As we announced this afternoon, the University of Washington will be joining the Big Ten Conference starting with the 2024-25 season. This is an exciting time for our student-athletes, our fans and our University. The Big Ten is a leading athletic conference with excellent athletic and academic traditions, and a strong future.
The move to the Big Ten will enable our Husky teams to continue to compete at the highest level on a national stage, while also providing the stability and resources that are needed to support their quest for excellence in the classroom and in competition. We recognize that this move will result in additional travel, but are confident we can take steps to mitigate its effects. The addition of the University of Oregon, UCLA and the University of Southern California to the Big Ten the same year that we are joining will help with this. One of the things that makes me so proud of our athletics programs, and so committed to ensuring their future, is that they are first and foremost about the development and growth of our students.
Beyond athletics, the Big Ten brings with it unique opportunities for even closer academic alignment with the many peer universities that are members of the conference. The Big Ten Academic Alliance, governed by the member institutions’ provosts, has for more than 50 years brought together some of the nation’s leading research universities to foster innovative academic collaborations. And the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium has brought together the member universities’ cancer research centers to advance cancer research and treatment, which is a strength of the UW.
This move is, of course, bittersweet. The UW was part of the founding of the Pac-12 Conference and for more than a century was a proud member. In this coming year, we will continue to honor that past, as we embrace a future that better positions us to truly lead in shaping the future of college athletics, both on and off the field.
We also remain committed to continuing the Apple Cup tradition with Washington State University, continuing our long history of competition versus the Cougars in all sports, including football. We also will be able to continue longstanding rivalries with other West Coast teams as part of this move.
Our University strives for excellence in all that we do. This move not only helps ensure a bright future for Husky athletics, but it opens up new opportunities for partnerships across a range of academic and research endeavors. Members of our University community near and far should be excited for this new chapter in our history.