Big Ten Conference Adds USC, UCLA

Big Ten Football

COLUMBUS, Ohio — USC and UCLA are joining the Big Ten Conference beginning in 2024.

Below is the full release from the Big Ten.

Big Ten Conference Statement

ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference Council of Presidents and Chancellors voted unanimously today to admit the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Southern California to the Big Ten Conference effective August 2, 2024. Competition will begin for all conference sports in the 2024-25 academic year.

After receiving written applications from the two universities, Big Ten Conference Commissioner Kevin Warren, alongside conference athletics directors and the Council of Presidents and Chancellors, evaluated the applications based on a dynamic model weighting four primary principles with supporting criteria. The principles include academics and culture; student-athlete welfare, competition, and logistics; commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in sports; and financial sustainability. The model allows the conference to analyze criteria in a strategic and effective manner.

“As the national leader in academics and athletics for over 126 years, the Big Ten Conference has historically evaluated its membership with the collective goal to forward the academic and athletic mission for student-athletes under the umbrella of higher education,” Commissioner Warren stated. “The unanimous vote today signifies the deep respect and welcoming culture our entire conference has for the University of Southern California, under the leadership of President Carol Folt, and the University of California, Los Angeles, under the leadership of Chancellor Gene Block. I am thankful for the collaborative efforts of our campus leadership, athletics directors and Council of Presidents and Chancellors who recognize the changing landscape of college athletics, methodically reviewed each request, and took appropriate action based on our consensus.”

The Big Ten Conference has a lineage of transformation dating back to the historic meeting with seven university presidents on January 11, 1895, at the Palmer House in Chicago, Illinois. Those seven leaders created the blueprint for what grew into the modern intercollegiate sports model. Adding the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Southern California continues the conference’s legacy of transformation and innovation in college athletics. The addition of the two universities remains subject to negotiation of final terms.

6 Responses

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  2. Geographically, this makes no sense.

    I’d have rather seen Clemson and Notre Dame join before stretching all the way to California to expand the conference.

    1. It may make no cents geographically but it makes dollars in location, location, location. LA means big (bucks) and big (eyes) for the (BIG) tv money. Now besides ND who is next? Is 20 teams the target number?

  3. Brilliant decision by both the BIG and maybe esp USC and UCLA. Both Tier 1, I’m sure, and pedigree of both academically and athletically without question. Only question is why not Cal and Stanford?
    And no, Oregon has zero chance, as standards matter, hello!

    1. Oregon certainly has a chance, moreso than Cal does. You don’t need both teams from the same market, especially when Cal is historically Northwestern. Your daddy’s Northwestern! With this earthquake hitting southern cal, Stanford may be poised to leave california as well.
      It would be nice to admit Stanford, then UM could see what a real Harvard of the midwest looked like!

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