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Washington State judge grants restraining order for OSU and WSU against the PAC-12

Courtesy of PAC-12 conference.

On Monday, a judge in Whitman County, Washington, granted a temporary restraining order for Oregon State University and Washington State University against the PAC-12 Conference and PAC-12 Conference Commissioner, George Kliavkoff.

Judge Gary Libey ruled in favor of OSU and WSU and granted the temporary restraining order, which now prevents Kliavkoff and the departing PAC-12 schools from holding a board meeting that was previously scheduled for Wednesday.

However, the schools can conduct matters on any business in a normal course that will affect the member schools in the 2023-2024 school year.

The temporary restraining order allows the two schools to prevent the departing PAC-12 schools and Kliavkoff from meeting or attempting to act on the status or governance of the conference in any way that would prevent OSU and WSU from rebuilding the PAC-12 Conference.

Last week, OSU and WSU filed a restraining order and a lawsuit to prevent “irreparable harm” to both schools.

The lawsuit on behalf of both schools asks that OSU and WSU be made the remaining sole voting members of the PAC-12 Board of Directors, according to a press release from OSU. 

If OSU and WSU are made sole voting members of the PAC-12 Board of Directors, they would have sole control of the monetary assets and revenue streams of the PAC-12 Conference.

In the legal filing, OSU and WSU said that when the departing universities announced they would leave the conference, they gave up their voting rights according to PAC-12 Conference bylaws.

Additionally, with alignment to competing conferences, the departing universities would also have a conflict of interest in any voting on PAC-12 matters.  

“I am pleased with today’s decision. As the two remaining PAC-12 members, Oregon State and Washington State must be able to chart a path forward for the PAC-12 – not the members that have chosen to leave it,” OSU President Jayathi Murthy tweeted following the court’s decision.

The next steps following the approval of the restraining order will be for a preliminary injunction regarding the lawsuit against the departing PAC-12 schools and Kliavkoff. 

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Ryan Harlan, Summer Sports Editor
First-year graduate student Public policy (He/him)

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