Report: UC regents to discuss UCLA breaking from Cal, joining the Big Ten
According to a new report from The Mercury News Jon Wilner, the University of California’s Board of Regents is scheduled to meet next week to discuss UCLA’s move to the Big Ten, a move that will break the Bruins away from the Cal Golden Bears.
The Bruins will leave the Pac-12 in 2024 to join the Big Ten. The news, according to Wilner, blindsided Cal chancellor Carol Christ. A meeting of the UC Board of Regents will possibly include litigation, according to the agenda posted on the regents’ website. In that agenda: “Closed Session Satute Citation: Litigation [Education Code 92032(b)(5)].”
Section 92032 of the California education code stipulates that UC regents “may conduct closed sessions when they meet to consider or discuss” a number of topics that include “matters involving litigation, when discussion in open session concerning those matters would adversely affect, or be detrimental to, the public interest.”
A spokesperson for the UC Office of the President told Wilner the regents had no authority to prevent UCLA’s move. Wilner asked about UC system president Michael Drake’s involvement in the move and was told UCLA leadership informed Drake of discussions with the Big Ten but he was not involved in those discussions and that decisions were made “at the campus-level.”
It’s unclear what exactly the regents will look to accomplish with their meeting, but it’ll happen on July 21.
UCLA breaking from Cal and heading for the Big Ten has potentially dire consequences for the Golden Bears.
While UCLA’s financial situation is currently bleak but promising going forward, Cal’s potentially becomes the inverse. The Cal athletic department supports 30 different sports teams, only two of which turn a profit. According to Wilner, the athletic department also receives approximately $25 million annually from central campus to fund its operations.
UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond has said on multiple occasions this move to the Big Ten will help UCLA continue to support all of its teams.
When the Bruins and Trojans leave, they’ll take a significant amount of value with them. As George Kliavkoff looks to solidify the Pac-12’s next media rights agreement and find new members to replace the departing L.A. teams, the financial gap between the Pac-12 and other Power leagues could widen. If it does, and revenue gets cut into, Cal could be forced to cut sports.