UCLA and USC decided to make the jump from the PAC 12 to the Big Ten this offseason, planning to join the conference full time by 2024.
The move seemed to be a win-win for both sides. The league would now have a footprint Los Angeles, the largest media market in the US, while the schools would reap the benefits of joining the storied conference.
Following the move, the Big Ten announced a new media rights deal that’s valued at $1 billion. It stole the SEC’s prized CBS football slot in the process.
As is the case across all conferences, the members get a cut of that media money. With the Big Ten having the most lucrative deal in college sports, the payoff for both USC and UCLA would be great.
But a new report hints that the move is not a done deal for one of those programs.
UCLA move to Big Ten could be overruled
A report from the LA Times says that the UC Regents could still overrule the move to the Big Ten. Despite the massive amount of money on the line, the Bruins still need one final approval to jump from the PAC 12.
UCLA believed that the final word stood with the school president regarding the conference realignment, therefore, they did not inform the entirety of the board. According to the board members, which include California governor Gavin Newsom, they were wrong.
Newsom, in particular, has been vocal in his opposition of the move to the Big Ten. And according to one regent, “All options are on the table.”
Here’s what UC system attorney Charlie Robinson had to say on the situation.
“It’s important to understand that when the regents delegated authority to the president, they didn’t give it away or lose it. Essentially, what they did was extend it such that authority was with the regents and the president.”
That UC system includes PAC 12 member California, but it will not affect USC. Cal’s being left out of the move may have something to do with the outcry.
While the Regents do seemingly hold the power to overturn the move to the Big Ten, it’s not yet known which way they lean. If UCLA is forced to stay in the PAC 12, they’ll miss out on a huge chunk of Big Ten money.
Fans were quick to chime in on the report.
Fans react to news
It seems the Big Ten will be okay either way. They have already secured the LA market with USC, and they can likely fill the UCLA spot quickly.
Oregon, Washington or Stanford I'm sure would gladly take their place. https://t.co/bfIgYRkXCV
— Chris(to🅿️her) Larsen 🙈 🙉 🙊 (@ESPNChrisLarsen) August 18, 2022
This would be the most California thing ever, lol. It would also mean Oregon or Washington would take its place in about 10 minutes. https://t.co/hJaRcnM1Pl
— BiggerTen (@BiggerTen) August 18, 2022
Others are wondering why they’d even be discussing turning down this type of money.
If the board decides to overturn the move, it could be bad news for the Bruins. With recent conference realignment, the future of the PAC 12 is still uncertain.
It'll happen or both UCLA and Cal will end up in the Mountain West, and obviously not because that's where they want to be, but because the regents are too damned shortsighted to see the end results.
— 🅔🅧🅟🅐🅝🅢🅘🅞🅝 🅒🅡🅤🅢🅗 (@Expansion_Crush) August 18, 2022
UCLA fans are praying that this move goes through.
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