Shockwaves were sent across the collegiate athletics landscape yesterday when Pac-12 founding members USC and UCLA announced their intentions to leave their league associations behind in favor of the Big Ten Conference.
Big Ten leaders met last night to vote on the inclusion of the West Coast schools and the vote was unanimous — the Trojans and Bruins were accepted.
Following the formal inclusion of USC and UCLA into the Big Ten, Michigan State president Samuel L. Stanley Jr. and athletic director Alan Haller welcomed both schools into the league and share their excitement in released statements.
Michigan State President Samuel L. Stanley Jr:
"We are very excited to add two outstanding schools to the Big Ten Conference, not only creating a more competitive atmosphere for our student athletes but also increasing MSU's exposure nationwide. Both USC and UCLA are excellent competitors, which we welcome, and they share our value of creating a strong student athlete experience. Even more, they are also leading academic institutions, members of the Association of American Universities, with robust research prowess. They make our conference stronger in multiple ways. I support this expansion of the conference and the benefits it will bring to MSU.
Michigan State Vice President/Director of Athletics Alan Haller:
"We are excited to welcome UCLA and USC to the Big Ten Conference. College athletics is changing, and bold action is required. This move further strengthens the Big Ten and Michigan State, and will benefit out student-athletes with additional opportunities and exposure. Michigan State is a national brand and has a strong base of alumni and fans in California, specifically in the Los Angeles area. We look forward to competing against these two premier institutions."