Illinois Statement on Big Ten Expansion

The Council of Presidents and Chancellors of the Big Ten Conference today voted unanimously to admit the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Southern California to the Big Ten Conference effective August 2, 2024. The competition begins for all conference sports in the 2024-25 academic year.

Joint Statement by University of Illinois Chancellor Robert Jones and Athletic Director Josh Whitman.

As a founding member of the Big Ten Conference, the University of Illinois, the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Southern California are proud to welcome the newest additions to the Big Ten.

UCLA and USC are premier academic institutions with robust, successful athletic traditions. They are recognized as two of the most recognizable and iconic brands in higher education and college sports, and their institutional values ​​and forward-thinking vision align with those of our existing membership. We are happy to have them as colleagues, peers and competitors.

College athletics is in a period of intense upheaval, with changes happening rapidly all around us. For the Big Ten to maintain our position as one of the pre-eminent conferences in the nation, we must continue to think strategically, be bold in our decisions, and precise in our execution. Today’s news demonstrates all of these qualities and represents a monumental moment in Big Ten Conference history. We thank Commissioner Kevin Warren and the Big Ten staff for their leadership.

The University of Illinois is proud to be a member of the newly formed Big Ten Conference, and we look forward to vibrant, intense competition on the playing field and productive, fruitful collaboration off it.

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