Ashland HS alum, former Ducks safety reacts to Oregon moving to Big Ten

EUGENE, Ore. – A monumental shift in the Pac-12 with Oregon leaving the conference, setting up for a whole new experience for Ducks fans.

Oregon is officially leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten.

On Friday afternoon, the university’s board of trustees unanimously approved the invite from the Big Ten.

“We needed to continue to find opportunities to support the athletic program,” University of Oregon President John Schulz. “So we can invest in both world-class academics and we think this deal provides that opportunity.”

The news comes after multiple reports the Big Ten offered Oregon an invite to the conference.

The university said it will switch conferences starting in 2024.

Former Oregon Duck safety and Ashland High School alum Chad Cota said although leaving the conference is good for the school’s athletics, he’s disappointed for what this means for the Pac-12.

“Not very happy, just kind of a bummer after so many years after being one of the staples, one of the top conferences in athletics and academics too and it’s kind of a sad deal for me,” Cota said.

Multiple teams have reportedly had discussions about leaving the conference for months now, with the Pac-12’s media rights deal not finalized as of yet.

Host of the ‘Locked on Ducks’ podcast, Spencer McLaughlin, believes the Pac-12 proposed media deal just wasn’t enough to keep Oregon around.

“For Oregon and Washington as well, it gives them long-term insurance and it gives them long-term stability financially, and visibility wise, and pedigree in terms of the league you’re playing in,” he said. “I understand all of that, but fundamentally as a college football fan, it sucks.”

Several national reports indicate the University of Washington will join the Ducks in the Big Ten.

Oregon has been part of the Pac-12, or 10, or 8, since 1915.

Leaving great rivalries like the annual game against Oregon State, is in question, for now.

“Thanksgiving weekend, the Fridays and that game it’s just something that’s been going on for so many years, somehow, some way, however this thing plays out, we got to keep the civil war going there’s no doubt about that,” Cota said.

Just a few weeks ago, the University of Colorado announced it will leave the conference for the Big-12.

Last year, USC and UCLA said they’re also headed to the Big Ten.

All this leaving the Pac-12 down to just seven universities with more expected to depart soon.

Oregon State for now at least appears to be staying with the conference.

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NBC5 News reporter Zachary Larsen grew up in Surprise, Arizona. He graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. At ASU, Zack interned at Arizona Sports 98.7FM and Softball America. During his Junior year, Zack joined the ASU Sports Bureau. He covered the Fiesta Bowl, the Phoenix Open and major basketball tournaments. Zack enjoys working out, creative writing, music, and rooting for his ASU Sun Devils.
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