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University of Michigan president, athletic director chime in on Big Ten expansion

Here is what the University of Michigan president and athletic director have to say about the Big Ten expanding westward.



Michigan football, Santa Ono, Warde Manuel, Big Ten expansion

Yesterday, the Big Ten expansion efforts gained even more steam, boosting the conference from 16 to 18 teams starting in 2024. Right now, Michigan football sits atop the Big Ten, claiming two-straight conference titles and more. However, in the coming years, new faces like USC, UCLA, Oregon, Washington, and perhaps more will stand in the Wolverines’ way. Following these new additions, University of Michigan president, Santa Ono, and athletic director, Warde Manuel, released a joint statement on the matter.

University of Michigan president and AD release joint statement on Big Ten expansion

Here is the official joint statement from University of Michigan President Santa Ono and long-time Athletic Director Warde Manuel, commenting on the Big Ten expansion efforts after the approval of Oregon and Washington for the conference beginning in 2024.

“The Big Ten Conference unanimously voted Friday (Aug. 4) to accept the University of Oregon and the University of Washington as full members in all sponsored sports, effective in August 2024.

“As the conference continues to grow and expand across the country, we are pleased to confirm this decision and extend a warm welcome to our newest members, both of which are leading research universities and members of the Association of American Universities with championship-caliber athletic programs.

“We also look forward to the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Southern California joining the conference in 2024.

“Over the course of the last year, following the acceptance of UCLA and USC to the Big Ten Conference competition, administrators across our membership have engaged in thoughtful study and dialog on wide-ranging logistical questions and considerations. Those efforts, aimed at ensuring a positive student-athlete experience and fiscal stability, leave us well-prepared to make additions at this time.

“As the collegiate sports landscape continues to change rapidly, we hope that you will join us in welcoming the Huskies and Ducks to the Big Ten. Go Blue!”

So far, the Big Ten has added four new faces to the conference, starting next fall. Additionally, schools like Cal, Stanford, Notre Dame, Florida State, and perhaps more are also being looked at for future expansion as the landscape of the sport continues to grow and change rapidly.

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CJ has covered college athletics in paid roles for around five years, including numerous sports and beats. His most recent work revolves largely around Penn State and Michigan football and basketball. Right now, CJ is the publisher of Blue by Ninety, where he also serves as the site's credentialed football reporter. Previously, CJ has made stops with Fansided, The Michigan Daily, and more.