Name, Image & Likeness Motivated UCLA To Big Ten; Are Notre Dame, Washington, Oregon Next For the BCC – Both Coasts Conference?

The cost of cohabitating in the nation’s first coast-to-coast college athletic conference as the Big Ten (or Big 16) will be in 2024 will be challenging, but the rewards will be greater, particularly from a Name, Image & Likeness standpoint, says UCLA chancellor Gene Block.

UCLA and USC will be participating in all available sports as Big Ten members in two years, according to a unanimous vote by the Big Ten on Thursday after the two Los Angeles universities decided to bolt the Pac-12 for greener pastures east – no matter how far.

UCLA is 2,770 miles from SHI Stadium, where Big Ten member Rutgers plays its home games in Piscataway, N.J., for example. That’s a 41-hour drive, by the way. The longest trip in the Southeastern Conference after Oklahoma and Texas join in 2025 – if not sooner – will be from Norman, Oklahoma, to Gainesville, Florida, at 1,607 miles -17 hours by car.

“Although, this move increases travel distances for teams, the resources offered by Big Ten members may allow for more efficient transportation options,” Block said in a letter to UCLA fans on Thursday. “We would also explore scheduling accommodations with the Big Ten that best support our student-athletes’ academic pursuits.”

He was not specific. A return of Concorde air travel with improvements or importing Japan’s bullet trains, perhaps?

Block hopes new Name, Image & Likeness opportunities for UCLA and their impact on recruiting and thus potential championships will offset any jet lag.

“Big Ten membership offers Bruins exciting, new competitive opportunities and a broader national media platform for our student-athletes to compete and showcase their talents,” he said. “Specifically, this move will enhance Name, Image and Likeness opportunities through greater exposure for our student-athletes and offer new partnerships with entities across the country.”

Any airlines out there with some good NIL deals? Travel agencies?

UCLA and USC and the other 14 members of the Big Ten in 2024 conceivably could be playing in four different time zones in a month – Pacific, Mountain, Central and Eastern. All covered.

The Big Ten – or whatever name it may be by then – in 2024 as of now will be in 12 states and coast to coast – California (USC and UCLA), Illinois (Northwestern and Illinois), Indiana (Purdue and Indiana), Iowa (Iowa), Maryland (Maryland), Michigan (Michigan State and Michigan), Minnesota (Minnesota), Nebraska (Nebraska), New Jersey (Rutgers) Ohio (Ohio State), Pennsylvania (Penn State) and Wisconsin (Wisconsin).

And the Big Ten is not done. It could be interested in Washington and Oregon of the Pac-12 joining, and The Big Ten has long coveted Notre Dame right there in South Bend, Indiana, for much more than geographic reasons, which do not seem to matter much in today’s college football world.

Such a wide scope of a league will enhance television opportunities for all new members. Call the Big Ten the BCC – the Both Coasts Conference.

“For our fans, Big Ten membership equates to better television time slots for our road games,” Block said. “We will make efforts to preserve our traditional regional rivalries and are pleased that our crosstown rival, USC, will also be joining the Big Ten. While we are fierce competitors on the field, we have a rich tradtion of collaboration that we look forward to continuing.”

Pac-12 Out In the Cold

In other words, thank you very much, USC for allowing us to come with you. USC is the big fish the Big Ten wanted, and bringing historically the school that has been a little brother for an even number made sense.

“Entry into the Big Ten will also help ensure that UCLA preserves and maintains all 25 current teams and more than 700 student-athletes in our program,” Block said. “It means enhanced resources for all of our teams, from academic support to mental health and wellness.”

Not to mention fly overs of their former brothers in the Pac-12 – Arizona, Arizona State, Cal-Berkeley, Colorado, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, Utah, Washington and Washington State.

See ya, wouldn’t want to play with ya.

Few saw this move by UCLA and USC coming so suddenly.

“I don’t have a reaction just yet,” Stanford football coach David Shaw told OutKick.

Written by Glenn Guilbeau

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  1. At first I didn’t like the move, but it had to be done. The PAC-12 has been an also-ran conference for several years now thanks to Larry Scott and “big brother” SC being so crappy for the last 5 years. The move is going to be very good for both schools. By the way, Glenn they do have thing called airplanes now that can get you to Rutgers in 5 hours instead of 41.

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