• Extra Points
  • Posts
  • Should Oregon lawmakers do anything about conference realignment?

Should Oregon lawmakers do anything about conference realignment?

They asked experts at Oregon and Oregon State to share more information

Good morning, and thanks for your continued support of Extra Points.

Last Friday, the Oregon House Interim Committee On Higher Education met to discuss how conference realignment would impact Oregon and Oregon State. The committee’s witness list included University of Oregon president John Karl Scholz and AD Rob Mullens, Oregon State University president Jayathi Y. Murthy, and AD Scott Barnes, the executive director of Visit Corvallis, and others.

Normally, I enjoy congressional hearings about college athletics about as much as I enjoy getting hit by a car. But unlike most of the federal hearings I’ve been subjected to, the Oregon House committee actually brought in experts with direct knowledge of the things the committee wanted to talk about.

I’m working on several other stories that intersect with what realignment means for Oregon, Oregon State, their fans, and their communities. But from this hearing, two major things stuck out to me.

What does all of this travel really mean for athletes?

This is what the University of Oregon Office of Governmental Affairs said in their prepared statement:

10 of UO’s 20 sports and approximately 200 of UO’s student-athletes (Acro and Tumbling (45 athletes), Men and Women’s Track and Field/XC (110 athletes), Men and Women’s Golf (21 athletes), Beach Volleyball (20 athletes) do not currently play a Pac-12 schedule, will not play a Big Ten conference schedule, and will not experience travel impacts from the conference change.

Football (125 athletes) currently charters transportation to all destinations, which will continue--with only five road games per season.

While travel can always be difficult, this move will not significantly increase travel days/missed class time for our student-athletes. The greatest impact will be on Men’s Basketball, Women’s Basketball, and Volleyball. Tennis (men’s and women’s), Baseball, Softball, Soccer, and Lacrosse are impacted to a lesser degree in terms of increased travel days. On average, those impacted will see 3–4 additional travel days, though some will be greater distances than Pac-12 travel. The maximum impact on any sport is 6 days of travel.

Oregon president John Karl Scholz, in his testimony, added that this means 45% of Oregon athletes will not have their travel change as part of the Big Ten move.

I think everything Oregon is saying here is technically correct…but is worth a closer examination.

Subscribe to Premium Membership to read the rest.

Become a paying subscriber of Premium Membership to get access to this post and other subscriber-only content.

Already a paying subscriber? Sign In

A subscription gets you:
FOUR newsletters a week
Access to every single newsletter in our archives
Free stickers! (while supplies last)
Access to Athletic Director Simulator 4000

Join the conversation

or to participate.