The Pac-12 presidents and chancellors on Friday morning authorized the conference “to explore all expansion options” following the decisions of USC and UCLA to join the Big Ten in 2024, according to a statement from the Pac-12.
“The 10 university presidents and chancellors remain committed to a shared mission of academic and athletic excellence on behalf of our student-athletes,” the statement said.
One source in the conference told ESPN on Friday “it’s wide open” as far as who the Pac-12 would consider inviting, but added the Big 12 and ACC are worth exploring. While there has been speculation about Oregon and Washington wanting to follow USC and UCLA to the Big Ten, there has been no official indication in the league of their intentions.
“Everybody’s playing it close to the vest,” the source said.
The Big Ten presidents and chancellors voted unanimously on Thursday to add USC and UCLA to the conference, starting on Aug. 2, 2024. A second source within the Pac-12 told ESPN on Friday “every effort” is being made to secure the league’s future. The Pac-12 released a statement later Thursday saying it was “extremely surprised and disappointed” by the news of UCLA and USC leaving.
“We have a long and storied history in athletics, academics, and leadership in supporting student-athletes that we’re confident will continue to thrive and grow into the future,” the Pac-12 said in its statement. “The Pac-12 is home to many of the world’s best universities, athletic programs and alumni, representing one of the most dynamic regions in the United States. We’ve long been known as the Conference of Champions, and we’re unwavering in our commitment to extend that title.
“We will continue to develop new and innovative programs that directly benefit our member institutions, and we look forward to partnering with current and potential members to pioneer the future of college athletics together.”