Following a University of California board of regents meeting Wednesday, two regents told the Los Angeles Times that they believe they have the authority to stop UCLA from leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten in 2024.
Whether the regents will utilize that authority is another matter, though.
In June, UCLA, a member of the state university system, and Southern California, a private school, announced plans to leave the Pacific Coast-based Pac-12 and join the Big Ten in a stunning shift of the college football landscape.
It figures to cause serious damage to the Pac-12 and its remaining members, including Cal.
“I’m very concerned about the financial impact to Cal-Berkeley and to make sure whatever new revenue might be achieved envisions a scenario to help offset (Cal’s) need,” regent Tony Thurmond said, according to the San Jose Mercury-News.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom had requested the regents meet to discuss the matter. After both an open session and private talks, the consensus seemed to be that all options were on the table.
“We always have the ability to retain authority, which is what we heard today,” board of regents chair Richard Leib told the Los Angeles Times.
As to whether they would block UCLA’s move, Leib said it is “premature” to say.
“It’s important to understand that when the regents delegated authority to the (UCLA) president, they didn’t give it away or lose it,” Charlie Robinson, an attorney for the UC system, added. “Essentially, what they did was extend it such that authority was with the regents and the president.”
During the open session, one regent reportedly proposed that the board should prepare models for various scenarios for Cal athletics, including a move from Division I to Division III, which would be unprecedented for a high-major institution.
–Field Level Media