Remaining Pac-12 schools release statement's following USC, UCLA's departure
Things moved quickly on Thursday. Reports surfaced that USC and UCLA were planning to leave the Pac-12 and join the Big Ten and within hours those reports were confirmed, a vote was taken, statements were drafted, and things were made official.
The departures leave 10 remaining Pac-12 schools to try and pick up the pieces and place them… wherever they think is best?
The Pac-12 is in a precarious spot, and though a report late Thursday night suggested no other league teams are expected to depart for the Big Ten at this time, anything and everything should be viewed as a possibility moving forward. What teams say publicly and what they do behind closed doors might be two very different things. However, we can still glean a little insight from what they said in the immediate aftermath of the news.
Here are the statements released so far by the Pac-12 and its remaining members. If a school isn’t listed, they haven’t released a statement yet. This list will be updated as more do.
The statement was not attributed to any one person, only the conference:
“While we are extremely surprised and disappointed by the news coming out of UCLA and USC today, we have a long and storied history in athletics, academics, and leadership in supporting student-athletes that we’re confident will continue to thrive and grow into the future. The Pac-12 is home to many of the world’s best universities, athletic programs and alumni, representing one of the most dynamic regions in the United States. We’ve long been known as the Conference of Champions, and we’re unwavering in our commitment to extend that title. We will continue to develop new and innovative programs that directly benefit our member institutions, and we look forward to partnering with current and potential members to pioneer the future of college athletics together.”
President Ana Mari Cauce and athletic director Jen Cohen:
“We are disappointed by the news that UCLA and USC are leaving the Pac-12, a conference with such rich tradition and history. We have been in close contact with our leadership and peers in the Pac-12 and are working together to examine options and opportunities. The University of Washington has a distinguished record of success at the highest levels, in and out of competition, and is in a strong position as we process this development. We are confident that we will continue to increase the strength of our athletic programs and success and well-being of our student-athletes.”
Translation: we’ll see.
Oregon State Beavers
Athletic director Scott Barnes:
“Oregon State University is aware of the news that UCLA and USC have officially been accepted to join the Big Ten Conference beginning in 2024. We are engaged in ongoing discussions with the Pac-12 Conference and Oregon State University leadership to ensure that Oregon State and the Pac-12 remain at the highest level of intercollegiate membership and competition nationally. We are very proud of the continuing accomplishments of OSU student-athletes and coaches in athletic competition, in the classroom and in the community. There is significant momentum throughout Oregon State University and within Beaver Athletics, including transformative projects like Completing Reser Stadium, a national best-in-class football facility with year-round programs and facilities for OSU students, faculty and staff. This past academic year 14 of our 17 programs were represented in postseason competition, 21 student-athletes received All-America recognition and five OSU coaches received Coach of the Year honors. We will work tirelessly and proactively in partnership with the Pac-12 to maintain this momentum for all of Beaver Nation.”
President Dr. Robert C. Robbins and athletic director Dave Heeke:
“As a longtime member of the PAC-12 Conference, we are extremely disappointed in yesterday’s announcement of the future departure of two peer universities. The proud traditions and culture of the PAC-12 and its persistent commitment to student-athlete success have always made it a national leader. The University of Arizona will continue in its commitment to serving its student-athletes and ensuring we continue to compete at the highest levels of Division I athletics in all women’s and men’s sports. We will continue to engage and communicate with our peers around the conference to ensure the University of Arizona and its student-athletes, campus community, loyal fans, alumni, and supporters are a priority in all decision making.”
California Golden Bears
Chancellor Carol Christ and athletic director Jim Knowlton:
“This is a significant development for our University and the Pac-12, and we are engaging in constant communication with the leadership of our conference partners. Regardless of what the future holds, we maintain our steadfast committment to the athletic and academic success of our student-athletes. With three national championships during the past year, excellent APR scores, and an unwavering commitment to our DEIBJ efforts, Cal Athletics is well-positioned for a strong and successful future.”
Chancellor Dr. Philip DiStefano and athletic director Rick George:
“The announcement of USC and UCLA joining the Big Ten came as a disappointment to all of us at CU Boulder. Despite this news, we remain resolute in our commitment to our student-athletes and will continue to provide them the resources for success both in the classroom and on the fields of competition.
“We have been in constant communication with our fellow universities as well as conference leadership and will continue to work closely as this dynamic situation continues to develop. CU Boulder is a world-class academic institution with elite athletic programs and will continue to be a leading voice in the changing college athletics landscape.”