Big Ten Votes To Approve Addition of USC And UCLA Beginning in 2024

By Griffin Strom on June 30, 2022 at 7:42 pm
Kirby Lee, USA Today Sports

USC and UCLA are headed to the Big Ten.

The conference presidents voted to approve the addition of both Pac-12 universities on Thursday evening, and both schools made official announcements to confirm the news shortly thereafter.

With the addition of USC and UCLA, the Big Ten will have 16 member institutions beginning in 2024. The Big Ten last expanded in 2014, when it brought Maryland and Rutgers into the conference. The Big Ten previously added Nebraska in 2011 and Penn State in 1990, which had been the only four additions in the last 70 years prior to Thursday.

In a Thursday release that officially announced the move, USC president Carol L. Folt said, "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."

UCLA chancellor Gene D. Block said in a release to the Bruin community that entry into the Big Ten will enable the school to preserve all 25 current athletics teams and have access to "enhanced resources" moving forward.

"We recognize these are big changes. We value the talent and dedication of our student-athletes as well as the passion of Bruins fans far and wide," Block wrote in part. "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. Because of our unique circumstances, we believe this is the right move for the UCLA Bruins and the right time."

Commissioners of the Big Ten, Pac-12 and ACC announced an alliance between the three conferences last year in response to the SEC's addition of Texas and Oklahoma – which won't take place until 2025 – but the partnership dissolved over the past year.

The Pac-12 previously expanded from 10 to 12 teams in 2011, when Utah and Colorado entered the conference, but would be left with 10 member institutions once again in 2024 barring further restructuring.

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