The University of California board of trustees on Thursday called for a public review of UCLA’s controversial Pac-12 exit to the Big Ten, including an assessment of how it will affect student-athletes and other UC campuses.
The request came after Governor Gavin Newsom demanded an explanation from UCLA about its planned August 2024 move and attended a closed meeting of regents in San Francisco on the issue on Wednesday. He said he was concerned about what he saw as a lack of transparency on the part of UCLA, which informed UC President Michael V. Drake but did not consult with the regents. Only a handful of UC officials were briefed just before the decision was announced.
UC Berkeley — the only UC campus that will be left behind in a weakened conference without UCLA and USC — will likely take a big financial hit.
“The first duty of every public university is to people — especially students,” Newsom said in a statement. “UCLA needs to make it clear to the public how this agreement will improve the experience of everything its student-athletes will honor its century-old partnership with UC Berkeley and preserve the stories, rivalries and traditions that enrich our communities.
Drake’s office will perform and publicly present a report to the Regents no later than August 17. The report will address:
- An evaluation of the effect of UCLA’s membership in the Big Ten on the culture, operations, and finances of UCLA and other UC campuses.
- An analysis of the effects of a conference membership change on UCLA student-athletes, including how the campus plans to address issues related to travel, competition schedules, and academic support.
- A review of the Regents’ policy that allows each university to control its athletics operations, and recommendations on policy changes needed to ensure “appropriate oversight of major athletics-related decisions.” In 1991, the UC President’s office delegated authority to campus chancellors to execute their own contracts, including intercollegiate athletic agreements. But board chairman Richard Leib told The Times on Wednesday that the delegation of authority “did not necessarily anticipate that type of action.”
UCLA’s decision – along with USC – to exit the Pac-12 conference has left Cal and the other remaining conference teams reeling from the threat of losing millions in media rights revenue, not to mention the viability of holdovers. as a major player in the rapidly changing college sports landscape.
UCLA and UC Berkeley declined to comment on the matter.
Los Angeles Times