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UCLA Athletic Director Names 1 Primary Reason For Joining Big Ten

PASADENA, CA - SEPTEMBER 04:  UCLA Bruins helmet during the college football game between the LSU Tigers and the UCLA Bruins on September 04, 2021, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. (Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

PASADENA, CA - SEPTEMBER 04: UCLA Bruins helmet during the college football game between the LSU Tigers and the UCLA Bruins on September 04, 2021, at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. (Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

When two staples of the Pac-12 conference elected to jump ship to the Big Ten in 2024, the college sports world was shocked. But in a recent interview with ESPN, UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond gave his reasoning for the program's defection. 

And it boils down to one main factor: increased visibility.

Well, one, national exposure. Now you’re going to be in three different time zones, multiple time zones. Here on the West Coast, when you think about some of the game times, you’re not always in the national spotlight. Now our student-athletes will get to showcase their talent and skills as far from the Pacific to the Atlantic, all through the East Coast. So, in a name image likeness [NIL] era and student-athletes are finding their voice and their brand and what’s important to them; this gives them a national platform that they can be seen in ways that we haven’t been able to.

The UCLA AD went on to say that there was also academic component to the Big Ten move. Explaining:

The other thing it does too is it opens up possibilities for partnership with other like-minded institutions academically. And when you talk about mental health, well-being, nutrition health, and wellness, some of the things that are very important to our student-athletes, you wanna be a part of like-minded institutions that look and view things the same way you do. And so, the resources obviously; to be able to support 25 teams 700 plus student-athletes it’s a big deal. There’s a lot more investments now in college athletics with our students and we wanna make sure we’re the forefront leading that talk about that.

According to Jarmond's statements, a lot more went into UCLA's decision than just the financial aspect.

Who knows how it'll eventually pan out, but fans of college sports better get used to changes at the conference level.