UCLA’s Big Ten Story – WSJ


Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

Recently, this column wondered how the University of California, Los Angeles could comply with state laws and also pursue its plan to attend the Big Ten sports conference. California’s bright politicians have essentially attempted to annul 22 states – and counting – because those states have chosen not to imitate California law on issues like transgender policy. Golden State tax dollars cannot be used to fund travel to the supposedly deplorable states, and state entities like UCLA cannot require employees to travel there. Currently, three of the banned states are home to Big Ten schools. How will UCLA accommodate California’s intolerance of the free political choices of voters in those states? The school now claims that even highly paid coaches will appear on a purely voluntary basis when their teams play some of the biggest games of the year.

If nascent UCLA politics persists, California politicians will continue to insult voters in states like Ohio, Indiana and Iowa, but will not let official hostility stand in the way of partnering with those states to snag big chunks of cash that are generated by college athletes. Will leftists see this as a sign of virtue at all? Such signals would seem worthless if one cannot explain how they are supposed to be virtuous.

Recently, Jon Wilner, whose work appears in the San Jose Mercury News, raised the question of how UCLA could comply with the law known as AB 1887 and play away games in target states. Mr. Wilner reported:

Here’s the response (via email) from Scott Markley, senior associate athletic director of communications for the Bruins:

“…Should UCLA compete or recruit in a prohibited state in accordance with the law, none of the travel expenses to that state will come from government funds. In addition, if a team competes in a prohibited state, students, athletes and staff are made aware of relevant California and destination state law and are given the opportunity to withdraw from the trip without risk of repercussions. ”

It must be nice to run a government institution and create an alternative source of private funding when complying with government regulations is too onerous. Can a football coach in the bubble really choose not to show up when his team plays Ohio State?

Mr. Markley, reached by email for this column, declined to speculate as to who, if anyone at UCLA, might opt ​​out of sports competitions in banned states.

Your humble correspondent will get on his feet and suggest that athletic staff in all UCLA sports will “choose” to attend at remarkably high rates for what most people see as a core part of the job. But if for some reason they don’t, why would UCLA send their players into the competition without the support they normally receive?

Regarding the idea of ​​paid athletic employees going to their teams’ events as volunteers, this column posed the following question to the University of California’s Office of the President of the System:

Has President [Michael] Drake believes this is a credible and legal means of complying with AB 1887, and does he support this circumvention to allow UCLA to compete in the Big Ten?

Ryan King, Associate Director of Media Relations for the Office of the President at the University of California, writes via email:

The University of California continues to comply with the requirements of AB 1887… The Office of the President continues to monitor state policies and communicate legislative changes to our campuses to facilitate campus compliance…

AB 1887 was enacted in 2016 and its requirements have been in effect since then (i.e. prior to UCLA’s announcement of their participation in the Big Ten). The law prohibits any state agency, department, board, agency or commission, including UC, from requiring its employees, officers or members to travel to a state on the Attorney General’s list. If you have questions about the specific procedures that apply at each campus, you must contact the campus.

Rather than refer questions to one of its campuses, President Drake should clearly explain why UCLA policy is not the sham it appears to be, or urge California lawmakers to reverse their intolerant and intolerable efforts to help people across the country to dictate their social agenda.


James Freeman is co-author of The Cost: Trump, China and American Revival.


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https://www.wsj.com/articles/uclas-big-ten-story-11658269450 UCLA’s Big Ten Story – WSJ

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