UCLA and the University of Southern California, two of the most famous powerhouses in college sports, will leave their centuries-old relationship with the Pac-12 Conference in a seismic shift to the Big Ten, schools have announced on Thursday.
Great announcement means that in the fall of 2024, Big Ten, headquartered in Rosemont, Illinois, there will be member schools as far west as Los Angeles and as far east as Piscataway, New Jersey, and College Park, Maryland.
USC and UCLA confirmed the move in separate statements on Thursday, acknowledging their long history in the Pac-12, as well as the opportunities the Big Ten presents to student-athletes. And with both schools changing conventions, the rivalry between schools will remain intact.
“Plus, that means increased resources for all of our teams, from academic support to mental health and wellness,” said UCLA Prime Minister Gene D. Black and Athletic Director Martin Jarmond said in a statement. “And while this move increases travel distances for teams, the resources provided by Big Ten members could enable more efficient transportation options.”
For fans, UCLA said, the change will shift to better TV time slots for road games. Pac-12 football fans have long complained about late-night start times set by the networks in their current TV deal.
The Big Ten also offers more visibility, exposure, and resources, as well as “conference stability and power,” USC Athletics Director Mike Bohn said in a statement.
Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren said that USC and UCLA had applied for membership, and the union’s Council of Presidents and Chancellors voted unanimously to add these schools.
They will enter the congress at the beginning of the 2024-25 season.
It’s the most stunning development in the radical rearrangement of major college sports, which has resulted in other geographically challenged links, fueled by revenue from the base. television rights for football.
The Large Conference 12headquartered in Irving, Texas, which has a longstanding relationship with the Great Plains, which will stretch west to Provo, Utah, and as far south and east as Orlando Florida, in 2023.
The USC and UCLA defections were a blow to the San Francisco-based Pac-12, conceived as Pacific Coast Conference in late 1915 by the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Washington, the University of Oregon, and the Oregon Agricultural College (now Oregon State University).
In a statement, the Pac-12 said it was “deeply surprised and disappointed” by the decision.
“We have long been known as the Conference of Champions, and we are steadfast in our commitment to extending that title,” the statement said. “We will continue to develop new and innovative programs that directly benefit our member organizations, and we look forward to working with current and potential members to advance together.” future of college athletics.”
USC entered the league in 1922 and UCLA in 1928, and the Pac-12 now also includes Washington State, Stanford, Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, and Utah.
Pac-12 on Friday said its board of directors gave the green light to union officials to “explore all expansion options,” in a desperate bid to save the centuries-old union.
“The 10 university principals and principals remain committed to their shared mission of academic and athletic excellence on behalf of our student-athletes,” according to a conference statement. .
The Oregon football powerhouse, with its close ties to sportswear giants Nike and Washington, has won two of the past six Pac-12 title games, which could be an attractive target for attackers. poaching.
Cal and Stanford, two of the world’s most elite universities that play key roles in America’s sixth-largest TV market, could also enter a new alliance.
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