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California Governor Gavin Newsom speaking at the State of the State address in Sacramento, CA, Mar 8, 2022. (Photo: Sheila Fitzgerald/Shutterstock)

Gov. Newsom Condemns UCLA, USC, NCAA Move To Big-10 Conference

USC, UCLA stand to gain $100 million in revenue annually if they switch conferences

By Evan Symon, July 19, 2022 2:30 am

Over the weekend, Governor Gavin Newsom condemned both UCLA and USC for announcing a move away from the traditionally West Coast PAC-10 NCAA football conference for the Pac-12 in the Midwest, putting many other teams in California at risk.

Late last month, both UCLA and USC announced that they would be leaving the Pac-12 for the Big 10 NCAA college football conference in 2024. Both universities wished to play in a more competitive conference, as well as get increased revenue from games. With many powerhouse teams in the largely Midwestern Big 10, including Ohio State, Michigan, and Wisconsin, making the move made sense. However, both colleges also didn’t give much advance notice, catching the Pac-12 off guard and leaving them with only a few nationally competitive teams left. They would also be leaving before the Pac-12 renegotiates several contracts, likely costing them millions in revenue as they would need to continue after losing the entire Los Angeles media market.

The move was highly criticized by many in and out of the NCAA, although some noted that this is the current trend in college football, with other schools, such as Oklahoma and Texas, recently leaving a smaller division for a larger one.

While the move appeared a done-deal earlier this month, Gov. Newsom condemned the move over the weekend. In particular, Newsom is upset because they didn’t inform the University of California Board of Regents of the move beforehand. Without the prior notice, many teams, in particular the UC Berkeley (Cal) team, have been left scrambling and face major monetary losses.

With potential damage happening to schools like UC Berkeley and Stanford, as well as other out of state schools like Oregon and Washington, Newsom said that the state is already investigating – indicating possible roadblocks ahead for a clean move across conferences.

“I read about it (that’s how I found out),” said Newsom. “No big deal. I’m the governor of the state of California. But maybe a bigger thing is that I’m the Chair of the UC Board of Regents. I read about it. Is it a good idea? Opportunity to discuss the merits of the decision? I am not aware that anyone has done this. So it was made isolated. It was made without the supervision or support of the regents. It was made without regard to my knowledge.”

“And there’s the impact more broadly, not just on the UC system, but on other universities, including Stanford and basically the Cal State system. I don’t have strong opinions on this for any reason other than as a member. The regents, we were never consulted, never asked for an opinion, and they didn’t even have the decency to give advance warning.”

“Trust me when I say this: we’re not going to investigate. We were investigating within minutes of reading about it in the newspaper.”

Politically, Newsom halting the move is uncharted territory. Governors rarely get involved in matters of athletics. When they do, such as in 1984 when Maryland Governor Harry Hughes tried to take the Baltimore Colts NFL team by public domain to keep them within the state of Maryland, it made international news. Similarly, when Newsom announced the investigation into the likely conference move, it caused waves as well.

Newsom, the Pac-12, and the Big 10

“Normally, when high level politicians try and save a team, it works out well in their favor,” explained Tom Ross, an academic researcher on athletics and politics, to the Globe on Monday. “When the Sacramento Kings were looking at relocation 10 years ago, the Mayor of Sacramento, Kevin Johnson, a former pro player himself, had a very mixed reaction but generally won the voters over on saving the team.”

“But this is different. The teams aren’t moving cities. They’re going to another conference, one that will arguably lead to more challenging games and high profile matchups but at the same time means less California opponents for them. If Newsom manages to stop it somehow, he would likely see Northern California voters generally be more in approval of it for saving the conference while Southern Californians might have it as a mark against him for denying their teams to branch out on their own.”

“And that’s if people care. A lot of people are not sports fans, so many won’t care either way, or at most, chalk it up to Newsom meddling in places where he shouldn’t. But this is something we haven’t seen before. Legally, I’m not sure what can be done. And like I said, politically, this scenario hasn’t really happened before. They didn’t let the board of regents know, but at the same time, they are acting in their best interests. UCLA especially since they are in debt and need this kick of money. Both UCLA and USC would get around $100 million each year apiece by joining the Big 10. Most critically, while money is being lost elsewhere, the students themselves are not being directly affected.”

“There’s a lot of factors here, and Newsom just politically charged the entire thing.”

More on what Newsom and the state may potentially do to keep both teams in the West Coast Pac-12 conference is expected later this year.

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11 thoughts on “Gov. Newsom Condemns UCLA, USC, NCAA Move To Big-10 Conference

  1. The fact Newsom “didn’t know” tells you all you need to know about his hold on government and governing style. He doesn’t know why anything is happening in our state-rising crime, train robberies, homelessness, or growing despair. This is just like corporations and people leaving in a mass exodus from California, except it reverberates throughout the state- making a huge hole in revenues for the 11 school UC system, and devastating college women’s sports which depend on football revenue.

    If this just turns out to be more posturing, the taxpayers will pick up the hole in revenues.

    1. Newsom just cemented how everyone feels about him – they don’t care what he thinks. That is how little they cared about looping him in – they didn’t care at all.

  2. This megalomaniac continues to amaze!
    He would be good entertainment if he didn’t make me sick to my stomach.

  3. Your headline reads “Pac-10 Conference” . . . I believe you mean “Big Ten Conference”.
    Also, the lede is a bit off:
    Over the weekend, Governor Gavin Newsom condemned both UCLA and USC for announcing a move away from the traditionally West Coast PAC-10 NCAA football conference for the Pac-12 in the Midwest, putting many other teams in California at risk.

    Shouldn’t it be: “Over the weekend, Governor Gavin Newsom condemned both UCLA and USC for announcing a move away from the traditionally West Coast PAC-12 NCAA football conference for the Big Ten in the Midwest, putting many other teams in California at risk.”

    1. Your suggested corrections are accurate – the title of the article should be updated….

      But Newsom is still a clueless, a-hole “Young Global Leader” and an acolyte of Klaus Schwab and his “Great Reset” and should be opposed at every conceivable time…. he is the enemy of Californian and American freedom….

  4. “I read about it (that’s how I found out),” said Newsom. “No big deal. I’m the governor of the state of California. But maybe a bigger thing is that I’m the Chair of the UC Board of Regents.”

    This dipwad doesn’t even know what’s going on as “The Chair of the UC Board of Regents”…. he was too busy off interviewing for his Presidental nomination when TPTB go 25th Amendment and need to shuffle the deck chairs on the Democrats’ political Titanic….

    Another COMPLETE abdication of “leadership” and cause for breach of fiduciary duty to the Regents, students, employees and other stakeholders in the Pac-12 and their (formerly?) lucrative television contracts….

    This guy is INFURIATING…. I thought Brown was bad… this a-hole is 100 times worse…. he’s a malevolent cancer on California….

  5. This idiot “governor” is the real reason for every problem in this state. He’s a “do-gooder” who doesn’t think things thru before he runs off at the mouth and f3cks things up. Shut up and go away, dolt!

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