UPDATE: If UCLA wants to leave the Pac-12 behind and join the BIg 10, it has to make its case. Today, the University of California Board of Regents asked for a public review of the school’s controversial plans, including an assessment on how it will affect student-athletes and other UC campuses.
The request follows a closed-door regents meeting on Wednesday attended by Gov. Gavin Newsom. UCLA is expected to issue a report by Aug. 17 answering questions on its planned departure.
EARLIER: UCLA wants to leave its traditional sports home in the Pac-12 and join the Big 10 conference. California Gov. Gavin Newsom is saying, “Not so fast.”
Reports that UCLA may join the Big 10 as soon as 2024 are being fought by Newsom and other state bodies. Newsom told Fox News that an investigation is already underway to see what can potentially be done to stop the flight of UCLA.
The Pac-12’s future has been thrown in disarray by the planned departures of UCLA and rival USC to the BIg 10, which is largely midwestern based, with outposts on the east coast with Rutgers and Maryland. That leaves the University of California in Berkeley out in the cold, as well as major sports powers Oregon and Washington.
On the plus side, UCLA would gain even greater national exposue and revenue from the move. The school is deeply in debt, according to reports. But many question the increasing realignment in college sports, saying they are becoming more like minor leagues to professional sports.
Newsom’s beef is that UCLA failed to notify the University of California System Board of Regents in advance of its move. Thus, its a move made without their “oversight or support.”
“I read about it (that’s how I found out),” Newsom said. “No big deal. I’m the governor of the state of California. But maybe a bigger thing is that I’m the Chair of the UC Board of Regents. I read about it. Is it a good idea? Opportunity to discuss the merits (of the decision)? I am not aware that anyone has done this. So it was made isolated. It was made without the supervision or support of the regents. It was made without regard to my knowledge. “
He also said the impact will be felt across all universities in the state, not just UC schools:
“And (there’s) the impact more broadly, not just on the UC system, but on other universities, including Stanford and basically the Cal State system… I don’t have strong opinions on this for any reason other than as a member. The regents, we were never consulted, never asked for an opinion, and they didn’t even have the decency to give advance warning.”
Newsom also rattled a saber about potential actions.
“Trust me when I say this: we’re not going to investigate. We are investigating within (and were) minutes of reading about it in the newspaper.”