Auburn lawmaker pushes bill to keep UW, WSU in Pac-12

Washington Rep. Drew Stokesbary, R-Auburn, plans to introduce a bill requiring University of Washington and Washington State University to stay in their athletic conference.

This announcement comes on the heels of a massive shakeup for the Pac-12—UCLA and USC announced Thursday they would depart the conference for Big Ten as early as 2024. UW and Oregon also applied to join,  but conference officials said they are "standing pat for now."

UW and WSU are currently both in the Pac-12, and Stokesbary wants to keep it that way.

"Today I sent a letter to the Presidents and Regents of [UW] and [WSU], urging them to stick together for the good of our student-athletes and fans," Stokesbary tweeted Saturday. "Next [legislative] session, I will introduce legislation requiring both schools remain in the same conference, as they have since 1917."

The details of his proposal are not clear aside from this, but as it stands, UCLA and USC would likely be the only two West Coast teams in the Big Ten.

RELATED: UCLA, USC departing Pac-12 for Big Ten

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"These are public institutions and these questions should be decided based on what is best for the people of Washington, not what’s best for TV conglomerates or inept NCAA administrators," said Stokesbary. "It’s time for [the Legislature] to lead on this, as we already did on [Name, Image and License] compensation."