Ducks to Represent Huskies in Pac-12

Seattle, WA, April 1, 2013/PR Newswire/The University of Washington and the University of Oregon have completed a preliminary memorandum of understanding (MOU) agreement calling for the University of Washington to outsource its Athletic Department teams to the University of Oregon.

Under the terms of the agreement, which takes effect immediately, all overlapping University of Washington sports, including football and men’s basketball, will be transferred to the administration and coaching provided by the University of Oregon. The exceptions are men’s and women’s crew and women’s gymnastics teams, which will still compete under the banner of the University of Washington in the Pac-12 Conference.

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The Athletic MOU follows on the heels of a similar academic pact between the two Northwest universities in which the University of Washington outsourced the teaching and research of business administration, architecture and allied arts, law, and journalism and communication to the respective professional programs offered by the University of Oregon.

Speaking at a joint news conference today at the University of Washington campus, Washington Athletic Director Scott Woodward saluted the University of Oregon for its protracted dominance in athletics, particularly the Ducks nine-game winning streak over Washington in football and its three-game sweeps in both men’s basketball and beisboll.

“The ‘Washington Way’ has become the ‘Oregon Way,’” said Woodward. “We have competed to the best of our natural abilities, but there comes a time when you have to accept reality: Oregon is a consistently better program in the Pacific Northwest. I am calling upon all Washington students, alumni, Tyee Club members and fans in the Seattle metropolitan area to become lifelong supporters of the Oregon Ducks.”

Woodward announced that Tyee Club donations will be transferred to the Duck Athletic Fund and that a Duck Store outlet will be established on the University of Washington campus to sell Nike Duck gear in emerald green, yellow, black and gray to support UW’s new teams. “Mighty Oregon” will replace “Bow Wow Washington” as the official fight song for the University of Washington.

The Washington Athletic Director acknowledged that other uses will have to be found for Husky Stadium on Lake Washington and Alaska Airlines Arena to justify their recent $250 million+ upgrades. Benefit concerts featuring Justin Bieber, Barry Manilow and Donnie and Marie Osmond will be held as Husky Stadium this summer (dates TBD) to celebrate the strategic athletic outsourcing agreement.

Woodward said that the University of Oregon Athletic Department agreed as part of the MOU to seriously consider outgoing UW Football Coach Steve Sarkisian and UW Basketball Coach Lorenzo Romar and their respective staffs for future coaching, administrative and facilities vacancies at the University of Oregon Athletic Department.

“We appreciate this a very difficult day for the University of Washington administration, the UW Athletic Department, the Tyee Club members, alums, students and fans,” said University of Oregon Athletic Director Rob Mullens. “The University of Washington administration deserves credit for having the courage to initially approach the University of Oregon about the possibility of an athletic outsourcing agreement. We are humbled by the realization that we are representing two universities in Pac-12 play.”

Mullens said a portion of the transferred Tyee Fund donations will be used to expand the 54,000-seat Autzen Stadium to accommodate University of Washington students at the enhanced student section at University of Oregon home games. University of Washington football season ticket holders will have limited opportunities to buy seats at an enlarged Autzen Stadium.

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Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said the University of Washington will retain its membership in the Pac-12 conference as an “emeritus” university. Scott said he is open to the possibility of Oregon State University and Washington State University entering into similar MOUs with the University of Oregon resulting in the entire Pacific Northwest being represented on fields and courts by University of Oregon student athletes. Scott confirmed that Portland State University will be considered as a replacement conference member for the “emeritus” University of Washington.

Scott said the Oregon Ducks represented both the University of Oregon and University of Washington student bodies and respective university families in their Sweet 16 matchup against Louisville last Friday in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Safe Harbor Statement: This preliminary strategic Athletic Department Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) between the University of Washington and the University of Oregon is effective and duly constituted upon the playing of the “Sweet 16” game between the University of Oregon and the University of Louisville on March 29, 2013. All University of Washington athletic records with the exception of the men’s and women’s crew teams and the women’s gymnastics team will remain the official records of the University of Washington Athletic Department. They will be housed in the University of Washington Athletics Museum in which Washington fans can remember the days in which UW actually  fielded its own sports teams. A final Memoranda of Understanding will be consummated between the University of Washington and the University of Oregon later this calendar year. A corresponding MOU between the University of Washington and the Pacific-12 Conference designating an “emeritus” status for the University of Washington Athletic Department is expected to be signed in the next 90 days. None of the stipulations stated above should be constituted as a guarantee by the University of Washington administration or its agents.

About the University of Washington

Founded in 1861 by a private gift of 10 acres in what is now the heart of downtown Seattle, the UW is one of the oldest public universities on the West Coast. We’re deeply committed to upholding the responsibility that comes with that legacy. And being public has always meant being accessible. Anyone can enjoy and be enriched by all the UW has to offer, including world-class libraries, art, music, drama, sports and the highest quality medical care in Washington state. Being public also means being engaged with our communities, and through knowledge and discovery we are elevating the quality of lives of others. http://www.washington.edu/discover/

About the University of Oregon

The University of Oregon, founded in 1876, is the state’s flagship institution. Located in Eugene, an energetic college town, the university offers academic excellence and hands-on learning opportunities in a welcoming atmosphere. Towering trees shade the 295-acre campus, where students, faculty members, and employees from a wide variety of backgrounds share a commitment to preserving the environment and pursuing innovation in more than 260 academic programs that range from Eugene to Portland and from the coast to the mountains. http://uoregon.edu/about

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