Gavin Newsom blasts UCLA over lack of transparency on Big Ten move
In an interview this week with FOX 11 Los Angeles, California governor Gavin Newsom expressed frustration over a perceived lack of transparency displayed by UCLA during its discussions to leave the Pac-12 and join the Big Ten. He also suggested the UC Board of Regents has been looking into the move since reading about it in the news.
UCLA announced on June 30 it intends to leave the Pac-12 in 2024 and join the Big Ten. The news came as a shock to the system for major college football, going from reported negotiations to formal votes for acceptance by the Big Ten in hours.
Newsom, who is an ex officio member of the UC system board, said there was no communication from UCLA to the rest of UC leadership that the move was in the works.
“I read about it,” he said. “I read about it. I’m the governor, no big deal, governor of the state of California, but maybe a bigger deal is I’m the chair of the UC regents. No one… I read about it.”
According to The Mercury News’ Jon Wilner, discussion of the move is on the agenda for the UC Board of Regents’ July 21 meeting. What that discussion will entail is presently unclear, but litigation was cited in the Regents’ published agenda.
A spokesperson for the UC Office of the President told Wilner the board has no authority to prevent UCLA’s move.
“Is it a good idea? Did we have a discussion of the merits or demerits? I’m not aware that anyone did,” Newsom continued to FOX 11. “It was done in isolation. It was done without any regental oversight or support. It was done without any consideration, to my knowledge.
“I have strong opinions about this, for no other reason than as a member of the regents, we were never consulted, never asked for an opinion and they didn’t even have the decency to provide (a) heads-up.”
Newsom said the board has been looking into its options since learning of the news.
“Trust me when I say this, we’re not going to be looking into it,” he said. “We already are looking into it, within minutes after reading about this in the newspaper.”