Teresa Gould, New Pac-12 Commissioner, Talks Wash. St & Oregon St

Set to begin her tenure as the commissioner of the Pac-12 today, Teresa Gould revealed on Thursday that the most important part of her job will be to help Washington State and Oregon State figure out their future.

“That strategic piece is really being bold and being aggressive, being intentional and really attacking these challenges head on, but also being open-minded and making sure that we’re considering all options,” Gould said on a videoconference.

“That is probably the most important and urgent piece of my role, is to partner with the leadership on both campuses to forge that future path for their two campuses and their athletic programs.”

Gould, accompanied by Washington State president Kirk Schulz, stopped short of giving exact details regarding the future beyond the immediate two seasons. During this period, Oregon State and Washington State are slated to participate in the West Coast Conference across most sports, supplemented by a football scheduling collaboration with the Mountain West.

In accordance with NCAA regulations, the maintenance of a conference mandates “at least seven active Division I members,” each obliged to endorse both men’s and women’s basketball programs, in addition to supporting a minimum of 12 Division I sports.

The two remaining Pac-12 schools will be given a two-year grace period beginning in the 2024-25 academic year.

“I think we all felt that that was an important commitment that I commit to stay through the NCAA grace period and through those two agreements [with the WCC and MWC] to make sure that we’re collaborating and seeing this work through,” Gould said.

“Both those conferences know that we’ve got a multiyear window here where there’s got to be some final landing spot for those two schools,” Schulz said. “And so I just think we got to keep communications open back and forth. We got to make sure that we don’t sort of come strutting in there thinking we’re just better than everybody else of where we were before. We’ll wind up getting our ass kicked if that happens. But I do think it’s really important for us to keep that partnership there, keep the communications open, and we’re counting on Teresa to work with her commissioner colleagues in those two conferences as well on what future partnerships could look like.”

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