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    The Hotline mailbag is published every Friday. Send questions to [email protected] or hit me on Twitter: @WilnerHotline. Please note: Some questions have been edited for clarity and brevity. In the unlikely scenario that the University of California Board of Regents forces UCLA to stay in the conference, do you think the top choice for expansion remains San Diego State? Or is the Southern California location no longer needed for the Pac-12? — @JohnBanister3 What is the percentage likelihood of UCLA not going to the Big Ten? — @SoCal_Pony Let’s address the second question first, because it has been a hot topic since Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff said the Bruins would be better off financially in the Pac-12 than moving to the Big Ten. (That math only starts to work if you make a big assumption, as we laid out on Wednesday.) The Hotline has always believed the chance of a UCLA reversal, enforced by the regents, is slim. That said, it’s not zero, which makes this an issue worth monitoring. Much more likely, but still not near 50 percent, is...
    UCLA chancellor Gene Block appeared before the University of California’s Board of Regents during an open session on Thursday, but not for the reason fans of the Bruins and the Pac12 might have expected. Block handed out an academic award — one of many bestowed during the meeting at UC San Diego — but didn’t utter a public peep about UCLA’s move to the Big Ten. Nor did the regents, who discussed the issue in a closed session but offered no public statement afterward. Two-and-a-half months after UCLA and USC formally accepted membership in the Big Ten starting in 2024, the matter remains unresolved. — Will the regents, irked by the manner in which UCLA exited the Pac-12 and concerned about the collateral damage to Cal’s athletic finances, attempt to block the move? — Will they require the Bruins to subsidize Cal for revenue lost? (Without a presence in the Los Angeles market, the Pac-12 stands to lose millions of dollars per year in media rights income.) — Will they attempt to strong-arm the Big Ten into inviting Cal, as...
    University of California regents aren’t done addressing the fallout over UCLA’s move to the Big Ten that set off a national furor and irked the powerful UC Board of Regents. The regents, meeting in San Diego Thursday, briefly discussed a proposal to bar the university president from delegating such authority if one UC campus’ proposed athletics transaction would cause a sister campus a “material adverse financial impact” — defined as 10% or greater of the operating revenue of the athletic department in question. The ban on delegating authority to campuses would also apply if a proposed deal would raise a “significant question” of university policy or create a “significant risk of reputational harm” to UC. Sports UC leaders say ‘all options are on the table’ as they weigh fighting UCLA’s Big Ten move University of California system leaders proposed new rules that may limit campuses from making major athletics contract decisions on their own. Board Chair Richard Leib emphasized the proposal is aimed at future campus actions. But it was triggered by widespread concerns among regents about...
    Four need-to-knows for Week Four in the Pac-12 1. Unbeatens here, there and everywhere The Pac-12 has five undefeated teams: Oregon State, UCLA, USC, Washington and Washington State. That’s four more than it had at this point last season, when only Oregon was perfect through Week Three. — One of the five unbeaten teams is guaranteed to be 4-0 when the weekend concludes: The USC-Oregon State winner. — Two more are double-digit favorites: Washington (over Stanford) and UCLA (over Colorado). — The last one, WSU, is a home underdog against Oregon. If the Cougars win and Washington and UCLA handle their business, the Pac-12 will have four 4-0 teams for the first time since 2017 — and for only the seventh time this century: 2001: Oregon, Stanford, Washington, WSU2007: Arizona State, Cal, Oregon, UCLA2010: Arizona, Oregon Stanford and USC2013: Oregon, Stanford, UCLA and Washington2014: Arizona, Oregon, UCLA and Washington2017: USC, Utah, Washington and WSU (Courtesy of Pac-12 stats and information guru Jim Thornby.) Why is that threshold significant? Check the years: There’s a strong correlation for the Pac-12 between hot...
    George Kliavkoff, whose career includes executive positions at Major League Baseball, NBCUniversal and MGM Resorts International, stands accused of being bad at math. The Pac-12 commissioner caused quite the stir Tuesday when he opined that UCLA stood to lose money by joining the Big Ten. “We are sure they are financially better off staying (in the Pac-12),” he said during an appearance on ‘Canzano and Wilner: The Podcast,’ “and we are sure there was no other criteria in the decision, other than financial.” On the surface, the comments seem to contradict the laws of time, physics and media rights valuations: — The Pac-12’s next media contract cycle is expected to generate $35 million-to-$40 million annually (per school) in revenue. — In the Big Ten, the Bruins will receive at least $70 million per year. But Kliavkoff was insistent. “We think the incremental money they are going to receive from the Big Ten’s media rights deal will be more than 100 percent offset by additional expenses,” he said, “so you end up taking the money you earned and it goes to...
    Jalen Hill, a former basketball standout at UCLA and Corona Centennial High, has died. The tragic news was confirmed by Hill’s high school basketball coach Josh Giles, who coached Hill for four years. He was 22 years old. Giles and Hill grew very close during Hill’s time at Centennial. “He lived on the same block as I did. I’d pick him up and take him to school every day with (teammate) Sedrick Barefield,” Giles said. “It would take 25 minutes to get to and from school every day, so we’d talk in the car, and it was never about basketball.” “We’d talk politics, relationships, religion. He was a very curious, intelligent kid. I loved him. He was the best,” Giles added. Hill’s father, George Hill, posted a tribute on Instagram, also confirming Hill’s passing. “Our hearts are shattered and completely broken to inform family and friends that our beloved son, Jalen, has passed away,” the post reads. “Jalen went missing while in Costa Rica and we have recently learned of his passing. …” No cause of death has been provided,...
