USC, UCLA exits could cost Pac-12 schools $13M in rights

USC and UCLA’s exit from the Pac-12 conference could mean an estimated loss of around $13 million a year in media rights for each of the remaining schools

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Southern California and UCLA’s departure from the Pac-12 conference could mean an estimated loss of media rights of about $13 million per year for each of the remaining schools, according to an interim report from the University of California’s Bureau of presidents.

The report was released Wednesday during a Board of Regents meeting held at UCLA to discuss moving to the Big Ten Conference in 2024.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom demanded an explanation from UCLA about the move while attending the Regents’ Meeting in San Francisco last month. UCLA and USC announced on June 30 that schools would be phasing out the Pac-12 in two years. USC is a private entity and not part of the UC system.

RELATED: USC, UCLA leave Pac-12 and join Big Ten in 2024

Newsom, an ex officio member of the Board of Regents, did not attend Wednesday’s meeting.

The report states that USC’s exit from the Pac-12 would mean an estimated $9.8 million loss, or nearly 30% of the conference’s media rights, for each of the remaining schools. UCLA’s departure wouldn’t be quite as dramatic at estimates of 10%, or $3.25 million. Losses in ticket sales were not taken into account.

The UC Board of Regents cannot force UCLA to reverse the decision. In 1991, campus chancellors were given authority by the UC Office of the President to execute their own contracts, including intercollegiate athletic agreements.

The report proposes new policies to prevent campuses from making important decisions that could impact sister campuses.

One proposal would require the UC president to notify the appropriate board chair and committee chair of a major athletic department decision in advance. They would then decide whether it should be presented to the full Council of Regency.

Eight of UCLA’s 23 sports — baseball, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s tennis, softball, gymnastics and women’s volleyball — would experience additional travel impacts. Pamela Brown, the UC vice president for institutional research and academic planning, said the difference for some teams’ travel could be an additional 24 hours.

The report said the benefits of moving to athletes in Olympic sports would be additional resources for tutors, more competition and improved opportunities for name image and likeness.

Football and men’s and women’s basketball use charter flights and would be minimally affected.

Of the nine schools in the UC system, Cal would feel the biggest impact. The Bruins and Golden Bears have played each other in football since 1923.

UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond said in a June 30 phone interview with The Associated Press that changes in the collegiate athletics landscape prompted the move. UCLA’s athletic department, which sponsors 23 sports, is facing a $102.8 million deficit, most of which has come in recent years. USC, UCLA exits could cost Pac-12 schools $13M in rights

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