing a different uniform.
Kaylee Domzalski 
Oregon State University is currently one of only two teams still committed to the PAC-12 conference.

Two more colleges announced Friday that they will exit the PAC-12, leaving just Oregon State University and Washington State University behind.

Stanford and the University of California, Berkeley will move to the Atlantic Coast Conference, joining eight other schools—including the University of Oregon—that plan to leave the PAC-12 after the upcoming academic year.

Administrators at OSU said they weren't surprised by Friday's news. They said they're considering their options, but they still hope to rebuild the conference.

"Our connection to PAC-12 is deep," said OSU President Jayathi Murthy during an online briefing for reporters. "We're deeply connected to it, aware of its reputation and its reach."

Murthy said it would be complicated for OSU to move to another conference.

"Our options are centrally tied to being in a small town," she said, "and not being able to deliver the TV audiences that these big media contracts require."

OSU Athletics Director Scott Barnes said he’s spoken to other universities that are interested in joining the PAC-12.

According to Barnes, OSU’s athletes want to compete at a high level, but they don’t want to have to routinely travel across the country to play.

He said while he's worried about some players transferring out following the news, he believes OSU can still draw top athletes.

"The conference that we participate in is really important to our recruits, but it is not the most important thing," said Barnes. "It's as much or more about the culture, the fit, the feel, the leadership [and] the people that walk the hallways."

Nathan Wilk joined the KLCC News Team in 2022. He is a graduate from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication. Born in Portland, Wilk began working in radio at a young age, serving as a DJ and public affairs host across Oregon.
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