The Student News Site of Oregon State University

The Daily Barometer

The Student News Site of Oregon State University

The Daily Barometer

The Student News Site of Oregon State University

The Daily Barometer

Hearing for PAC-12 realignment sees impact on student-athletes and community

Ashton Bisner
President of OSU Jayathi Murthy takes a moment to appreciate the view of Reser Stadium from an exam room during a tour of the new Health center located on the southwest side of campus on May 23. At its closest point, the new center is only 12 inches from Reser Stadium.

As a gold medal winner at the U23 World Championships V8 in Bulgaria, Evan Park of the Women’s Rowing team is left wondering if she can afford–mentally and financially–to return for a final season at Oregon State University. 

“Distant higher-ups are making these critical decisions about our futures with little regard to their effects on student-athletes,” Park said.“It is extremely demoralizing to stand by as media companies dictate our futures.”

On Thursday, Sept.28 at 2:30 p.m., The Oregon House Interim Committee heard from representatives from OSU, the University of Oregon, and the surrounding community to discuss conference realignment impacts. 

Jayathi Murthy, President of Oregon State University, emphasized the importance of OSU’s students and especially OSU’s student-athletes. 

“OSU student-athletes have worked hard to earn their place in one of the highest-ranked programs in the country,” Murthy said. “I have heard from thousands of Oregonians across the state about how angry and sad they are about the destruction of a 108-year conference.”

With the PAC-12 now depleted to two schools, OSU and Washington State University are in the lurch. The effects of this ripple, OSU now has a $40 million funding gap according to Scott Barnes, Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics

Barnes also said that the Corvallis community has been a big supporter of athletics through the first three home games of the season. The three sell-out games have greatly increased revenues in the newly renovated Reser Stadium.

The executive director of Visit Corvallis, a private non-profit destination organization, Christina Rehklau, brought up budgeting concerns. 

“The local lodging taxes represent over 95 percent of Visit Corvallis’s annual budget,” Rehklau said. 

President Murthy said that although this realignment was looming for a few months, it ultimately happened overnight with no consultation with OSU. 

The AppleTV deal that was in consideration for the Pac-12 was enough for UO and other schools to get more than they will with the BIG-10, and the departures have ultimately left OSU in the shadows. 

University of Oregon President Karl Scholz, and Athletic Director, Rob Mullens, spoke on their decisions leading up to taking the Big-10 deal. 

“The UO’s move to the Big-10 is the right thing to do in today’s world…I and all of us at the University of Oregon want OSU to be successful,” said Scholz.

Scholz also said that UO ensures that 100% of student fees and tuition and state appropriation go towards academics and student support, and insisted that UO moving to the PAC-12 was the best decision for all students including student-athletes. 

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