USC and UCLA are in advanced conversations to leave the Pac-12 for the Big Ten as early as 2024, The Athletic‘s Nicole Auerbach confirmed. Big Ten presidents and athletic directors held a meeting last night on the topic, and an announcement could come as early as today, with schools expected to submit formal paperwork Thursday, according to a source. Pac-12 reporter Jon Wilner first reported that the two schools were planning to leave as early as 2024 but that the move “has not been finalized at the highest levels of power.”
Multiple sources told The Athletic‘s Bruce Feldman that the two Pac-12 schools were the ones to reach out to the Big Ten about a move.
The Big Ten is currently in negotiations over its next media rights deal. Its existing deals with ESPN and Fox run through the next academic year, 2022-23. The Pac-12’s current membership has been together since 2011, when Colorado and Utah joined the league from the Big 12 and the Mountain West, respectively. Before that, the last changes to membership were the addition of Arizona and Arizona State in 1978.
If the moves take place, it would mark the second consecutive summer that surprise realignment by football bluebloods brings about seismic change to the college sports landscape. Last July, Texas and Oklahoma’s announcement that they would be joining the SEC.
This is a developing story. More to come.
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(Photo: Richard Mackson / USA Today)