    The remaining Pac-12 schools are sticking together, not leaving for the Big 12 or Big Ten. Expansion of the playoff could change the financial calculus of realignment, and UCLA will lose money by going into the Big Ten. Those were among the insights offered by Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff in his first public comments in two months as he works to craft a media rights contract that meets the needs of the 10 universities remaining in the conference. “I think (they) will sign a grant-of-rights agreement if we put the right agreement in front of them, which is why we’re spending so much time focused on getting an agreement that will allow all of our schools not just to compete but to thrive,’’ Kliavkoff said during his appearance Monday evening on ‘Canzano and Wilner: The Podcast.’ In his first interview since Pac-12 football media day on July 29, Kliavkoff declined to provide a specific timeline for a broadcast agreement or address potential network partners in the aftermath of USC and UCLA. (ESPN and Amazon are believed to be interested in...
    The Pac-12’s better-than-expected showing over the first three weeks — can you blame us for having a bleak outlook? —  included non-conference sweeps by four teams. Oregon State, UCLA, Washington and Washington State completed the out-of-league portions of their schedules with 3-0 marks. They are halfway to bowl eligibility with nine league games to play. (Two other teams, USC and Stanford, are undefeated in non-conference games with more dates to come.) The correlation between non-conference perfection and bowl invitations is strong. Since the Pac-12 expanded prior to the 2011 season, 47 teams have recorded 3-0 records against FBS and FCS competition. Of those, 40 went on to reach the six-win threshold needed for a bowl berth. That’s a hit rate of 85.1 percent. The seven teams that started 3-0 and failed to become bowl-eligible — meaning, they were worse than 3-6 in conference games — were as follows: 2013: Utah and Colorado 2014: Oregon State 2016: Arizona State 2017: Cal and Colorado 2018: Colorado (Note: We are including USC ’11 as one of the 40. The Trojans were 3-0 in...
    The Hotline mailbag is published every Friday. Send questions to [email protected] or hit me on Twitter: @WilnerHotline. Please note: Some questions have been edited for clarity and brevity. Does ESPN have both the Pac-12 and Big 12 over a negotiating barrel? — @BruinSharman Any updates on how the Pac-12 media negotiations are going? — @Vakaviti Two questions focused on the conference’s existential crisis that seem particularly timely given what we think we know about the negotiations. I framed it that way because we don’t really know The Pac-12 has done a fabulous job to this point of preventing leaks. That’s unfortunate for us but good for the conference, because the fear of leaks can impact internal trust and strategic decisions. But here’s our guess … When the Pac-12 announced in early July that the presidents and chancellors had authorized commissioner George Kliavkoff to begin media rights negotiations, it avoided any reference to the timing: No date was given for the start of the 30-day exclusive negotiating window for ESPN and Fox. We believe that window was delayed until the Big Ten concluded its...
    The next step in UCLA’s planned move into the Big Ten is officially on the calendar. The University of California’s Board of Regents will discuss the situation in a closed session on Sept. 22 at 10 a.m., according to the agenda item posted on the regents’ website: “UCLA Big Ten Membership – Potential Legal Issues and Financial Impacts” The school’s announced departure from the Pac-12 has been met with resistance from the regents and Gov. Gavin Newsom, who blasted the lack of transparency behind the move and expressed concern about the impact on other UC campuses. More recently, the regents discussed UCLA’s plans in an open session. In a crucial exchange, general counsel Charles Robinson made clear that the Regents had the authority to block the move by withdrawing the authority over conference membership delegated to each chancellor. “For this particular matter, the regents could say ‘We want to act and therefore we do not want the (UC) president or the (campus) chancellors to act in this area,’ and simply assert that,” Robinson said. Will they? There are several potential...
    Getty Images Chip Kelly Chip Kelly and UCLA aim for a 2-0 start when they take on FCS squad Alabama State in Pasadena on Saturday. The game (5 p.m. ET start time) will be televised on Pac-12 Network, but if you don’t have cable, you can watch a live stream on FuboTV, which comes with a free trial. That’s the best live stream option if you’re cutting cable and need Pac-12 Network, but there are also some other alternatives, so here’s a full guide on the different ways to watch Alabama State vs UCLA streaming live online:Note: Heavy may earn an affiliate commission if you sign up via a link on this pageFuboTVYou can watch a live stream of Pac-12 Network and 100-plus other live TV channels on FuboTV, which comes with a free seven-day trial: FuboTV Free Trial Once signed up for FuboTV, you can watch Alabama State vs UCLA live on the FuboTV app or FuboTV website. Compatible devices for the FuboTV app include Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Fire Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast,...
    Getty The Falcons of Bowling Green are headed west to take on the UCLA Bruins to kick off each squad’s 2022 college football season on Saturday afternoon. The game (2:30 p.m. ET start time) will be televised on Pac-12 Network, but if you don’t have cable, you can watch a live stream on FuboTV, which comes with a free trial. That’s the best live stream option if you’re cutting cable and need Pac-12 Network, but there are also some other alternatives, so here’s a full guide on the different ways to watch Bowling Green vs UCLA streaming live online:Note: Heavy may earn an affiliate commission if you sign up via a link on this pageFuboTVYou can watch a live stream of Pac-12 Network and 100-plus other live TV channels on FuboTV, which comes with a free seven-day trial: FuboTV Free Trial Once signed up for FuboTV, you can watch Bowling Green vs UCLA live on the FuboTV app or FuboTV website. Compatible devices for the FuboTV app include Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Fire Stick, Apple...
