Yesterday's Pac-12 Oregon Legislative Hearing

Sept. 29, 2023

Dear OSU Community Members,

Yesterday we took our advocacy on behalf of Oregon State University student-athletes to Salem. In a hearing before the Oregon House Interim Committee on Higher Education, Vice President and Director of Athletics Scott Barnes and I represented you and thousands of supporters in sharing the far-reaching impacts of Pac-12 Conference realignment. We emphasized the need to take control of our future and preserve the strength and vitality of all that OSU contributes to the state.

I was proud to sit alongside OSU women’s rower Evan Park as she shared with our elected representatives, “We are united in our feelings of being left out of the conference realignment conversation. All student-athlete experiences and needs should be brought into the equation when these decisions are made.”

Evan represents hundreds of current OSU student-athletes – and tens of thousands of former OSU student-athletes – who have grown strong and resilient through pursuing their academic and athletic goals, achieving greatness on and off the field, and giving so much back to generations of Beaver fans and to the OSU community. Many OSU student-athletes are first-generation students who made it to college thanks to an athletic scholarship. We – and the state – must honor our commitment to them and sustain their ability to compete at the highest level possible.

I encourage you to view the recording of yesterday’s hearing. If you feel inspired, let state leaders know that you support OSU student-athletes. Your voice matters in how we move forward, and we are grateful for your support.

Public support is just one of several avenues we are pursuing to begin to close a potential $40 million gap in next year’s OSU Athletics budget caused by the sudden withdrawal of 10 universities and the destabilization of the Pac-12 last month. Earlier this month, we filed legal action to preserve OSU’s and WSU’s ability to maintain the assets and explore the future viability of the Pac-12 Conference. In addition, we are exploring new avenues of institutional, external and philanthropic support.

Please know that we are more committed than ever to fight for OSU, student-athletes, coaches, fans and Beaver Nation. Let’s continue to unite and show the state, the nation and the world that we are determined to forge the best path forward for OSU Athletics and the university.

We’re all rooting for the Beavers as they take on the University of Utah at 6 p.m. tonight at Reser Stadium in a nationally televised football game. You can share your support of our student-athletes, coaches and athletics staff by attending football, soccer and volleyball games this fall.

I will continue to provide the OSU community with updates on Pac-12 developments. Thank you for your continued support as we work diligently to resolve this complex matter.

Go Beavs!

Jayathi Murthy

President