California Regents Set December Showdown for UCLA’s Big Ten Move (Part 1)
The UCLA Board of Regents has yet to endorse its plan to move its sports teams to the Big Ten Conference, but is considering taking a vote at its next meeting on how to move forward. A meeting of the Board is scheduled for Dec. 3.
The Big Ten Conference also was notified of the decision to move this week, though the league said otherwise in a statement. The statement said the Pac-12, which consists of the school’s Pac-12 Conference and 14 other universities, “has offered assurances its conference schools will continue to make money and will continue to compete and win, and that the Big Ten Conference will maintain its academic standards.”
The Big Ten Conference is on an eight-year agreement to join with the Pac-12, which was the first conference in the country to sign a deal with the NCAA, to form one of the largest men’s-college athletic conferences in America. The conference is also set to move its teams to the Pac-12 after this year.
The Big Ten’s agreement with the Pac-12 will give it the potential of $2.2 billion annually in revenue. That money would pay for the NCAA’s new Division I-by-division model and also give the league more say on how the league’s schools are run, especially in the way it handles its teams.
“It’s all about the dollars,” Oregon coach Ty Court said of the conference’s move. “Not just with our program, but with everything. The biggest thing is, we’re in an era where there’s a lot of attention on college sports.
“We had a five-man conference and then we just didn’t have the fan base and the conference did not have the fan base. So then we went into a four-year agreement and then we didn’t have the fans. Now we need the fans. The next step is, are we bigger?