    The foundation for recruiting success during the December signing window often is laid in the spring and summer, when on-campus visits are taken, shortlists created and verbal commitments made. The Hotline is delighted to provide Pac-12 fans with a dive into the process through the eyes and ears of Brandon Huffman, the Seattle-based national recruiting analyst for 247Sports. The following information, in his words, was provided to the Hotline on Aug. 25 … *** It has been a relatively quiet week on the recruiting front for the Pac-12. There was one commitment and one de-commitment this week, and they happened to the same school. Stanford started with good news when three-star edge rusher Gavin Geweniger, who’s from Scottsdale,  committed to the Cardinal. He reminds me of Trent Murphy, the former Arizona prep product who was an All-American for Stanford and went on to play in the NFL. Geweniger is a long, lanky player with a great frame who should, in two or three years, see substantial playing time — if not emerge as a starter. But commitments cometh and commitments...
    The Hotline mailbag is published every week. Send questions to [email protected] or hit me on Twitter: @WilnerHotline. Please note: Some questions have been edited for clarity and brevity. What’s the timeline looking like for the Pac-12 to make a decision on expansion? Do you think it’ll be wrapped up by the time the conference makes its media rights deal public next year (or later)? — @cgboan Most likely, a decision on expansion and the act of signing a new media rights agreement will unfold concurrently. In our estimation, the course of events will follow one of two paths: — The Pac-12 signs an exclusive deal with ESPN, as a 10-school conference, in the next two or three weeks. — The Pac-12 negotiates with multiple bidders on the open market and takes a hard look at expansion in a process that consumes six or eight weeks, if not longer. The Big Ten just announced a new media rights agreement after six months (approximately) of negotiations. These things take time, unless you have a killer deal on the table. And there is no reason...
    The number was there for all to see, displayed in red type on a large screen for the University of California Board of Regents as they gathered Wednesday to discuss UCLA’s entry into the Big Ten: $9.8 million. According to no less an authority than the UC Office of the President, $9.8 million was the projected hit to the Pac-12’s annual media rights revenue resulting from USC’s accompanying departure in the summer of 2024. It represented a 30 percent decline in the conference’s total future valuation, from $41.67 million per school per year with the Trojans as a member to $31.82 million without them. But like so much else about the Pac-12’s financial situation in Year One, ALA (After L.A.), the figure cited was merely an estimate. Even the UC Regents are flying blind on the data, as unsure of future valuations as the fans and media. Is USC really worth 30 percent of the Pac-12’s media rights all by its lonesome? How much of the full amount could the Pac-12 recoup if UCLA’s move is blocked by the regents?...
    For all the half answers and complete unknowns presented Wednesday at the University of California Board of Regents meeting about UCLA’s planned departure for the Big Ten, one thing was perfectly clear: This isn’t over. From UC system president Michael Drake describing the impact report as an “interim” document to regent John A. Perez noting that the meeting was “a really good start to the conversation,” the governing body of the UC indicated it plans a deep dive into all aspects of UCLA’s move, including its impact on Cal. “I’m very concerned about the financial impact to Cal-Berkeley and to make sure whatever new revenue might be achieved” — by UCLA’s membership in the Big Ten — “envisions a scenario to help offset (Cal’s) need,” regent Tony Thurmond said. The “financial impact” on Cal was one of many topics covered in a 17-page impact report discussed Wednesday by the regents. It laid out both the benefits and drawbacks of UCLA’s move to the Big Ten, along with USC, in the summer of 2024. But it wasn’t until the conversation plunged...
    The COVID threat might have receded, but the fast-approaching Pac-12 football season faces several daunting operational challenges and unusual dynamics. For instance: Two teams competing with one foot out the door. “It will be business as usual,” Merton Hanks, the senior associate commissioner for football operations, told the Hotline earlier this week when a wide-ranging interview turned to how USC and UCLA will be treated during their penultimate season in the conference. “There will be no shenanigans, no phantom situations. I won’t tolerate that. I’ve made that clear and so has the commissioner (George Kliavkoff). “It speaks to the integrity of our conference, which ultimately speaks to my integrity.” “That said,” Hanks added, with a chuckle, “I’m sure somebody will be mad about a call involving USC and UCLA at some point. “But we’re going to make every effort to call the game as we always have.” If two departing teams were the Pac-12’s only challenge, the season would be intriguing enough from an operational standpoint. But the expanding list of threats to weekly competition have prompted Hanks and Shonna...
    UCLA will learn Wednesday just how messy its divorce from the Pac-12 could become when a report on the Bruins’ planned 2024 departure for the Big Ten is presented to the University of California Board of Regents. Or maybe the Bruins won’t learn anything. The situation is shrouded in secrecy — a notable twist given that the furtive nature of UCLA’s decision drew intense backlash from California Gov. Gavin Newsom. As of 10 a.m. Tuesday, the impact report prepared by the University of California Office of the President (UCOP) had not been made public. UCOP itself has offered no details on the proceedings, which are scheduled for Wednesday afternoon at UCLA in both open and closed sessions. UCLA’s athletic department deferred questions to central campus, which passed the buck to UCOP, which directed the Hotline to the UC regents’ website for the posting of the report that has yet to be posted. Will the regents vote on some aspect of the Bruins’ great leap eastward? Will they attempt to block the move? Will they instead opt to make UCLA’s departure...
