LOS ANGELES – The University of Southern California will take the historic step of joining the Big Ten Conference in 2024, a move that will position USC and its student-athletes for long-term success in both athletics and academics.
“Over the past three years, we have worked hard to ground our university decisions in what is best for our students,” said USC President Carol L. Folt. “With the Big Ten, we are joining a storied conference that shares our commitment to academic excellence and athletic competitiveness, and we are positioning USC and our student-athletes for long-term success and stability amidst the rapidly evolving sports media and collegiate athletics landscapes. We are delighted to begin this new chapter in 2024.”
The Big Ten Conference has voted to accept both USC and crosstown rival UCLA as full members of the conference effective August 2, 2024, enabling both schools to remain in the Pac-12 Conference for the duration of the Pac-12’s existing media rights agreements.
“Ultimately, the Big Ten is the best home for USC and Trojan athletics as we move into the new world of collegiate sports,” Athletic Director Mike Bohn said. “We are excited that our values align with the league’s member institutions. We also will benefit from the stability and strength of the conference; the athletic caliber of Big Ten institutions; the increased visibility, exposure, and resources the conference will bring our student-athletes and programs; and the ability to expand engagement with our passionate alumni nationwide.”
USC also shared that, beginning this upcoming academic year, all student-athletes, whether on scholarship or not, will have the opportunity to receive up to $5,980 annually in direct financial support in the form of academic achievement awards, consistent with the Supreme Court’s recent Alston ruling.
The specific details and criteria for the Alston awards will be disclosed prior to the start of the upcoming fall semester.
USC has more than 550 student-athletes who compete in 21 sports, and they are supported by more than 250 coaches and staff. Trojan teams have won 134 national championships, and men and women have taken home 483 individual NCAA titles.
The USC football program, which competes in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, has won 11 national championships, competed in 34 Rose Bowls (with 25 wins), and produced 519 NFL draft picks. USC athletes also have won 326 Summer Olympics medals, with 153 of them being gold. In 2021, USC posted its highest-ever NCAA Graduation Success Rate (92 percent).
USC Board Chair Suzanne Nora Johnson issued a statement to show her support for the move.
Over the past three years, President Folt has built a world-class leadership team and set a strong strategic vision for USC. This move is yet another example of her dedication to accomplishing ambitious goals for the university. We are grateful to her, and to Athletic Director Bohn, for solidifying USC’s place in the national athletics landscape and serving the best interests of the university’s students and other stakeholders.
Source: USC Athletics
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