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INDIANAPOLIS — As commissioner Kevin Warren kicked off Big Ten football media days at Lucas Oil Stadium on Tuesday, he said that expansion was on his mind even before he was accepted for the position in 2019. 

The conference officially announced the future additions of UCLA and USC back on June 30. Both west coast programs are set to leave the Pac-12 for the Big Ten ahead of the 2024-25 academic year, a move that could open the possibilities of even more expansion with realignment set to shake up college athletics. 

"It may include future expansion," Warren said of what could be in store for the Big Ten. "But it will be done for the right reasons at the right time ... We will not expand just to expand. It will be strategic, it will add additional value to our conference."

By bringing in the Bruins and Trojans, the Big Ten will inevitably have a footprint in the three largest media markets across the country: New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. 

Warren, who is entering his third football season as the commissioner of the Big Ten, is also spearheading the conference's negotiations for a new media rights deal. The league's current deal with FOX and ESPN will come to an end following the 2023 season. 

With a bountiful media market presence, there are indications that the conference will look to secure a new deal worth $1 billion or more. Warren cited that there are nearly 7 million Big Ten alumni around the world, and he expressed the importance of delivering content in a way that hasn't yet been seen in college athletics. 

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"I'm incredibly pleased with where we are," Warren said. "We have great opportunities. We're finalizing our deals, and I look forward to standing before you to make an announcement sometime here, sooner than later."

Warren also confirmed that when UCLA and USC join the Big Ten, they will get a full share of conference revenue distribution. 

While there are several benefits to the addition of UCLA and USC to the Big Ten, a locational difference that spans four time zones for some schools raises an evident issue in future scheduling for student-athletes. 

"I look at it as not a negative, I look at it as a positive from an academic standpoint," Warren said. "We'll work through these next two years from a scheduling component to make sure that we create the environment that's most healthy and holistic for our student-athletes." 

As Warren continues to emphasize the positives of the conference's upcoming realignment, he will have two years to plan for the best possible scenarios. For now, Warren pointed to the creation of a Big Ten readiness committee that will actively work with UCLA and USC in the interim. 


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