The board specifically discussed whether they should block UCLA’s move from the Pac-12. UCLA reportedly did not inform the board ahead of the decision announced on June 30. California governor Gavin Newsom previously expressed his disappointment in UCLA’s lack of transparency.
One item became the center of focus at Thursday’s meeting: a letter from Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff.
The New York Times provided details about Kliavkoff’s letter, in which the commissioner explained that UCLA did not “fully consider the consequences” of their move.
UCLA’s reasoning for the move was based on its athletic department’s financial troubles. Athletic director Martin Jarmond said the department was in “significant debt” before the decision to join the Big Ten.
However, Kliavkoff detailed a few examples as to why UCLA’s move might not financially help the school as much as they think. For one, UCLA would have to charter more airplanes in the Big Ten since their opponents will be located farther away, even as far as the East Coast.
Additionally, the commissioner noted how although UCLA will earn more money from the Big Ten’s media rights deal, which is worth over $7 billion, the school will have to pay their coaches and staff more in order to be competitive with other schools.
On top of this, UCLA and USC’s move hurts the Pac-12’s media rights deal as the other schools will earn less money per year. A report from the University of California Office of the President estimated that the Pac-12 schools could lose $13 million a year.
No decision was made on a potential UCLA block, some members of the board told the NYT afterwards.
“No decisions,” U.C. President Michael V. Drake said, per the Times. “I think everybody is collecting information. It’s an evolving situation.”
Kliavkoff expressed earlier this week that the Pac-12 would be open to keeping UCLA in the conference.
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For more UCLA coverage, go to All Bruins.