Controversy surrounds Pac-12 teams joining the Big Ten

Michigan is one of 14 schools currently in the Big Ten that will be affected by this change.
Michigan is one of 14 schools currently in the Big Ten that will be affected by this change.
William Simpson

In 1896 the Big Ten conference was formed. The first schools added were Chicago, Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, Northwestern, Wisconsin, and Purdue. Then, in 1899 Indiana, and Iowa were added. Finally, in 1912 Ohio State was added. Over the last 30 years the Big Ten has sprinkled in a couple more teams including Penn State, Rutgers, and Nebraska. However, in 2023 they are set to add 5 brand new teams. Oregon, USC, UCLA, and Washington. This addition has sparked tons of controversy in the college sports world. 

There are a number of reasons as to why this switch is not a good thing but one is that these teams are located thousands of miles away from all the other Big Ten teams. This means that players will have to travel further which could lead to less studying and less focus on academics. On average, college basketball teams play anywhere from twenty-nine to fourty games a year. Also, about half of those games are away. This would mean that teams like UCLA, and USC would have to travel across the country at least 5 times a year just to play a basketball game. 

Logan Stevens’ 26 states that, “Pac-12 teams being added to the big ten is bad because it’s gonna require teams to travel more which could impact mental health.” 

Not only does Logan touch on the fact that teams are going to be forced to travel across the country, but he also brings up another good point that these long trips could impact the mental health of the players.” Longer trips lead to fewer study teams and fewer study teams could lead to stress and anxiety.”

Another reason why this addition is a bad thing is that although it’s benefiting the Big Ten, it is negatively affecting the Pac-12. UCLA, USC, Oregon, and Washington are currently some of the best schools in the Pac-12. Once those schools leave there will only be 8 teams left in the once-dominant conference.

David Chica ’26 voices, “Pac-12 teams being added to the Big Ten is bad for the conferences and bad for college sports in general.” 

There is a big problem in college sports nowadays and that is that schools are far more worried about bringing in money than the wellbeing of their players, fans, and coaching staff. In just eight months the Big Ten will turn into the BIG 17, and that is most definitely not a good thing. 

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