Allocating 1% of lottery funds towards student athletic scholarships will aid OSU athletics in prioritizing the holistic development and well-being of student-athletes to support their academic and athletic goals. Despite the turmoil brought on by the departure of 10 schools from the Pac-12 conference, OSU student-athletes are still competing at the highest level and pursuing their educational goals. During the fall, three OSU teams advanced to the postseason including a top-four finish for Men’s Soccer, while 58 athletes were nominated for Pac-12 All-Academic Honors. During this winter season, Women’s Basketball, Gymnastics, and Wrestling are currently ranked in the top 25 nationally. 

Despite this hard work and accomplishment, the future of Oregon State University athletics is dire due to the economic consequences of mass departures from the conference. Our athletes’ success is an issue of statewide importance. Beyond representing OSU and supporting small businesses and the entire regional economy with their competitions, many student-athletes stay in Oregon, going on to enter the workforce and play important roles in our state after graduation. 

Student-athletes need support in this new environment.  OSU student-athletes inspire us with their extraordinary achievements in competition, the classroom, and the community. These student-athletes came to OSU to compete in a regional conference at the highest level possible. Many are first-generation students who made it to college thanks to an athletic scholarship. Let the Oregon Legislature know they must prioritize OSU’s student-athletes and the public good OSU Athletics generates for the entire state.