    It’s no secret that college sports is a multibillion-dollar business that mostly ignores the needs of student athletes. That’s why I authored a 2019 law that made California the first state to give college athletes the right to earn money from their name, image and likeness. Sen. Nancy Skinner authored the 2019 law that made California the first state to give college athletes the right to earn money from their name, image and likeness. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group) I am not naïve when it comes to colleges prioritizing the business of their athletics department over students. But UCLA’s recent decision to leave the Pac-12 and join the Big Ten in order make more money represents a new low. UCLA is one of the flagship campuses of the University of California, arguably the nation’s finest public university system. UCLA should be expected — and counted on — to put its students first and to factor how its decisions may impact sister UC campuses. For example, UC Berkeley, also in the Pac-12, stands to lose millions of dollars in TV revenue each...
    Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff believes USC and UCLA will regret leaving for Big Ten. George Kliavkoff is not exactly thrilled over USC and UCLA leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten. He may only be entering his second year as the Pac-12 commissioner, but Kliavkoff has to deal with the potentially fatal blow his conference sustained a month ago. USC and UCLA deciding to leave the Pac-12 for the Big Ten in 2024 sent shockwaves throughout all of college athletics. Kliavkoff’s predecessor Larry Scott is responsible for the Pac-12’s demise, but what is he to do? His comment to Bruce Feldman of The Athletic during Pac-12 Media Day really says it all.“It’s clear that UCLA and USC made a decision for short-term financial gain at the expense of their student-athletes,” said Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff to The Athletic on Friday. “It’s 100 percent clear to me. It’s really unfortunate, and I think they are already regretting it, given the pushback that they’ve gotten from almost every corner of their communities. I think they will regret it more as time goes on.”...
    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff said his conference is far from finished, despite the defections of Southern California and UCLA. Kliavkoff confirmed the Pac-12 is actively exploring expansion and lobbed several feisty jabs at the Big 12 during an eventful opening speech at his conference’s football media day Friday — likely its last in the nation’s second-largest media market. While painting a promising picture of the league’s future even after USC and UCLA leave for the Big Ten in 2024, Kliavkoff said the Pac-12 intends to keep its current members while entertaining new additions. The commissioner also acknowledged frustration with the upheaval created by the defections, saying he had spent the past month “trying to defend against grenades being lobbed in from every corner of the Big 12 trying to destabilize our remaining conference.” Kliavkoff responded to Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark’s recent declaration that his league was “open for business” in expansion by suggesting those moves could include Big 12 schools coming his way, instead of the opposite assumption. “With respect to the Big 12 being...
    LOS ANGELES — It took commissioner George Kliavkoff exactly six minutes and 45 seconds to acknowledge the woolly mammoth in the room Friday during his state-of-the-conference address at the Pac-12’s annual preseason media event. When the time came, Kliavkoff did so with gloves off and zero punches pulled. He said the conference was “very disappointed” USC and UCLA are leaving for the Big Ten but outlined the Pac-12’s strategy moving forward and turned feisty during the question-and-answer session. Kliavkoff didn’t name names but indicated the Pac-12 actively exploring expansion. He suggested the conference could play “a lot” of football games in Los Angeles in the future, even without the Bruins and Trojans. He noted the conference’s next media rights deal “highly likely” will involve a major digital media company. “We are in the enviable position of being next to market after the Big Ten,” he said. “We already have significant interest from potential partners including both incumbents and new traditional television and most importantly digital media partners. This interest is driven by the strength of our schools’ brands and markets...
    The Pac-12 will conduct a football media showcase unlike any in conference history Friday at the Novo Theatre in Los Angeles. The participant list includes commissioner George Kliavkoff, chief of football operations Merton Hanks, head coaches and players from every school, and an existential crisis. With USC and UCLA bound for the Big Ten in two years and the conference fighting for survival, the fast-approaching 2022 season, which carries significant intrigue unto itself, will have to share the stage. The top storylines to watch … 1. What will Kliavkoff say? The second-year commissioner will offer his state-of-the-conference remarks at 8 a.m. with no shortage of topics to address. We don’t expect any thunderous news on expansion, mergers, alliances or media rights contracts. It’s simply too early in a negotiation process that likely will last weeks, if not months. But Kliavkoff assuredly will lend perspective on the key issues and attempt to frame expectations for the upcoming season. Odds are, he’ll take the highest of roads with regards to the defectors, USC and UCLA, whose athletes must spend two years as...
    The Pac-12 has lost more this summer than the Los Angeles schools to the Big Ten. It also has lost the PR duel with the Big 12 — and in decisive fashion, no less. That’s partly by design, partly by circumstance. In the immediate aftermath of USC and UCLA defecting, neither conference or campus officials could offer public signs of unity because nobody knew if of when the next domino would topple. Meanwhile, the Big 12 was a year removed from its gutting and eager to play the role of marauder. Each day, it seemed, the conference was on the brink of delivering the knockout blow to its competitor on the West Coast. The calendar added to the Big 12’s advantage. Because its preseason football media extravaganza came first, new commissioner Brett Yormark was able to proclaim the conference “open for business” — a clear shot across the Pac-12’s lurching bow. Add a few well-placed leaks to the media and a morsel of misinformation, and the Big 12 has owned the optics as the conferences jockey for position in the...
