Football

Alexander: Gavin Newsom Wants Answers, But UCLA Will Still Join The Big Ten

24 Jul 2022 | 08:08

World according to Jim:

• I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that the continued failure of USC and (especially) UCLA defections to the Big Ten drew Governor Gavin Newsom into the fray, especially since he was also the boss. Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University of California. Regent. But will it make a difference? Sure is not.

Newsom had taken up Cal’s banner in this case, frustrated by the secrecy that UCLA had clamped down on the Pac-12 and, by extension, caused Berkeley’s athletic program to wobble. Never mind that (a) UCLA telegraphing its intentions may have screwed up the deal, which could have resulted in (b) cutting back on Olympic sports and putting its own athletes on edge. island to cover a $102 million sports budget deficit.

Governor is asking UCLA for an explanation. The sentence above is a good place to start. …

• There’s not much the governor or regents can do other than perhaps urge (trust?) a financial settlement to support what will likely be Cal’s own budget shortfall, as a result of staying in a reduced conference or possibly completely outside if the Pac-12 goes down. …

• Reminder: Pac-12 Media Day is next Friday at LA Live. You can bet there will be a lot of passive aggression directed at fugitives by holders. And if you get the Pac-12 Network, Commissioner George Kliavkoff’s opening speech (maybe a little after 8 a.m.) will be interesting. …

• There are proposals made for Newsom this week signed the Fair Pay to Play Act in September 2019, open to NIL payments to athletes, his current complaint about UCLA defections is hypocritical. Uhh, no. Newsom didn’t kick off the big business era of college sports. He signed that bill reaction for what was a big business but didn’t (and still doesn’t) cut workers into any profits. If colleges start paying players themselves instead of depending on a third party, then perhaps there will be a case. …

• As for the bidding wars in recruiting and the collectives that made NIL such a Pandora’s Box? Perhaps Mark Emmert and his staff at the NCAA should propose a system that addresses those concerns rather than fighting the NIL at every step and lobbying for antitrust immunity that they won’t get. …

• Baseball is still the only sport that offers such benefits and now it could have even more challenges in the National Assembly and in state legislatures. If that happens, we’ll remember Rob Manfred stepping into it again this week when he told members of the Baseball Writers Association of America: “I remove the premise of the question, that minor players are not paid a living wage.”

Of course, this happened just four days after the MLB agreed to a 185 million dollar settlement in a class-action lawsuit, first filed in 2014, on behalf of minors who missed school for violations of minimum wage and overtime. …

• Remember, the division of the team into 120 teams in 2021 was partially sold by claiming that minor players who stayed would be treated better. MLB has requested housing improvements this year, but only after further stories from last season describe more reprehensible treatment.

• Oh, and that’s “a living wage?” Even after the pay scale is slightly increased, rookie and short-season players earn a minimum of $400 per week, A-players $500, Double-A $600 and triple A $700 and they only get paid during the season. If you do the math, a Triple-A player who is not on the 40 list could be paid $14,000 per year, just above the federal poverty line for an adult. Charming, no? …

• Yes, drafted leads receive bonuses, all of which are capped by MLB. But unbuilt freelance agents — collateral damage cutting the draft from pre-pandemic 40 rounds to 20 — get $20,000 and a lucky handshake.

I guess it depends on your idea of ​​a living wage. …

• Young athletes are not the only ones targeting the underlying structure of the sport. Former major league scout Rick Ingalls, profile here a year ago and one of the many veteran scouts who have been let go by the clubs in recent years, indicated by email that a group of those former scouts will seek a settlement in court through a lawsuit group.

It’s “even more proof of how they cut wages,” he wrote. “They controlled it all. We were abandoned in (the cold). “It’s also proof that if you work in baseball and don’t have the power of the Players Association behind you, it can get ugly. …

• The Lakers appear to have achieved a classic news outcome – i.e. leaking an event while everyone’s attention is diverted – if reports are true that LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook achieve some kind of détente by phone while LA fans and media kept busy with the All-Star Game. (Then again, when SCNG Lakers beat writer Kyle Goon pointed out, Credibility is an issue here. Again.)

• A doomsday sign: Tuesday’s All-Star game drew 7.634 million viewers on Fox, a record low. The good news: It’s still the most-watched All-Star Game in sports, which is pretty low. Bad news: Last night’s Derby Home Run drew 6.877 million viewers on ESPN and ESPN2. (Perhaps that’s why they decided to hold a mini Derby in case the match was drawn after nine innings.)…

• Probably nothing, but the home Yacht Race competitors were wearing regular team jerseys, not the trash Nike used for Tuesday’s entrants. Think about it. …

• Finally, can Dodgers fans be accused of tampering? A group in the left booth drew a smile from Juan Soto during Tuesday night’s game by chanting, “Future Dodger… Future Dodger…”

Remember in the weeks leading up to the All-Star Game, when Soto swore he’d try to talk the Dodgers into getting Trea Turner back to Washington as a free agent this coming winter? Things have certainly changed rapidly.

jalexander@scng.com