Canzano: Oregon State and Washington State close in on plan for "other" sports
Vote on Thursday would put basketball and soccer in WCC.
Oregon State and Washington State are working on an agreement with the West Coast Conference that would add the two schools as affiliate members in some of the Olympic sports.
Nothing is finalized. The WCC will hold a vote on Thursday on whether to accept the proposed two-year agreement. It would include men’s and women’s sports such as soccer and basketball, among others. The Beavers and Cougars would be eligible to win conference championships and earn automatic NCAA championship berths in those sports. CBS Sports first reported the talks.
WCC schools have not yet seen a formal agreement, I’m told, but multiple sources told me that a vote will be held on Thursday. Track and field, baseball, gymnastics and wrestling are not included in the proposed deal. Some of those sports at OSU and WSU may continue to compete against the departing “Pac-12” schools, I’m told.
“Baseball is a different animal,” one source said.
The Beavers and Cougars baseball teams could decide to play as independents in the next two seasons or under the banner of the “Pac-12.” It would not be difficult for the baseball programs to piece together a schedule that includes several traditional conference opponents (i.e. Stanford, Cal, UCLA, USC, Oregon, Washington) and add weekend series vs. WCC schools (i.e. Pepperdine, Santa Clara, University of Portland, etc.), for example.
It has been an eventful 10 days for Oregon State and Washington State. The football programs announced a scheduling alliance with the Mountain West Conference for the 2024 season early last week. Also, on Friday, the “Pac-2” won a major victory in the Washington Supreme Court, seizing control of the conference board seats.
A potential two-year affiliation with the WCC solves a short-term problem for Oregon State and Washington State in the Olympic sports. It keeps athletes competing in the Pacific Time Zone and gives them access to postseason events and all-league honors while limiting travel.
I’ve talked with the parents of several players and recruits who are eager to get clarity on where they’ll see their children play in 2024 and 2025. I find it interesting that the people I’ve talked with appear more focused on the travel component than the competition. They mostly just want to see their kids play.
The women’s basketball programs from Oregon State and Washington State, for example, would now find themselves competing with WCC programs such as Gonzaga, Santa Clara and the University of Portland for the conference tournament’s automatic NCAA Tournament berth.
“Nothing is final,” one source told me, “the vote is (Thursday).”
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