    Five not-so-random thoughts on the Pac-12 … 1. UCLA’s messy situation could get worse With California Gov. Gavin Newsom and the University of California Regents demanding a review of UCLA’s double-secret move to the Big Ten, we see exactly why the Bruins opted for the stealth approach in the first place. Had they taken a more public path to exiting the Pac-12 and leaving Cal behind, the move assuredly would have been blocked or delayed at the bureaucratic level. It does not appear the UC regents can prevent the Bruins from joining the Big Ten in 2024. But if desired, they could attempt to make the process extremely difficult by whacking UCLA where it hurts most: In the wallet. Multiple sources believe the regents will explore forcing the Bruins to subsidize Cal’s athletic department, which stands to lose millions annually in Pac-12 distributions because of the loss of the Los Angeles market. The details of a power move by the regents are unanswerable at this point, including how the money would be redirected. We aren’t sure they can touch Big...
    The University of California Board of Regents on Thursday asked for a public review of UCLA’s controversial Pac-12 exit for the Big Ten, including an assessment on how it will affect student-athletes and other UC campuses. The request came after Gov. Gavin Newsom demanded an explanation from UCLA on its planned move in August 2024 and attended a closed-door regents meeting in San Francisco on the issue Wednesday. He has expressed concern about what he viewed as a lack of transparency by UCLA, which informed UC President Michael V. Drake but did not consult with regents. Only a handful of UC officials were notified just before the decision was announced. UC Berkeley — the only UC campus that will be left behind in a weakened conference without UCLA and USC — will probably take a big financial hit. “The first duty of every public university is to the people — especially students,” Newsom said in a statement. “UCLA must clearly explain to the public how this deal will improve the experience for all its student-athletes, will honor its...
    LOS ANGELES -- California Gov. Gavin Newsom is demanding an explanation from UCLA officials about their move to the Big Ten Conference.Newsom attended Wednesday's UC Board of Regents meeting in San Francisco. The closed-door meeting was the first since UCLA and Southern California announced on June 30 that the schools would be leaving the Pac-12 Conference for the Big Ten in 2024. USC is a private institution and not part of the UC system.Newsom - an ex officio member of the Board of Regents - is among others asking how the move will benefit all student-athletes, as well as how to mitigate the financial effects it will cause to UC Berkeley, California's other public university in the Pac 12.UCLA and UC Berkeley have played each other in football since 1923."The first duty of every public university is to the people - especially students," Newsom said in a statement. "UCLA must clearly explain to the public how this deal will improve the experience for all its student-athletes, will honor its century-old partnership with UC Berkeley, and will preserve the histories, rivalries,...
    LOS ANGELES (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom is demanding an explanation from UCLA officials about their move to the Big Ten Conference. Newsom attended Wednesday’s UC Board of Regents meeting in San Francisco. The closed-door meeting was the first since UCLA and Southern California announced on June 30 that the schools would be leaving the Pac-12 Conference for the Big Ten in 2024. USC is a private institution and not part of the UC system. Newsom — an ex officio member of the Board of Regents — is among others asking how the move will benefit all student-athletes, as well as how to mitigate the financial effects it will cause to UC Berkeley, California’s other public university in the Pac 12. UCLA and UC Berkeley have played each other in football since 1923. “The first duty of every public university is to the people – especially students,” Newsom said in a statement. “UCLA must clearly explain to the public how this deal will improve the experience for all its student-athletes, will honor its century-old partnership with UC Berkeley,...
    Gavin Newsom railed, the UC regents convened and UCLA’s departure to the Big Ten remained squarely in the political realm. But on an eventful Wednesday in San Francisco, nothing suggested the Bruins won’t jump conferences in the summer of 2024. The controversial move, which became official June 30, had been scheduled for discussion Thursday at a closed session of the University of California Board of Regents. Instead, it was switched onto Wednesday’s agenda, presumably to fit Newsom’s schedule. And he reportedly made a rare, but nonetheless appropriate, appearance. As governor, he is a Regent Ex Officio (non-voting). The issue was listed as a discussion and included no action item, “thus no vote can be initiated,” according to a UC spokesperson. But that didn’t stop Newsom from blustering about the process and ramifications of UCLA’s move. “The first duty of every public university is to the people – especially students,” Newsom said in a statement first published by the L.A. Times. “UCLA must clearly explain to the public how this deal will improve the experience for all its student-athletes, will honor...
    Gavin Newsom railed, the UC regents convened and UCLA’s departure to the Big Ten remained squarely in the political realm. But on an eventful Wednesday in San Francisco, nothing suggested the Bruins won’t jump conferences in the summer of 2024. The controversial move, which became official June 30, had been scheduled for discussion Thursday at a closed session of the University of California Board of Regents. Instead, it was switched onto Wednesday’s agenda, presumably to fit Newsom’s schedule. And he reportedly made a rare, but nonetheless inappropriate, appearance. As governor, he is a Regent Ex Officio (non-voting). The issue was listed as a discussion and included no action item, “thus no vote can be initiated,” according to a UC spokesperson. But that didn’t stop Newsom from blustering about the process and ramifications of UCLA’s move. “The first duty of every public university is to the people — especially students,” Newsom said in a statement published by the L.A. Times. “UCLA must clearly explain to the public how this deal will improve the experience for all its student-athletes, will honor its...
    Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday demanded that UCLA explain how its Pac-12 exit for the Big Ten will benefit all of its student-athletes and honor its relationship with UC Berkeley — the only UC campus that will be left behind and will likely take a big financial hit in a conference weakened by big-name defections. “The first duty of every public university is to the people — especially students,” Newsom said in a statement. “UCLA must clearly explain to the public how this deal will improve the experience for all its student-athletes, will honor its century-old partnership with UC Berkeley, and will preserve the histories, rivalries, and traditions that enrich our communities.” Newsom made an unusual appearance Wednesday at the San Francisco meeting of the UC Board of Regents, where he serves as an ex-officio member, to join the board’s closed-door discussion on the issue. The decision by UCLA — along with USC — to leave the Pac-12 Conference in August 2024 has left Cal and other remaining conference teams reeling over the threat of losing millions in...
    California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday blasted the lack of transparency behind UCLA’s move to the Big Ten conference and said the University of California Board of Regents is “looking into it.” The Bruins announced on June 30 that they had accepted an invitation, along with USC, to join the Big Ten in 2024. The stunning departure after a century in the Pac-12 has consequences for Cal and other universities in the state, both public and private. “Trust me when I say this,” Newsom told FOX 11, “we’re not going to be looking into it. We already are looking into it, within minutes after reading about this in the newspaper.” The Hotline reported on Tuesday that UCLA’s move is on the agenda for the UC regents’ meeting in San Francisco on July 21. As governor, Newsom is an Ex Officio member of the board, which oversees the prestigious university system’s 10 campuses. When asked about the secretive process that culminated on June 30, Newsom said: “No big deal, I’m the governor of the state of California. Maybe a bigger deal...
    The University of California’s Board of Regents is scheduled to discuss UCLA’s momentous move to the Big Ten — a move that could have serious financial repercussions for Cal — during a meeting next week. The board, which oversees the prestigious university system’s 10 campuses, will discuss the Bruins’ stunning departure from the Pac-12 in a closed session on July 21, according to the agenda posted on the regents’ website. The following description was included: “Closed Session Statute Citation: Litigation [Education Code 92032(b)(5)]” Can the regents prevent UCLA from departing the Pac-12, along with USC, in the summer of 2024? Or are the regents themselves facing litigation for allowing the Bruins to leave the conference that has been their home for more than a century? Section 92032 of the California education code broadly refers to procedural matters. — Part “b” states: “The Regents of the University of California may conduct closed sessions when they meet to consider or discuss any of the following matters:” — Part “5” states: “Matters involving litigation, when discussion in open session concerning those matters would...
    The Hotline mailbag is published each Friday. Please send questions to [email protected] or hit me on Twitter: @WilnerHotline. Due to the extraordinary volume of questions this week, the mailbag has been expanded. I selected one question on each issue of greatest interest to readers in order to cover as much ground as possible.  Some questions have been edited for clarity and brevity. Who are your “have nots’ in the Pac-12? In other words, when all the dust settles with this next round of conference realignment, who is going to be hurt the most from their current stature? — @Shannon_Stone Everyone should be nervous — the only school with absolutely nothing to fear, USC, is accounted for. But the Four Corners (Arizona, ASU, Colorado and Utah) are reasonable fits in the Big 12, if needed, while Washington and Oregon are far too valuable to be cast aside. Stanford and Cal have some appeal because of the Bay Area market, the access to Silicon Valley and their academic reputations. I’m not convinced they will land somewhere, especially Cal, but their prospects...
    The Pac-12 can make a case as the most successful conference in collegiate athletics, amassing more than 500 NCAA championships while leading the nation in titles 56 of the past 62 years. But when it comes to the biggest moneymakers, football and men’s basketball, the “Conference of Champions” has come up short for years. The lack of success, particularly in football, combined with the conference’s media rights missteps have put the Pac-12 on shaky financial footing, opening the door for two of its marquee schools to jump ship. Now, with the loss of UCLA and USC to the Big Ten in 2024, the conference and its remaining member schools face an even more uncertain economic future. “You have exploding costs on one end and your revenue sources are being decimated, which is a tremendous pressure,” Smith College economics professor Andrew Zimbalist said. “On the other hand, what do you do? Well, something pretty radical I think is going to have to happen.” The Pac-12’s dilemma has been building for years. Once a powerhouse football conference, the Pac-12 has been a...
    The foundation for recruiting success during the December signing window often is laid in the spring, when on-campus visits are taken, shortlists created and verbal commitments made. The Hotline is delighted to provide Pac-12 fans with a dive into the process through the eyes and ears of Brandon Huffman, the Seattle-based national recruiting analyst for 247Sports. Huffman will relay news and insight into the latest developments and cast an eye ahead to upcoming events that will shape the 2022-23 recruiting cycle. The following information, in his words, was provided to the Hotline on July 5 … *** I don’t know that the recent news of USC and UCLA leaving for the Big Ten will have a major effect on recruits in the high school class of 2023. But it’s going to be fluid enough that it impacts the ’24 class and beyond. Some recruits have already pushed back decisions to see what the situation ends up being with a couple schools in the current Pac-12 that didn’t get invited into the Big Ten. And I’ve had two Pac-12 coaches say prospects...
    Why was UCLA willing to leave the Pac-12 to join the Big Ten? The Bruins were in a financial hole that likely would have resulted in cutting Olympic sports. USC, UCLA and the Big Ten are being accused of killing the Pac-12. The truth of the matter is the the Bruins were on the verge of killing some of their own sports programs. The move to the Big Ten will save them instead. That’s according to reporting from Ben Bolch of the LA Times, who revealed the “perilous” state of UCLA’s athletic department finances on Tuesday. “Over the last three fiscal years, UCLA’s athletic department had run up a $102.8-million deficit that figured only to worsen given the school’s sagging football attendance and paltry Pac-12 payouts that lagged behind its major conference counterparts,” Bolch wrote. The Bruins “were headed toward an Olympic sports Armageddon,” per Bolch. UCLA athletics were on the verge of cutting sports before Big Ten moveIt’s not clear which sports might have been on the chopping block, but you can bet Olympic sports on the men’s and...
