Don’t count UCLA men’s basketball coach Mick Cronin among the people that are super excited to see the Bruins move to the Big Ten. Because he certainly has some issues with it.
“The problem is the public doesn’t understand the scope of why it’s all even happened,” said Cronin. “Like the public thinks right now that I have the 12 guys on scholarship and they go to UCLA for free.
“They don’t realize the athletic department at UCLA is 25 sports and 700 kids on scholarship that they have to pay, the university, for those scholarships. That right there, 99 percent of the people do not know that.
“So now you start to see, ‘Why do they need all this money?’ you know? ‘Why do these schools need all this money?’
“Well, you know, there’s about four athletic departments that actually make money in the entire nation because of scholarship bills and budget expenses.
“So it’s all happened because of money. That’s just the reality of it,” Cronin continued.
“It’s not all because of football. It’s not all. It’s because expenses and bills have grown and that’s the reality of it and and what I would tell you is this is not the end-all fix, so it’s far from over.”
Cronin added emphatically, “None of it is in the best interest of the student-athlete, no matter what anybody says. It’s in the best interest of more money to cover the bills. That’s it.”
Earlier this month, Missouri head football coach Eli Drinkwitz also expressed his frustration with realignment and its negative affect on college athletes. And, unlike Cronin, he did lay the blame at college football’s feet.
“I thought the transfer window, I thought the portal was closed,” he said. “Oh, that’s just for the student-athletes. The adults in the room get to do whatever they want, apparently,” Drinkwitz said to the media.
“We’re talking about a football decision they based on football, but what about softball and baseball who have to travel across country? Do we ask about the cost of them?” Drinkwitz continued. “Do we know what the number one indicator of symptom or cause of mental health is? It’s lack of rest or sleep.”
Drinkwitz added, “I’m saying as a collective group, have we asked ourselves what’s it going to cost the student-athletes? I saw on Twitter several student-athletes talking about one of the reasons they chose their school was so that their parents didn’t have to travel. They chose a local school so that they could be regionally associated so their parents could watch them play and not have to travel. Did we ask them if they wanted to travel from the east coast to the west coast? Man…”
"What cost is it to those student-athletes?"#Mizzou football coach Eli Drinkwitz commented on the direction of college athletics right now ⤵️ says it's a football decision that will affect A LOT more than just football teams.
Long answer, but worth a listen pic.twitter.com/UVDtmzI37d
— Nathalie Jones (@NathalieABC17) August 5, 2023
Lane Kiffin agreed.
It’s all just really sad!! So much tradition and rivalries all gone. How are fans and players families in ALL of the sports going to get to these games?? This is good for these student athletes and their mental health?? Anyone ask them?? I hear you Drink https://t.co/VOJN9i98cv
— Lane Kiffin (@Lane_Kiffin) August 7, 2023