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Penn State Thrilled To Welcome USC & UCLA To Big Ten

Hours after the Big Ten officially announced the addition of Pac-12 schools USC and UCLA to the conference beginning in 2024, Penn State Athletics released a statement of its own, expressing its excitement for the universities to join.

“This is a thrilling evening for the Big Ten Conference,” President Neeli Bendapudi said. “We welcome USC and UCLA with open arms as like-minded institutions that are as committed to high GPAs and graduation rates as they are to on-field excellence. It was an easy decision that will build upon our conference’s rich heritage.”

Newly-appointed athletic director Patrick Kraft chimed in with his enthusiasm, too.

“Penn State University is a proud member of the Big Ten Conference, and we welcome the addition of two world-class universities to our family,” he said. “USC and UCLA are both synonymous with academic and athletics success and will be tremendous additions to our conference.”

Penn State football head coach James Franklin mentioned college football’s dynamic landscape and that he is excited for the two schools to strengthen the conference.

“This is another big step in the ever-changing college football landscape and we embrace the change,” he said. “USC and UCLA are two institutions with a long-standing tradition of academic and athletic success. They will only strengthen our already very strong Big Ten Conference.”

Men’s basketball head coach Micah Shrewsberry also added that he believes the additions of USC and UCLA will make the Big Ten “the nation’s premiere basketball conference.”

The Los Angeles-based schools were first rumored to join the Big Ten when Pac-12 reporter Jon Wilner initially reported Thursday afternoon that the two teams were planning to switch conferences. Big Ten presidents and chancellors then met Thursday night and voted to accept the applications of membership from the two institutions, marking another major realignment in the college sports landscape in the last two years.

The nation could be in store for more realignment, though, as The Athletic‘s Nicole Auerbach reported that there’s a possibility the Big Ten and SEC will turn into two megaconferences with over 20 members each down the road.

The last time Penn State played either team was in the 2017 Rose Bowl when it lost a 52-49 thriller to USC. The Nittany Lions’ most recent matchup against UCLA came in 1968 when they defeated the Bruins 21-6.

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About the Author

Frankie Marzano

Frankie is a senior accounting and economics major from Long Island, NY. You can probably recognize him as the typical Italian-American with slicked back black hair. He is an avid fan of the New York Rangers and Mets, along with every Penn State Athletics team. Follow him on Twitter @frankiemarzano for obnoxious amounts of Rangers and Penn State content or email him at [email protected]

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