In a historic move that would change the landscape of college sports on the West Coast, USC and UCLA are planning to depart the Pac-12 for the Big Ten as early as 2024, according to a source.
The move isn’t official and must be approved at the highest level of power at the two schools of in the Big Ten.
The departure will have massive consequences for the Pac-12, stripping it of the schools in its most important recruiting and media hub and the two teams — USC football and UCLA basketball — that serve as the face of the conference in their respective sports.
It is not known whether the schools are joining the Big Ten in all sports, only in football or just in football and men’s basketball.
But the future of the conference is suddenly in serious doubt — a potential merger with the Big 12 could be on the table, or the remaining schools could go their separate ways.
The planned move creates significant questions, especially for UCLA, which is connected to Cal through the UC system.
The development comes one day before the first anniversary of George Kliavkoff becoming commissioner of the Pac-12 and leaves him with a shredded conference that was planning to begin media rights negotiations later this year.
Those negotiations will take on an entirely different tint without the two universities in the nation’s No. 2 media market.
Source: Orange County Register