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MM 7.1: UCLA and USC to join Maryland in the Big Ten

This is the Maryland Minute, a short story followed by a roundup of Terps-related news.

USC and UCLA are leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

In a sudden move, UCLA and USC will join the Big Ten Conference starting in the 2024-25 school year, the conference and schools announced Thursday.

“As the national leader in academics and athletics for over 126 years, the Big Ten Conference has historically evaluated its membership with the collective goal to forward the academic and athletic mission for student-athletes under the umbrella of higher education,” Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren said in Thursday’s release. “The unanimous vote today signifies the deep respect and welcoming culture our entire conference has for [USC], under the leadership of President Carol Folt, and [UCLA], under the leadership of Chancellor Gene Block.”

The move, which was voted on and confirmed by the 14 Big Ten university presidents Thursday evening, will expand the Big Ten to 16 teams, the same amount that the SEC will have after adding powerhouses Texas and Oklahoma in the coming years.

Jon Wilner of the Mercury News suggested that the addition of these Californian schools could lead to Big Ten member institutions earning upwards of $100 million annually in media rights.

For the Terps, this adds another dimension of immense difficulty in the football program’s hopes to become competitive in what is a top-two conference in the nation.

Despite continuing to improve their recruiting class and gaining numerous three-star and four-star players, the Terps sit below the top-half Big Ten teams whose starting lineups consist of mostly four-star and five-star recruits.

Maryland men’s basketball is already set to face UCLA in a home-and-home series that starts in College Park for the 2022-23 season and continues at UCLA for the 2023-24 season, just ahead of when UCLA will join the conference full-time.

“I am thankful for the collaborative efforts of our campus leadership, athletics directors and Council of Presidents and Chancellors who recognize the changing landscape of college athletics, methodically reviewed each request, and took appropriate action based on our consensus,” Warren added.

This move will make it five teams to join the conference since 2010; Nebraska, Maryland and Rutgers are the others.

In other news

Jason Savacool is a part of USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team, which began their training camp with a 7 p.m. game Thursday night.

Ukrainian native Pavlo Dziuba, who was an inspiration for his teammates last season despite playing few minutes, was reunited with his mother yesterday.

Former Terp Dana Dobbie notched a spot on SportsCenter’s Top 10 with a beautiful backhand goal in the 2022 Women’s World Lacrosse Championships.

Jacen Russell-Rowe (Columbus Crew) and Ben Bender (Charlotte FC) are off to great starts in the MLS.

The entirety of Maryland women’s soccer’s schedule was released.

Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic reported that the Big Ten may not be done expanding the conference, with a 20-team league remaining a real possibility.

Josh Henschke reported that the Big Ten Football Championship Game might be headed out to California in the near future.