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WCC commissioner Stu Jackson believes there will be 'another wave' of conference realignment

Jackson joined Gonzaga Nation to talk about ongoing conference realignment and much more

The college athletics landscape underwent significant change over the summer, as football and TV contracts dictated the end of the current Pac-12 and set off a chain reaction around the country.

After the initial wave of conference realignment left Washington State and Oregon State without a home, the West Coast Conference stepped in to add both former Pac-12 schools as affiliate members starting in the 2024-25 academic year. 

The Cougars and Beavers will be able to compete for WCC championships across a dozen Division-I sports, including men's and women's basketball, for the next two seasons. After that their membership is unknown, as they look to rebuild the Pac-12 or join another power conference in all sports.

Until then, WCC commissioner Stu Jackson is planning for some changes to men's basketball scheduling and hasn't ruled out future expansion. Jackson joined a special episode of Talking Zags to talk about conference realignment, rumors of Gonzaga leaving the WCC and much more. You can watch the full episode in the video above.

Here's a summary of what Jackson had to say on key topics:

On league schedules for men's and women's basketball:

“That decision is in the midst of our governance process, but just to manage your expectations on the men's side, it's likely to be an 18 game schedule in basketball, and on the women's side, it's likely to be a 20 game round robin schedule”

On future of WSU and Oregon State in the WCC:

"There hasn't been a discussion beyond that and the reason is Oregon State and Washington State entered this affiliation agreement, because they needed to buy themselves some time. And that's legitimate. They have a scheduling football alliance [with the Mountain West Conference] that you know, they'll have in the next couple of years, and in that two year period, they'll attempt I think, to do two things. One is to try to become a member of an existing conference that will take them with football. Or they'll attempt to reconfigure the Pac-12 in some manner. If they accomplish that, so be it."

On handling rumors of Gonzaga leaving the WCC:

"I think you have to deal with it, you know, in the moment ... [The Bulldogs are] a member of the WCC from all indications just dealing with them over the past few years. Their focus is the WCC and helping us to become stronger, you know, financially stable, but listen, you know, we're in a national landscape. In large part due to football realignment, where there's going to be a shuffle that, you know, we've seen it over the past seven months, it's going to continue and, you know, a school like Gonzaga, who's our member, I'm not surprised that other conferences would be interested in them or other members of our conference. It's just something you have to deal with in the moment."