'We Recognize These Are Big Changes': USC, UCLA Will Join Big Ten in 2024

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The Big Ten voted Thursday to add the University of Southern California and the University of California Los Angeles to the conference beginning in 2024, according to USC and the Associated Press. 

Once the Pac-12’s media rights contracts with Fox and ESPN expire, the conference will expand to 16 teams, making it the first conference to stretch from the Atlantic to the Pacific, the AP reported.

The announcement came almost a year after Oklahoma and Texas formally accepted invitations to join the Southeastern Conference in July 2025.

In a news release Thursday, USC president Carol Folt said the university is "delighted" to join the Big Ten. 

"Over the past three years, we have worked hard to ground our university decisions in what is best for our students," Folt said in the statement. "With the Big Ten, we are joining a storied conference that shares our commitment to academic excellence and athletic competitiveness, and we are positioning USC and our student-athletes for long-term success and stability amidst the rapidly evolving sports media and collegiate athletics landscapes."

USC said it has more than 550 student-athletes who compete in 21 sports, and they are supported by more than 250 coaches and staff.

In a co-signed statement on Thursday, UCLA chancellor Gene D. Block and The Alice and Nahum Lainer family director of athletics Martin Jarmond said they saw more security in the Big Ten down the road. 

"The Pac-12 has always shared our values and continues to innovate, working hard on behalf of its student-athletes and many fans," the statement said. "At the same time, each school faces its own unique challenges and circumstances, and we believe this is the best move for UCLA at this time. For us, this move offers greater certainty in rapidly changing times and ensures that we remain a leader in college athletics for generations to come."

UCLA said that joining the Big Ten will help the university ensure that UCLA "preserves and maintains all 25 current teams and more than 700 student-athletes in our program. Additionally, it means enhanced resources for all of our teams, from academic support to mental health and wellness. And although this move increases travel distances for teams, the resources offered by Big Ten membership may allow for more efficient transportation options. We would also explore scheduling accommodations with the Big Ten that best support our student-athletes' academic pursuits."

Glock and Jarmond also acknowledged that the conference shift is a big deal, but assured fans they believe it's the right move.  

"We recognize these are big changes," the statement said. "We value the talent and dedication of our student-athletes as well as the passion of Bruins fans far and wide. The best way to respect that is to protect our program from the great uncertainty it would face if we did not make this transition."

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