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Washington, WSU agree to extend Apple Cup by five years


TIM BOOTH Associated Press

SEATTLE – Washington and Washington State have agreed in principle to a five-year extension of the Apple Cup, ensuring the in-state competition will continue through at least 2028.

The schools announced the agreement Sunday, six days before playing for the final time with both members of the PAC-12 Conference. There was uncertainty as to whether the game would continue, with Washington moving to the Big Ten starting next season and Washington State still having to find a permanent home for its athletic programs.

Washington, ranked No. 4 in the latest AP Top 25, hosts the Cougars on Saturday in Seattle. The Huskies (11-0, 8-0) will be looking to cap off their first perfect regular season since 1991 and the Cougars (5-6, 2-6) need a win for bowl eligibility.

“For more than a century, fans across the state have circled the date of the Apple Cup on their calendars. We are thrilled to be able to continue this beloved tradition for generations to come of Coug fans, ” said Washington State President Kirk Schulz.

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Next year’s game will be played on September 14 at Lumen Field, home of the Seattle Seahawks. After that, the matchup will return to home campuses, with Washington State hosting games in Pullman in 2025 and 2027, and Washington hosting games at Husky Stadium in 2026 and 2028.

The terms of the agreement are still being finalised.

“Huskies, Cougars and football fans across Washington and beyond love the Apple Cup tradition, so making sure it continues into this new era has been one of my priorities,” said President of Washington, Ana Marie Cauce. “I am excited that we will be able to continue this tradition, and begin the new era at Lumen Field before we return to each campus.”

The agreement comes even as the sides are in the middle of pending litigation as Washington State and Oregon State try to keep the Pac-12 alive moving into the future.

Oregon State and Washington State won a landmark legal victory last Tuesday when a judge ruled that they have sole control over the PAC-12 and could have hundreds of millions in assets, paving the way for them to move forward with clarifying their make their plans for conference affiliation.

PAC-12 and departing schools, led by the University of Washington, appealed the decision to the state Supreme Court. The higher court on Thursday granted a temporary stay on the preliminary injunction until an emergency stay can be ruled.

Oregon State and Washington State have until November 28 to respond.

That is a matter for the courts to decide. On the pitch, the deal appears to be a win even as some fans may grumble about the decision to continue with the Apple Cup.

“While there is certainly passion on both sides, there is a common desire to represent the great state of Washington in the annual show,” said Washington State athletic director Pat Chun.

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