The University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles, two bedrock members of the Pacific-12 conference, announced late Thursday that they would be leaving their longtime home on the West Coast for the Big Ten conference, a tradition of Midwestern athletics. That has expanded all the way to New Jersey in recent years.
The changes, which will take effect in 2024: Following the expiration of Pac-12’s current television contract, the USC noted in its press release সর্ব the latest in a decade-long seismic change in the landscape of big-time college football and men’s basketball. Historical geographical boundaries and rivalries have been blown away in the pursuit of universities for greater revenue.
Adding USC and UCLA would leave the Big Ten League with 16 members (it currently has 14, as at the Southeastern Conference), and their departure would be an intestinal punch for the Pac-12, which would lose two major members in its largest television market. , Los Angeles.
The move is widely seen as setting a scenario where the Big Ten (if it is still said that when it has 16 or 20 members – it has been held at 14 so far) and the SEC will have two major super conferences, the Pac-12, Atlantic Coast Conference And others in the obvious second-class-citizen area.
Both universities said their decisions were made first and foremost with the needs and interests of their athletes. “As the oldest NCAA Division I Athletic Conference in the United States and with a footprint that will now extend from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic, Big Ten membership offers Bruin exciting new competitive opportunities and a broader national media platform for our student-athletes to compete. And show off their talents, ”UCLA Chancellor Jean Block and Martin Germond, the university’s director of athletics, said in a press release.
They specifically mentioned the opportunity for UCLA athletes to earn more money under the new NCAA rules for the rights to their names, pictures and similes.
In fact, the USC announced earlier this year that it would give each athlete “the opportunity to receive up to $ 5,980 in annual financial aid in the form of an academic achievement award, consistent with the recent Supreme Court Alston ruling.” A down payment in the next step.
The increased dollars will be possible for athletes because the Big Ten television makes a lot more money from rights than the Pac-12. In 2019-20, for which data is available last year, each long-term member of the Big Ten earned $ 54.3 million each, while Pac-12 members took in $ 33.6 million, Los Angeles Times Report
University administrators have spoken openly about the additional revenue, although they have discussed the benefits of what will flow for athletes and have reduced concerns about potential losses for them, such as increased travel.
“Entry into the Big Ten will help ensure that UCLA preserves and maintains all 25 current teams and more than 700 student-athletes in our program,” UCLA officials said. “In addition, it means improved resources for all of our teams, from academic support to mental health and wellness. And although the move increases travel distance for teams, the resources provided by the Big Ten membership could allow for more efficient transportation options. We will also explore scheduled accommodation with Big Ten that best supports the academic pursuits of our student-athletes. “
Pac-12 officials did not hide their frustration.
“While we are extremely surprised and disappointed with the news coming out of UCLA and USC today, we have a long and stunning history of leadership in supporting athletes, academics and student-athletes who we are confident will continue to improve and grow. In the future, ”the league said in a statement.
This will trigger another intense round of conference changes that could affect every conference of the Football Ball subdivision and possibly outside of it and so many of the 330 or more universities that compete in football at the Division I level of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.