    As the Pac-12 fights for survival in the wake of USC and UCLA announcing their joint departure for the Big Ten in 2024, merger, acquisition and going-out-of-business talk is all the rage. Washington and Oregon are also headed to the Big Ten … No, Stanford is really the next target … Arizona State, Arizona, Utah and Colorado are preparing to jump to the Big 12 … The Pac-12 and Big 12 should merge to form a super-conference … Meanwhile, the grandmaster stays quiet, examining the chessboard and plotting its next move. The future of college football in the western half of the country depends largely, and perhaps entirely, on ESPN — one of the sport’s two overlords. The other, of course, is Fox. How did we get here? “It’s part media companies and part lack of leadership in college sports,” a media industry source told the Hotline (via text). “Nobody looking out for best interests of (the) sport — too much self interest and conflicts.” ESPN made the first grand move last summer, quietly orchestrating the SEC’s acquisition of Texas...
    Conference realignment in college sports has been going on since 1984, when the Supreme Court invalidated the NCAA’s national television contract for football. The conference juggling has gone through ebbs and flows through the years since, from small schools bumping up to bigger leagues to power programs switching to other major conferences. The latest move, Southern California and UCLA bolting the Pac-12 for the Big Ten, could be part of a tectonic shift. Not just because of the marquee schools involved, but because it happened at a time when the NCAA is looking to take a more decentralized approach to governing college athletics, handing more power to schools and conferences. “You might think this is more seismic because it’s involving wealthier schools — and arguably it is — but also it’s seismic because of the underpinnings of the system, the foundations of the system, are being challenged at a time when the financial structure is exploding,” Smith College economics professor Andrew Zimbalist said on Friday. “It may have larger ramifications, but it is a process that’s been ongoing.” The decisions...
    The Hotline mailbag is published each Friday, except in the case of supernova news like USC and UCLA leaving the Pac-12. Send questions to [email protected] or hit me on Twitter: @WilnerHotline. Due to volume — and in some cases, the need for research — not all questions will be answered the week of submission. Thanks for your understanding. Some questions have been edited for clarity and brevity. Could Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff have done anything to prevent the L.A. schools from leaving, or was the revenue gap from the Larry Scott era too much to overcome? — @KwadeSays The degree to which Kliavkoff is responsible for the conference on the brink of destruction is a topic I have pondered often in the past 48 hours and discussed at length with the Hotline’s A-list sources. Could he have done more during his year in office to ensure USC (primarily) and UCLA (secondarily) were fully committed? Did he take their allegiance for granted? To some extent, the answer to all three questions is yes. It has to be yes because it unfolded...
    Commentary on the historic decision by USC and UCLA to leave the conference that has been their home since time immemorial … Rising: Washington and Oregon’s leverage The Hotline calls ’em like we see ’em, and we see the complete disintegration of the Pac-12 as a scenario that cannot be discounted. To be sure, it’s not the most realistic outcome for the conference. But ignore it at your peril. In our view, survival starts with Washington and Oregon. Both schools have undoubtedly been attempting to gain entry into the Big Ten since Thursday morning. But according to a Hotline source, that “door is closed for the foreseeable future.” From here, it’s clear the Big Ten’s next move is to grab Notre Dame. If the Irish are willing to end their existence as an Independent, they would need either one or three partners to accompany them into the Big Ten (for even numbers). The Huskies and Ducks might become candidates at that point, along with North Carolina. But we don’t envision a near-term scenario in which either Northwest school is offered...
    Urban Meyer’s take on the Big Ten adding USC and UCLA is as bad as you would expect it to be. With the Big Ten getting USC and UCLA in two academic years, of course, the Big Ten Network would ask former Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer what he thinks about the most shocking wave of college athletics realignment to date. Meyer spoke with Dave Revsine of the Big Ten Network on Thursday night about the earth-shattering realignment news that just transpired. Outside of the Jacksonville mess, Meyer has had overwhelming success everywhere he has coached. Unfortunately, him finding a way to justify the Big Ten killing the Pac-12 and West Coast football outside of Los Angeles is very difficult to watch. Here is Meyer telling Revsine this wave of college realignment actually makes some sense to him.“I’ve seen conference realignment like we all have over the years.” said Meyer to Revsine. “To be quite honest with you, it didn’t make a lot of sense. Where this school is gonna jump to this conference where there’s not really a...
    In a surprising and seismic shift in college athletics, the Big Ten voted on Thursday to add Southern California and UCLA as conference members beginning in 2024. The expansion to 16 teams will happen after the Pac-12’s current media rights contracts with Fox and ESPN expire and make the Big Ten the first conference to stretch from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The announcement, which caught the Pac-12 off-guard, came almost a year after Oklahoma and Texas formally accepted invitations to join the Southeastern Conference in July 2025. Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said USC and UCLA, both members of the Pac-12 and its previous iterations for nearly a century, submitted applications for membership and the league’s Council of Presidents and Chancellors voted unanimously to add the Los Angeles-area schools. “Ultimately, the Big Ten is the best home for USC and Trojan athletics as we move into the new world of collegiate sports,” USC athletic director Mike Bohn said. “We are excited that our values align with the league’s member institutions. We also will benefit from the stability and strength...
