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UC Regents Let UCLA Join Big Ten but Attach Conditions

December 15, 2022

The University of California Board of Regents voted 11 to 5 to allow UCLA to join the Big Ten, but the board attached conditions that will cost UCLA millions of dollars a year, The New York Times reported. The vote followed a closed meeting to discuss the proposal.

The vote followed nearly six months of debate about the UCLA Big Ten deal. To accept the deal, UCLA will leave the Pac-12, the conference of UC’s Berkeley campus. UCLA is expected to gain at least $60 million a year when it joins the Big Ten. Berkeley is expected to lose money, as the Pac-12 television deal, currently being negotiated, is expected to be worth less than it has been in the past, with the loss of UCLA and the University of Southern California, which is also joining the Big Ten.

“In the end, we’re a system, not an individual campus,” Richard Leib, the board chairman, said after the vote. “We’ve never had a situation where a decision by one campus had this kind of impact on another campus within our system.”

UCLA will be required under the deal to pay $2 million to $10 million to Berkeley. UCLA will be required to spend as much as $12.2 million on additional mental health, nutritional and academic support. UCLA must also charter flights to send its athletes across the country for competitions.

Berkeley chancellor Carol Christ, who had hoped the Board of Regents would block the deal, brushed past a reporter as she left the meeting immediately after it ended. “I’ve got nothing to say,” she said.

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