The two universities announced Thursday their intention to exchange lectures in separate statements. The Pac-12 said it was “extremely surprised and disappointed” by the decision.
They will join a conference with universities like the University of Michigan, Penn State and Ohio State, creating a 16-member conference to rival the Southeastern Conference (SEC).
Less than a year ago, a similar decision rocked the college football world when the universities of Texas and Oklahoma accepted invitations to join the Big 12 SEC.
According to USC, the Big Ten have voted to accept both universities as members beginning Aug. 2, 2024.
This change has major implications for future media rights agreements. USC says it will see its current deal with the Pac-12 expire in 2024.
“Ultimately, the Big Ten is the best home for USC and Trojan athletics as we enter the new world of collegiate athletics,” USC Athletic Director Mike Bohn said in a statement. communicated. “We will also benefit from the stability and strength of the conference; the athletic caliber of Big Ten institutions; the increased visibility, exposure and resources the conference will bring to our student-athletes and programs; and the ability to expand engagement with our passionate alumni nationwide.”
“Big Ten membership provides the Bruins with exciting new competitive opportunities and a broader national media platform for our student-athletes to compete and showcase their talents. Specifically, this move will enhance opportunities for name, image and likeness through greater exposure for our student-athletes and provides new partnerships with entities across the country,” said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block and Athletic Director , Martin Jarmond.
UCLA also pointed to “better television slots for our road games” while acknowledging an increase in travel time to away games.
The Big Ten released a statement saying it voted unanimously to accept both universities after evaluating their applications for membership.
“As the national leader in college and athletics for more than 126 years, the Big Ten Conference has historically valued its members for the collective purpose of advancing the academic and athletic mission of student-athletes under the umbrella of the higher education,” Commissioner Kevin Warren said. . “I am grateful for the collaborative efforts of our campus leadership, Directors of Athletics, and Council of Presidents and Chancellors who recognize the changing landscape of college athletics, methodically reviewed each application, and took appropriate action. appropriate based on our consensus.”
In its statement, the Pac-12 said it would “continue to thrive” despite the departure of the two colleges.
“We have long been known as the Conference of Champions, and we are unwavering in our commitment to extending that title,” the Pac-12 Conference said in a statement. “We will continue to develop innovative new programs that directly benefit our member institutions, and we look forward to partnering with current and potential members to create the future of college athletics together.”
CNN’s Jacob Lev contributed to this report.