UC Regents Approve UCLA’s Pac-12 Exit — With Conditions

by Riley Overend 9

December 15th, 2022 Big Ten, College, Pac-12

UCLA finally received approval for its move to the Big Ten announced back in June, but the school’s Pac-12 exit will likely come at a cost. 

The University of California regents laid out conditions for UCLA’s departure from the Pac-12 at a special-called meeting on Wednesday. Among the stipulations is a “Berkeley tax” — some are calling it Calimony — that will likely force UCLA to subsidize Cal once a Pac-12 media deal is finalized. 

“Berkeley really took a hit by UCLA leaving,” board of regents chair Rich Leib said. “They suffered quite a bit. We don’t know how much, but we felt it was important … that we somehow make Berkeley, maybe not whole, but at least help them in that situation.”

The exact amount and frequency of the subsidy is contingent on the value of the Pac-12 media deal, but the board set out a range between $2 million and $10 million. 

UCLA will also have to increase investment in resources for its own student-athletes, including funds for academic support, nutritional support, and mental health services. UCLA initially said it would invest an extra $10 million in resources for athletes because of the move, but that number will now hover between $11 and $12 million, according to the board’s guidelines. 

“We actually added more to it, so all together we have about, between 11 and 12 million of enhancements,” Leib said. The official range is between $11.03 million and $12.20 million.

Those enhancements feature $6.3 million for academic support, nutritional support and mental health services for all student-athletes. About $4.3 million will be spent on food, requiring breakfast and lunch on campus for all UCLA athletes, professional dietitian services and nutritious meals while they are traveling.

“You’re not playing [Rutgers] every week,” UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond said at a Sports Business Journal conference in Las Vegas last week. “In the grand scheme of things, it’s not that much. The benefits far outweigh those challenges.”

UC Berkeley chancellor Carol Christ, UCLA alum Bill Walton and the National College Players Association (led by former UCLA football player Ramogi Huma) were among those who spoke out against UCLA’s departure from the Pac-12. They questioned how the added cross-country travel would impact students’ academics and mental health. But Wednesday’s vote wasn’t all that close, with approval for UCLA’s Big Ten move passing by an 11-5 vote. 

“We looked at the reality of where we are and what the alternatives were,” Leib said. “And I think in the end we just decided that the best thing to do is the way we did it, which is conditions, but allow them to go.”

“We’re excited to join the Big Ten Conference in 2024 and are grateful for the Board of Regents’ thoughtful engagement in this decision,” Jarmond said in a statement after the decision. “We’ve always been guided by what is best for our 25 teams and more than 700 student-athletes, and the Big Ten offers exciting new competitive opportunities on a bigger national media platform for our student-athletes to compete and showcase their talent.”

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
3 months ago

Lost in this story about UCLA finally getting “permission” to move to the BIG (after paying alimony/child support to big brother Cal ;-)) is any mention about the prime mover in this whole BIG decision – the “other” Los Angeles school and AD Mike Bohn. It’s the latest episode in the longer story of Major D! athletics – follow the money and now show me the money. The money is not insignificant with the BIG media contract at $7Billion over 7 years. Do the math and figure out the benefits of the USC and UCLA brands in the University athletics marketplace and to Fox Sports in securing the SoCal media marketplace..

The “follow the money” story began years ago with… Read more »

grizzled bastard
Reply to  swimphan
3 months ago

I offer a slight snarky correction: in current LA traffic they are actually often 90 minutes apart.

Sid Frisco
3 months ago

Calimony…..that’s funny and yet so California.

Bruin Swimming Alum
3 months ago

Bring back men’s swimming with all the new cash!

Reply to  Bruin Swimming Alum
3 months ago


Reply to  Bruin Swimming Alum
3 months ago

Right the wrong! Bring back men’s swimming and diving.

Reply to  Bruin Swimming Alum
3 months ago

sadly, I don’t think it’s going to happen — and I SOOOOOOOOOO wish I was wrong!

Reply to  Bruin Swimming Alum
3 months ago

All of these conference realignments are just part of the new arms race in football and basketball.
Swimming doesn’t stand a chance.

3 months ago

I’m sorry, but this will always just be absurd in my mind. You never wish bad upon individual athletes, but I hope the caliber of athlete who would normally consider attending UCLA looks elsewhere.

UCLA has always been about the money above all us. They cut one of the most successful swim programs in the country. Now they’re willing to make their athletes regularly fly cross country in order to make some more money.

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

Read More »