For those who have been following some of the drama surrounding USC and UCLA moving the B1G, Gavin Newsom the governor of California demanded that UCLA explain the move to the B1G. This prompted the regents of the University of California to commission a report detailing the impact of UCLA's move. Special consideration was given to travel costs on student athletes, and the cost to other Pac-12 schools most notably UC Berkeley. The headlines:
- USC and UCLA leaving the Pac-12 would cost other Pac schools 13 million dollars a year in TV contract money with USC accounting for 9.8 million of that and UCLA accounting for 3.2 million of that.
- Olympic sports could face "an additional 24 hours of travel," while football and both basketball teams would be minimally impacted due to scheduling chartered flights.
- The move would have no financial impact on any UC campus
This report confirms what reasonable people already knew. The financial gain to UCLA from the move is far greater than the financial cost to UC Berkeley of UCLA moving. And UCLA moving has no impact on the other UC campuses that play in the Big West. UCLA staying behind in the Pac-12 while USC bolts for the B1G would be a huge blow to the university.
While there was previous noise of the regents imposing an exit fee on UCLA or forcing a revenue share with UC Berkeley that chatter seems to have quieted down in the wake of this report. The regents instead are proposing new rules that these kinds of decisions which currently rest solely with campus need to be referred to the regents for discussion. It seems the ruffled feathers in the bay area has given way to the common sense that UCLA made the best deal for itself and is under no obligation to carry UC Berkeley.
The travel concerns for Olympic sports are real. The claim of the university is that the enhanced competition and NIL deals will be a benefit to those athletes. Martin Jarmond has also stated in the past that this move prevents him from having to cut sports in face of the current 100 million dollar deficit.
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