As the future of the Pac-12 remains unclear following the announced departures of eight of the conference’s 12 teams, one of the remaining four athletic directors has expressed a desire to rebuild the conference.
Scott Barnes, who has been the athletic director at Oregon State since 2017, shared his perspective on Thursday, “For us, our priority, again, is keeping the Pac-12,” Barnes said. The program’s AD believes that “it’s in the best interest of our student-athletes and our fans to build back the Pac-12. We have inserted ourselves in every conceivable conversation, every feasible conversation at the Power 5 level. And I would say that our best option is rebuilding the Pac-12.”
Barnes added they know Group of 5 options are “obviously” out there, but didn’t list it as the school’s priority, according to The Athletic.
It’s been an interesting couple of weeks for Oregon State, as they’re left in the Pac-12 with Washington State, Stanford, and Cal, and haven’t been brought up as possibly going to the ACC like Cal and Stanford were, so it makes sense that they’re keeping all options open.
Barnes also encouraged the four remaining schools to work together, instead of taking on an every school for itself mentality, saying, “I do emphatically believe that four of us, as foundational members, can build something back that is real, tangible, and sets the course for the future.”
Fans, however, don’t quite seem on board with Barnes’ plan.
This is comical. Who does he plan to rebuild the Pac-12 with? Rhetorical question. I'll answer: with Group of Five options lol https://t.co/PyrRZoKQUL
— Kyle Lamb (@kylamb8) August 17, 2023
So reading between the lines, the Big 12 as an option is definitely out. Don't want to just join MWC or AAC as currently constructed but need Stanford and Cal to make a new conference viable. And so we continue to wait. https://t.co/XwEKLnoocy
— Nathan Rieger (@rnscott12) August 17, 2023
But if you have to “rebuild” the Pac 12 with G5 teams, aren’t they taking the G5 option anyway, just by another name?
Not saying it’s the wrong approach, but I don’t think thumbing his nose at G5 schools is going to help him. https://t.co/6tN2M4VtX7
— Matthew Daley (@MattDaleyOH) August 17, 2023
It makes sense that's the goal of Oregon State (and Washington State). Hinges on Stanford. If the Cardinal get into one of the four remaining power conferences or goes independent, OSU and WSU will have to join MW or American (and MW is far more likely). https://t.co/WluYOU4cEf
— Chris Murray (@ByChrisMurray) August 17, 2023