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Oregon State, Washington State near agreement to join West Coast Conference as affiliate members, sources say


Dec 29, 2023 #Sports


Oregon State and Washington State are nearing an agreement to join the West Coast Conference as affiliate members next year in multiple sports, most notably men’s and women’s basketball, sources told ESPN, confirming multiple reports.

It is an agreement similar to the one the schools reached with the Mountain West to play six football games against MW teams next year but with a major difference. While the Beavers’ and Cougars’ games against MW schools in football will not count toward the conference standings, there is an expectation their games will count toward the standings for other sports in the WCC. They are also expected to be eligible to participate in conference tournaments and eligible to represent the WCC in NCAA championship events.

The deal has not been finalized, but university presidents from the WCC schools are expected to meet by Thursday to consider it, according to multiple reports. The agreement would come on the heels of the Washington state Supreme Court’s decision last week not to review a lower’s court ruling that granted control of the Pac-12 board of directors to OSU and WSU.

OSU and WSU intend to rebuild the Pac-12 and will keep the conference’s branding on their football fields next season despite operating as a two-team conference.

For a conference to exist, the NCAA requires “at least seven active Division I members,” all of which must sponsor men’s and women’s basketball, and for the conference to sponsor at least 12 Division I sports, among other requirements. In the case of departures, the bylaws allow a conference a two-year grace period in which it can exist without the minimum number of schools.

The WCC agreement, like the one in football, is viewed as a short-term solution that will buy the schools time to rebuild the Pac-12. There had been similar discussions with the MW for an affiliate agreement beyond football, but those talks fell through, sources said.


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