    The Big Ten just added two new members, picking up the UCLA Bruins and USC Trojans from the Pac-12 in a landscape-shifting move. Thursday was a landmark day for the Big Ten and college football as a whole after UCLA and USC officially gained entry into the conference. College football realignment is not slowing down, that’s for sure. So how did it come to this and what can fans expect going forward? Why are USC, UCLA leaving Pac-12 for the Big Ten?To put it simply: Money. The Pac-12 has lagged behind other conferences in terms of revenue for years. Even though a new TV deal was set to be negotiated after 2024, the Big Ten’s offering simply dwarfs what the P12 could hope for at the top end. USC and UCLA weren’t content with making no more than $30 million per year from media rights. Not they could make $100 million with the B1G. The changing landscape of conference alignment also facilitated this move. Once Texas and Oklahoma made the jump to the SEC, it became clear that all roads to...
    In a surprising and seismic shift in college athletics, the Big Ten voted Thursday to add Southern California and UCLA as conference members beginning in 2024. The expansion to 16 teams will happen after the Pac-12’s current media rights contracts with Fox and ESPN expire and make the Big Ten the first conference to stretch from the Atlantic to the Pacific. READ MORE: LIVE UPDATES: Mandatory Evacuations Lifted As Crews Gain Ground On Multiple Fires In Butte CountyThe announcement, which caught the Pac-12 off-guard, came almost a year after Oklahoma and Texas formally accepted invitations to join the Southeastern Conference in July 2025. Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said USC and UCLA, both members of the Pac-12 and its previous iterations for nearly a century, submitted applications for membership and the league’s Council of Presidents and Chancellors voted unanimously to add the Los Angeles schools. “Ultimately, the Big Ten is the best home for USC and Trojan athletics as we move into the new world of collegiate sports,” USC athletic director Mike Bohn said. “We are excited that our values...
    (CNN)In a seismic shift to the collegiate sports landscape, the two Southern California powerhouse universities -- UCLA and USC -- said Thursday they are leaving the Pac-12 Conference for the Big Ten Conference at the start of the 2024-25 season. Both universities announced their intentions to swap conferences in separate statements on Thursday. The Pac-12 said it was "extremely surprised and disappointed" by the move. They will be joining a conference with the likes of the University of Michigan, Penn State and Ohio State, creating a 16-member conference to rival the Southeastern Conference (SEC). Read MoreLess than a year ago, a similar move shook the college football world when Texas and Oklahoma accepted invitations to join the SEC from the Big 12. According to USC, the Big Ten voted to accept both universities as members effective August 2, 2024. The shift has major implications for upcoming media rights agreements. USC says it will see out its current deal with the Pac-12 until it expires in 2024. "Ultimately, the Big Ten is the best home for USC and Trojan athletics...
    The Pac-12 Conference has existed, in some form or another, for 107 years. After the thunderous news Thursday that USC and UCLA are seeking membership in the Big Ten starting in 2024, the future of the conference is very much in doubt. What’s next for the shattered Pac-12, which was caught completely off guard by the planned departures of the schools in its largest media market and its most fertile recruiting ground? Without an anchor in Southern California, the league is a shell of its former self. Can it exist as a 10-school entity? Should it expand? Is a merger possible? First, let’s be clear: When it comes to conference realignment, nothing is done until it’s done — and sometimes not even then. USC and UCLA have yet to utter a public peep; nor has the Big Ten. But if we presume the move becomes official in the next 24 hours, there are a slew of scenarios to consider: — Will Oregon and Washington attempt to join the Big Ten, as well? The success of their football teams makes the...
    USC and UCLA, two of the Pac-12's flagship programs, are planning to leave the conference for the Big Ten as early as 2024, sources confirmed to ESPN on Thursday.The Mercury News first reported the news.There is still a formal notification process, as the two schools have to let the Pac-12 know their intentions to leave. USC and UCLA also have to formally apply to the Big Ten. According to a source, that process is underway.Multiple sources told ESPN on Thursday that the move is expected to happen. A source called the next steps "formalities" and an announcement could come within the next 24 hours.A source said that the exploration of the finances and what it would take to make the move have been going on for weeks. While finances played a big role in the move, competitiveness, brand and the overall landscape of the future of the sport played a bigger role."USC and UCLA have to make the decisions to position them best for the long term," said a source familiar with the move. "The future is so uncertain we...
    Two collegiate sports powerhouses are preparing to defect from the Pac-12 and join the Big Ten in the latest shakeup to the NCAA's competitive landscape. As multiple outlets reported Thursday, Los Angeles-area rivals USC and UCLA are in talks to join Big Ten after decades in the Pac-12 (née: Big Five, Big Six, Pacific-8, and Pacific-10). Not only would the move deprive the 107-year-old conference of two of its most prestigious athletic departments, but it would also cost the Pac-12 its foothold in the lucrative Southern California media market. Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren has yet to address the issue publicly as talks are reportedly ongoing. SC wide receiver That Washington, right, UCLA defensive back Cameron Johnson deflect a pass in the first quarter at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles on November 21. As multiple outlets reported Thursday, Los Angeles-area rivals USC and UCLA are in talks to join Big Ten after decades in the Pac-12 for the 2024 season, although the deal isn't yet finalized The move has not been finalized, according to syndicated sports reporter Jon...