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.
The All-American wearing the red, white and blue.— Maryland Baseball (@TerpsBaseball) June 30, 2022
Looking good, Savy! pic.twitter.com/RTXfcm4HG6
Ukrainian native Pavlo Dziuba, who was an inspiration for his teammates last season despite playing few minutes, was reunited with his mother yesterday.
Best thing you’ll see today:— Maryland Men’s Basketball (@TerrapinHoops) June 30, 2022
Pavlo Dziuba reunited with his mom!
Our guy is currently playing for his country in Europe pic.twitter.com/73vocZbxy6
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 Next Generation:— Maryland Men’s Soccer (@MarylandMSoccer) June 30, 2022
Bender and JRR have combined for three goals and five assists in MLS... and they are just getting started.
Maryland League Soccer. pic.twitter.com/yyEypuc7bx
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.
Just got off the phone with someone who believes this eventually leads to two megaconferences — the Big Ten and SEC — with 20 or more members apiece.— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) June 30, 2022
Josh Henschke reported that the Big Ten Football Championship Game might be headed out to California in the near future.
SOURCE: SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles is a potential target to host a Big Ten Championship Game at some point in the near future with this agreement.— Josh Henschke (@JoshHenschke) June 30, 2022