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Official: USC, UCLA to join Big Ten in 2024

Posted at 8:22 PM, Jun 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-30 20:22:50-04

The Big Ten will have two new members.

USC and UCLA - two of the premiere programs out of the Pac-12 - will be members of the expanding Big Ten in 2024.

The schools were notified Thursday that their application to join the Big Ten has been accepted, ESPN reported.

Big Ten presidents and school leaders voted on the addition of USC and UCLA.

"Ultimately, the Big Ten is the best home for USC and Trojan athletics as we move into the new world of collegiate sports," USC athletic director Mike Bohn said in a statement. "We are excited that our values align with the league's member institutions. We also will 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 our student-athletes and programs; and the ability to expand engagement with our passionate alumni nationwide."

UCLA chancellor Gene Block and athletic director Martin Jarmond said in a statement: "Entry into the Big Ten will also help 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."

A source told ESPN that the exploration of finances and what it would take to make the move has been going on for weeks. While finances are playing a big role in the move, competitiveness, brand and the overall landscape of the future of the sport have played a bigger role.

The University of Maryland - a member of the Big Ten - has two more conference challengers.