The Big Ten will become a coast-to-coast league in the latest shakeup to college athletics.
USC and UCLA both confirmed they will join the Big Ten, which will grow the league to 16 members, Sports Illustrated reported.Their additions, coupled with the additions of Rutgers and Maryland over the last decade, will give the league a nationwide footprint.
The Big Ten becomes the second conference to reach 16 teams as the SEC will add Oklahoma along with Texas will soon be added to its conference.
UCLA Athletics and the USC Trojans confirmed the news on Thursday in multiple tweets. The conference has primarily been allies in preserving the status quo of college football.
The organization said in a statement, "The Big Ten Conference Council of Presidents and Chancellors voted unanimously today to admit the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Southern California to the Big Ten Conference effective August 2, 2024. Competition will begin for all conference sports in the 2024-25 academic year."
The statement went on to say, "After receiving written applications from the two universities, Big Ten Conference Commissioner Kevin Warren, alongside conference athletics directors and the Council of Presidents and Chancellors, evaluated the applications based on a dynamic model weighting four primary principles with supporting criteria. The principles include academics and culture; student-athlete welfare, competition, and logistics; commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in sports; and financial sustainability. The model allows the conference to analyze criteria in a strategic and effective manner."
The two Los Angeles-based teams have been conference foes since 1922. They were part of the Pacific Coast Conference, then later the conference now known as the Pac-12.