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Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warner Addresses Conference Expansion

NCAA Womens Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament Championship-Iowa vs Indiana Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports

With the Big Ten’s Media Day for college football taking place, Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren was a point of emphasis as the college world continues to deal with the recent developments when it comes to expansion and the ever-shifting college landscape.

In what probably won’t surprise many people, Warren mentioned that further expansion beyond USC and UCLA is “possible” but the conference won’t expand simply for the sake of expanding. That being said, however, with the SEC likely to continue expanding and the PAC-12, ACC and Big 12 trying to piece together how to remain relevant, the Big Ten will likely need to stay active if they want to maintain their edge alongside the SEC.

“I get asked every single day, what’s next?” Warren said at media day. “It may include future expansion, but it will be done for the right reasons, at the right time, with our student athletes academic and athletic empowerment at the center of any and all decisions that we will make. We will not expand just to expand. It will be strategic, it will add additional value to our conference.”

In what might surprise some people, though, Warren announced that when USC and UCLA join the conference in 2024, they will receive full revenue shares immediately. The same could not be said for the other recent additions in Nebraska, Maryland and Rutgers.

With the addition of USC and UCLA, the Big Ten will now be in the three largest markets (NYC, Chicago, Los Angeles), three different time zones and will be capable of having games scattered across the entire day (especially in football, with kickoffs likely ranging from noon to 10:30 on Saturday). It also positions the Big Ten for their next media rights deal, likely set to bring in more than $1 billion annually. While the news on their next deal nears, nothing is set in stone just yet.

“This is not just a normal one unit television deal,” Warren said. “This is going to be forward thinking. I want people 20 years from now to look back and go, ‘Wow man, they were ahead of the curve on that deal.’”