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UC Regents Punt On Whether To Allow UCLA To Join The Big Ten

  • They had planned to vote on Thursday, but postponed the final decision to Dec. 14.
  • It’s unclear whether there will be any new information to consider.
UCLA
John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

On Thursday, the UC Board of Regents met with the stated intention of ruling on whether to block UCLA from joining the Big Ten in 2024. 

But in an open session that lasted less than an hour, they announced they had punted on the decision for a month. The UC Regents will meet again on Dec. 14 to hand down a final ruling.

The decision followed a private session of the regents that was closed to the public. That session ran an hour long, but it was unclear what was discussed.

Among the factors the regents will consider: the effects on the athlete experience and revenue for both UCLA and UC Berkeley — which will be left in a weakened conference.

  • UCLA will enjoy up to $70 million a year from the Big Ten’s future media rights deal alone — more than enough to cover the additional $10 million annual costs it faces. 
  • A report suggested that only 35% of athletes supported the move — though the vast majority of those who responded to the survey didn’t have an opinion at all. And even then, only one-sixth of the athlete population provided an answer. 
  • UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ expressed her displeasure with the “consolidation” of conferences, saying they were accelerating the “professionalization” of college sports.

Between now and Dember, regents will continue to deliberate. But it’s unclear whether they’ll have any new information to consider. 

UC President Michael Drake said the school will discuss travel models, for example. But when Regents asked if more athletes could provide responses between now and Dec. 14, UCLA Chancellor Gene Block made no promises.

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