Washington lawmaker wants Huskies and Cougars tied
Politicians in the Pac-12 states are certainly watching what happens with the conference realignment. They want to see schools in their states and localities get more television dollars and more opportunities for growth.
They have a vested interest in preventing schools in their states from leaving for further conferences. This is certainly the case for any lawmaker in Washington who wants Washington State University to have the best position possible. The same goes for any Oregon legislator who wants Oregon State University to have the best and most feasible situation.
So what should a legislator do? A lawmaker in Washington did this:
Washington Rep. Drew Stokesbary, R-Auburn, plans to introduce a bill requiring the University of Washington and Washington State University to stay in their athletic conference. #FOX13 https://t.co/LMgNLGAlGN
— FOX 13 Seattle (@fox13seattle) July 3, 2022
That doesn’t mean the University of Washington would quietly accept such an arrangement if the Big Ten dollars were waiting. However, this represents a political complication and a genuine attempt to curb a Pac-12 exodus.
Jon Wilner of the Wilner Hotline makes a fundamental point about state policy in the Pac-12 footprint:
One of our lingering curiosities about departures from Los Angeles is UCLA’s separation from Cal—the campuses share the same university system and board of trustees.
And the future of the Pac-12 could depend on how well the remaining public schools are meant to evolve alongside it.
Could Arizona State aim for the Big 12 and leave Arizona behind?
Could Washington head to the Big Ten (eventually) and say goodbye to WSU?
Could Oregon do what Phil Knight wants without regard to the State of Oregon?
Political forces vary by state, and we won’t begin to guess how each situation might play out.