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Reports: Washington comes to Pac-12's defense in lawsuit


A month after Oregon State and Washington State filed a legal complaint against the Pac-12 with the aim of solidifying their position as voting members of the collapsing conference, the University of Washington on Monday filed a motion to join the lawsuit, multiple outlets reported.

Washington's intent is to become a party to the suit, then file a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. Neither Washington nor any of the other nine universities that have announced their intent to leave the conference can currently file such a motion as none are a party to the suit.

"UW has a significant stake in opposing WSU and OSU's claims and preventing the Court from granting the relief requested," Washington reportedly stated in the filing. "True, UW is leaving the Conference after the 2023-24 academic year. But, in the meantime, UW remains a member of the Conference, and board participation and voting power affects the experience of UW's athletics teams and student-athletes for the 2023-24 academic year as well as UW's bargained-for contractual rights and financial interest."

The other nine schools planning to leave the conference at the end of the academic year reportedly filed a brief in support of Washington's motion.

Shortly after Oregon State and Washington State's initial complaint, a judge granted the universities a temporary restraining order and scheduled a Nov. 14 hearing for a preliminary injunction. That hearing could likely determine who would hold voting rights on the Pac-12 board.

Both the initial complaint and Monday's filing were made in Whitman County (Washington) Superior Court, where Washington State is located.

Among the issues at hand in the suit is distribution of the conference's assets.

If the conference is disbanded permanently, assets from the Pac-12 Network, the College Football Playoff in January, the men's basketball tournament at Las Vegas in March and the Pac-12 brand itself all come into question.

There has been no decision on whether the Pac-12 will cease to exist or if Washington State and Oregon State will remain in a conference that will need to be reconstructed.

--Field Level Media

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