California Governor Gavin Newsom is demanding an explanation for UCLA’s move to the Big Ten

California Governor Gavin Newsom is demanding an explanation for UCLA’s move to the Big Ten

Gavin Newsom wants an explanation.

The California governor, speaking at the UC Board of Regents meeting in San Francisco on Wednesday, demanded that UCLA provide a public explanation of how the transition to the Big Ten Conference will benefit student-athletes and the school’s partnership with UC Berkeley.

“The first duty of any public university is to the people – especially students,” Newsom told the Los Angeles Times. “UCLA must clearly explain to the public how this agreement will enhance the experience for all student-athletes, honor its 100-year-old partnership with UC Berkeley, and preserve the stories, rivalries and traditions that enrich our communities.”

UCLA and USC announced last month that they will move to the Big Ten in 2024, which shocked the college football world and significantly expanded the Big Ten’s footprint.

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USC, as a private university, is not part of the UC school system. UCLA is, and that’s why Newsom speaks out. The move to the Big Ten has put Berkeley and the Pac-12 conference in danger of losing millions in revenue from media rights and more.

While Newsom wants an explanation, one benefit is already clear. The Big Ten’s next media rights deal is expected to be worth more than $ 1 billion. It will significantly help the Bruins’ athletics department, which is reportedly in debt and was on the verge of cutting more sports completely before the move.

“I inherited a deficit with UCLA athletics,” school principal Martin Jarmond told ESPN. “So when you have a significant financial challenge, it’s hard to just sustain, not worry about investing. This move not only preserves the programs we have now, but also allows us to invest in them at levels that can lead to more competitive success. . “

It is unclear whether UCLA will respond to Newsom’s demands. There is no requirement for the sports department to obtain permission from the UC system to move conferences. According to the report, there is talk of demanding that UCLA pay UC Berkeley an “exit fee” to leave the conference or even share TV revenue in the future. It is unclear whether university regents can impose such a fine.

“It’s about more than sports and more than money,” Newsom’s chief education adviser Ben Chida told the Times. “It’s about public trust. It’s about student-athlete mental health. And it’s about honoring the partnerships, stories and traditions that have lasted for a century. “

California Governor Gavin Newsom

California Governor Gavin Newsom wants an explanation for UCLA’s move to the Big Ten. (Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call, Inc. via Getty Images)

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