UCLA’s move to Big Ten could be in jeopardy


USC is one of the major college football teams on the West Coast, so a shock was sent through the college football landscape when it was announced that the Trojans were leaving the Pac-12 and joining forces with the likes of Michigan and Ohio State in the Big Ten.

As if that news weren’t seismic enough, the Big Ten was able to poach USC’s cross-town rival, UCLA, in the deal as well.

It was a two-for-one steal for the Big Ten as the conference looked to keep up with the SEC in the conference expansion race (the SEC will be adding Texas and Oklahoma). It was also a great deal for both USC and UCLA, who were leaving behind the Pac-12, which has put out a more than underwhelming football product as of late.

All is well that ends well, right?

The problem for UCLA, though, is that this saga isn’t yet over.

UCLA — short for the University of California, Los Angeles — is part of the University of California system. It’s the most notable school in the system, partly because of its size and athletic success, but there are nine other campuses involved in this system. That’s a list that includes UC Berkeley, better known as the Cal Bears.

Why does this matter for both UCLA and the Big Ten? Turns out, not everyone in the University of California system was down with the Bruins leaving for the Big Ten. The leadership of the system just got together and proposed a new rule that would limit one campus from making a major athletic decision on its own.

Sound familiar, UCLA?

System leadership is also looking into a way to block UCLA from joining the Big Ten. This, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times.

“It’s important to understand that when the regents delegated authority to the president, they didn’t give it away or lose it,” UC system attorney Charlie Robinson said. “Essentially, what they did was extend it such that authority was with the regents and the president.”

One regent, John Perez, seems to think that the system leadership has the power to block UCLA’s move.

“All options are on the table, up to and including that,” Perez repeated. “…We’re going to look at what all the different options look like, and then the board will assert itself in terms of what its desired outcome is.”

This could be a major roadblock for both UCLA and the Big Ten’s expansion plans, and it sounds like this saga is only beginning. 

Stay tuned.

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