Pac-12 commissioner George Kurifkov said students in a letter submitted to the University of California Regents to discuss UCLA’s proposed transition to a Big Ten conference ahead of Thursday’s closed session. detailing the “major concerns” he had about this transition, including; – Mental health of athletes, increased transportation and operating costs, negative impact on both Cal’s revenue and UC system’s climate goals.

According to one source, Krivakov’s letter was provided in response to a request from the regent for the conference’s view on UCLA’s move.

“Despite all the explanations given after the fact, UCLA’s decision to join the Big Ten was clearly financial, after UCLA’s athletic department racked up more than $100 million in debt in the last three fiscal years. motives,” writes Kliavkoff.

From there, he argued, the increase in revenue UCLA receives will be fully offset by higher costs due to increased travel, the need for competitive salaries within the Big Ten, and gaming warranty costs. .

“UCLA currently spends about $8.1 million a year on travel expenses for teams to attend the Pac-12 conference,” said Kliavkoff. “UCLA sees a 100% increase in team travel costs when flying commercially with the Big Ten (an increase of $8.1 million per year) and a 160% increase when chartering half the time ($13.1 million per year). , there is an increase of 290%. Chartering all flights is a percentage increase (an increase of $23 million per year).”

Kliavkoff did not indicate how these figures were calculated or whether there was any genuine belief that UCLA would consider charter trips for teams other than football and basketball.

According to sources familiar with UCLA’s internal estimates of increased travel costs, the school expects to spend about $6 million to $10 million more annually on trips on the Big Ten vs. the Pac-12.

Kryavkov speculated that the move to the Big Ten would also lead UCLA to spend more on salaries to bring it in line with the conference’s standards. He estimates that UCLA would need to raise salaries in the athletic department by about $15 million to reach the Big Ten average.

“The financial benefits that UCLA achieves by participating in the Big Ten go to airlines and charters, managers’ and coaches’ salaries, and other recipients, rather than providing additional resources to student-athletes. will be,” said Kliavkoff.

A UCLA spokeswoman declined to comment.

In an interview with the New York Times, UC President Michael V. Drake, former president of Ohio State University, said, “There is no decision. I think everyone is gathering information. increase.”

Beyond UCLA’s financial impact, which is widely understood to be a key factor in UCLA’s move to the Big Ten, Kliavkoff said it would also hit Cal, which is overseen by the UC system as well as UCLA. With negotiations on media rights underway, Kliavkoff said it would be difficult to disclose the exact impact without disclosing confidential information, but he said that the conference called for bids with or without UCLA. It was confirmed that

Beyond the added economic component of travel, Kliavkoff notes that “published media research by the National Institutes of Health, research conducted by the NCAA, and discussions with our own student-athlete leaders” said it negatively impacts the mental health of athletes and disengages them from their academic pursuits. He added that it would be taxing for his family and alumni to take cross-country trips to see UCLA teams play.

Finally, Kryavkov said the addition of travel goes against the UC system’s climate goals and against UCLA’s efforts to achieve “climate neutrality” by 2025.



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