Washington State athletic director Pat Chun did not hold back his thoughts on the dying Pac-12 conference, as two more teams are on the verge of leaving, while the Cougars do not seem like they will have the chance.
California and Stanford appear to be the next two teams that want out of the Pac-12, as they have reportedly reached out to Big Ten officials, per The Associated Press.
However, the Big Ten does not seem like they want to add two more West Coast schools after already bringing USC, UCLA, Oregon and Washington aboard. The Big 12 also landed Arizona, Arizona State and Utah, all of which will compete in the conference during the 2023-24 academic year.
The Atlantic Coast Conference has reportedly been talking about going after California and Stanford to add their own West Coast unit, though they are still deliberating.
Chun, holding a press conference with reporters as the Pac-12’s future gets bleaker by the day, said “poor leadership” in the conference is the reason behind its disarray.
“I think it’s been well documented that the last couple of weeks was a culmination of years of failed leadership, vision, failed implementation,” Chun explained, via the AP. “It isn’t one singular thing that led to the destruction of the Pac-12 as we know it. It was a bunch of decisions and failed strategies that put us in this place. That’s unfortunate because the ones who lose out on that are the student-athletes that go forward.”
Chun added that Washington State is trying to look at every option moving forward. The Mountain West and the AAC are also interested in the Cougars, however they would not offer the amount of revenue that a Power Five school would.
“We are a Power Five school,” Chun said about Washington State, a university that is currently facing an $11 million deficit in their athletics programs. “Our performance indicates that we are a Power Five school. We’re going to do our best to continue to compete at that level. And that’s really our goal.
“We continue to battle against schools that have higher resources than us. We continue to battle against what people determine we should be based on the size of our TV market. And that has not changed for Washington State, and we’ll continue to battle.”
Cougars football finished 7-6 overall and 4-5 in the Pac-12 during their football campaign last year.
The Pac-12 has just four schools remaining in its conference, as Oregon State is added to the other three as well.
SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey joined “The Paul Finebaum Show” on Tuesday to discuss last week’s events.
“It just wasn’t one of those great feelings to work in college sports, in my experience,” Sankey said when discussing the conference realignment that occurred last week. “I take responsibility where we’ve made moves. But there was something different last week about the questions around the existence of the Pac-12 conference, given its long and storied history.”