21 Jul 2022 | 08:44
Gavin Newsom has spoken out, UC regents have been convened, and UCLA’s departure from the Big Ten remains in the political arena. But on a hectic Wednesday in San Francisco, there’s no hint that the Bruins won’t hold the convention in the summer of 2024.
The controversial move, which became official June 30, was scheduled to be discussed on Thursday at a closed session of the University of California Board of Trustees.
Instead, it was moved to Wednesday’s agenda, presumably to accommodate Newsom’s schedule. And he is said to have created a rare, but still appropriate, appearance. As governor, he is the Regent Ex Officer (not voting).
According to a UC spokesperson, the matter is listed as a discussion and has no action items, “thus not being able to proceed with a vote.”
But that didn’t stop Newsom from being confused about the process and ramifications of UCLA’s move.
“The first obligation of every public university is to the people – especially the students,” Newsom said in a statement first published by the LA Times.
“UCLA must make it clear to the public how this agreement will improve the experience for all of its student-athletes, will honor its centuries-old partnership with UC Berkeley, and will preserve the history, competition and traditions that enrich our community.”
Without UCLA and USC attaching the Pac-12 to the huge media market in Los Angeles, the convention is struggling to survive. In the best case scenario, it will remain intact but lose hundreds of millions of dollars annually in media rights.
That could create a dangerous situation for Cal, which supports 28 Olympic sports and relies on $25 million annually from its central campus to fund athletic activities.
The move is also expected to place a burden on UCLA athletes because of the travel needs that come with being a member of a conference in the Eastern and Central time zones.
Michael Drake, president of the University of California system, was aware of UCLA’s move before it became official on June 30 but did not have the authority to stop it, according to a UC spokesman who has been quoted as saying. issued the following statement to the Hotline earlier this month. :
“UCLA leadership has informed President Drake that discussions between UCLA and the Big Ten are ongoing, but he is not at all involved in those discussions or in any negotiations. UCLA remains in the best position to answer your questions because athletic-related decisions are formulated and implemented at the school level. There is no request for a decision from the University of California Board of Trustees or the Office of the President. “
(Drake is a former president of Ohio State, a key member of the Big Ten, and also prime minister of UC Irvine.)
It is unclear what steps Newsom, UC Regents or the state could take to prevent Bruins from departing for the Big Ten.
However, the UC system receives billions of dollars in state funding each year.
Multiple sources have suggested that UCLA could be asked to subsidize Cal’s athletic division with a share of revenue that tops the Big Ten.
If the Bruins remained in the Pac-12, they would likely receive about $40 million a year from the media rights conference.
In the Big Ten, that number is expected to double immediately and could hit $100 million per year by the end of the decade.
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