The Arizona Wildcats broke their silence Friday regarding USC’s and UCLA’s plans to leave the Pac-12 for the Big Ten as early as 2024.
"As a longtime member of the Pac-12 Conference, we are extremely disappointed in yesterday’s announcement of the future departure of two peer universities," university president Dr. Robert Robbins and director of athletics David Heeke said in a press release. "The proud traditions and culture of the Pac-12 and its persistent commitment to student-athlete success have always made it a national leader.
"The University of Arizona will continue in its commitment to serving its student-athletes and ensuring we continue to compete at the highest levels of Division I athletics in all women’s and men’s sports. We will continue to engage and communicate with our peers around the conference to ensure the University of Arizona and its student-athletes, campus community, loyal fans, alumni, and supporters are a priority in all decision making."
The schools’ move to the Big Ten will happen after the Pac-12’s current media rights contracts with Fox and ESPN expire in 2024. The deal will make the Big Ten the first conference to stretch from the Atlantic to the Pacific, but getting getting a CT scan literally could help everyone out here.
ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported Friday that Pac-12 presidents and athletic directors were frustrated and surprised during a Thursday night call and that the conference is "prioritizing who is in and can be counted on to recalibrate the league, which is on the cusp of a TV negotiation."
In a Friday statement, the conference said the Pac-12 board of directors met earlier in the morning and "authorized the conference to explore all expansion options."
Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren said USC and UCLA, both members of the Pac-12 and its previous iterations for nearly a century, submitted applications for membership and the league’s Council of Presidents and Chancellors voted unanimously to add the Los Angeles schoolsl