BIG10 gets a little bigger

USC, UCLA join athletic powerhouse conference, changing NCAA

College athletics are changing drastically now that USC and UCLA have decided to leave the Pac-12 Conference to join the Big Ten. There is really only one reason they are making this move: money. With the Big Ten’s television deals, the two colleges stand to make somewhere around $80 million, about $60 million more than they would in the Pac-12. At the end of the day, these colleges need this money, UCLA especially who has millions of dollars of athletics debt. For the universities it is a huge win, they stand to make tons of money and they don’t suffer any consequences from the Pac-12. However, for the players and for the students, this move could prove fatal. 

    “Traveling across the country will make it more difficult for players…[nowadays] players have to go with the team everywhere” said Class of 2022 UCLA alumnus Cole Doolittle. Doolittle brought up his past experiences of living with athletes mentioning that they have to do everything with the team, and especially will have to now. No longer can they stay at school an extra day to finish schoolwork and then drive down to the stadium. Now they have to fly a 5+ hour plane stretching three time zones just to play in a game. 

    Regardless of the player’s struggles, the move is happening, but now questions arise about how it will impact other schools and other conferences? Could two major conferences form? This would entail two major conferences, likely the Big 10 and SEC, taking over the NCAA by containing all of the powerful sports universities.  

    “I think it’s extremely likely that the two conferences [SEC & Big 10] take control, especially since Texas and Oklahoma just joined the SEC…Sports powerhouses like Duke, Notre Dame, and North Carolina still exist, but I think they’ll eventually join. Right now, there’s no real reason to stay and money to join” said USC student Kip Gorey. Though it will certainly take time for anything to take fruition, a less competitive NCAA could emerge.. This league would likely resemble professional sports that also have two major conferences, paralleling the NFL that has the NFC and the AFC conferences dividing the teams evenly. The conference rearrangement is a long ways away, but USC and UCLA poked the bear and started the evolution.