The two universities announced their intentions to change the conferences in separate statements on Thursday. Pac-12 said the move was “very surprising and disappointing”.
They will join a conference with the University of Michigan, Ben State and Ohio State, creating a 16-member conference to compete with the Southeastern Conference (SEC).
A year ago, a similar move shook the world of college football when the Universities of Texas and Oklahoma accepted invitations to join the SEC from the Big 12.
According to the USC, the Big Ten voted to accept the two universities as members from August 2, 2024.
This change will have a major impact on future media rights deals. USC says it can look at its current deal with Pac-12 until it expires in 2024.
“Finally, the Big Ten is a great place for USC and Trojan athletes as we move into the new world of college sports,” USC Athletics Director Mike Bone said in a statement. “We will benefit from the stability and strength of the conference; the athletic ability of the Big Ten companies; increased visibility, exposure and resources will bring our student-athletes and projects; and the ability to expand our passionate involvement with alumni across the country.”
“Big Ten offers exciting new competition opportunities for member bruins and provides a broad national media platform for our student-athletes to compete and showcase their talents. New partnerships with companies across the country, ”said UCLA Chancellor Jean Black and Director of Athletics Martin Jormond.
UCLA highlighted “the best TV time intervals for our road games” while acknowledging the increase in travel time for outdoor games.
Big Ten issued a statement saying the two universities had voted unanimously to accept applications for admission after weighing.
“As a national leader in academics and athletics for over 126 years, the Big Ten Conference has historically evaluated its members with the joint goal of advancing the education and athletic work for student-athletes under the umbrella of higher education,” said Commissioner Kevin Warren. . “I thank the joint efforts of our campus leadership, athletic directors and the Council of Leaders and Principals for recognizing the changing landscape of college athletics, systematically reviewing each request and taking appropriate action based on our consensus.”
In its statement, Pac-12 said it would “continue to thrive” despite the exit of two colleges.
“We have long been called the Conference of Champions, and we are unwavering in our commitment to extend that title,” the Pac-12 conference said in a statement. “We continue to develop new and innovative projects that directly benefit our member organizations, and look forward to collaborating with current and potential members to bring together the future of college athletics.”
CNN’s Jacob Lev contributed to the report.