The Pac-12 said it's focused on "securing the best possible future" for its four remaining members -- California, Stanford, Oregon State and Washington State -- after the conference saw five of its institutions depart for other conferences in a matter of hours on Friday. Oregon and Washington, charter members of the conference, approved before Arizona, Arizona State and Utah
"Today's news is incredibly disappointing for our student-athletes, fans, alumni and staff of the Pac-12 who cherish the over 100-year history, tradition and rivalries of the Conference of Champions," the statement read. "We remain focused on securing the best possible future for each of our member universities."
Eight Pac-12 schools have departed the conference since USC and UCLA announced their decision in June 2022 to leave the conference for the Big Ten in time for the 2024-25 athletic year. Colorado became the third school to defect when the Buffaloes announced July 27 that they will exit for the Big 12 on that same timeline. The five schools that defected Friday will also make their moves in time for the 2024 season, giving the Pac-12 one more athletic season before three quarters of its membership departs.
Friday's defections came after Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff reportedly presented a long-awaited media rights deal to conference members only for no agreement to materialize. League membership reportedly reconvened Friday morning in hopes of securing a grant of rights and keeping the conference stable but to no avail.
It's not immediately clear what the future holds for the Pac-12 conference with just four remaining members, though according to Yahoo Sports, leaders from the four remaining schools have discussed possible paths forward including a potential partnership or merger with the Mountain West.