In the letter, Pac-12’s George Kliavkoff cites ‘significant’ financial, mental health concerns related to UCLA’s move to the Big Ten

Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff detailed his “significant concerns” about the move in a letter sent to the University of California Board of Trustees ahead of Thursday’s closed session to discuss his proposed move to UCLA’s Big Ten conference. its impact on student-athlete mental health, increased travel and operating costs, and adverse effects on both Cal’s income and the UC system’s climate goals.

According to a source, Klivakoff’s letter was delivered in response to a request by attorneys for the conference’s perspective on UCLA’s move.

“Despite all the disclosures made after the event, UCLA’s decision to join the Big Ten was clearly financially motivated after the UCLA athletic department managed to accumulate more than $100 million in debt over the past three fiscal years,” Kliavkoff said.

He said the increased revenue UCLA will receive will be fully offset by the higher costs of additional travel, the need for competitive salaries within the Big Ten, and game guarantee expenses.

“UCLA currently spends about $8.1 million a year on travel for its teams to compete at the Pac-12 conference,” Kliavkoff said. Said. “If UCLA flies commercially in the Big Ten ($8.1 million increase per year), the team will incur a 100% increase in travel costs, 160% increase in part-time rentals ($13.1 million per year), and a 290% increase in renting each flight. increases ($23 million increase per year).

Kliavkoff did not specify how these figures were calculated or whether he had any real belief that UCLA would consider charter travel for teams other than football and basketball.

According to a source familiar with UCLA’s internal estimates, the school is working against the Big Ten with the expectation that it will spend about $6-10 million more per year on travel on the Pac-12.

Kliavkoff predicted that moving to the Big Ten would also result in UCLA spending more on salaries to meet conference norms. He estimated that for the university to reach the average in the Big Ten, UCLA would need to increase its athletic department salaries by about $15 million.

“Any financial gains UCLA will make by joining the Big Ten will go to airline and charter companies, executives and coaches’ salaries, and other buyers rather than providing any additional resources for student-athletes,” Kliavkoff said. Said.

A UCLA spokesperson declined to comment.

“No decision. I think everybody is gathering information. This is an evolving situation,” UC President Michael V. Drake, who was previously president of the State of Ohio, told the New York Times.

Beyond the financial impact for UCLA, which is widely understood to be the driving factor in its planned move, Kliavkoff said it will also hurt Cal, which is part of the UC system. As media rights negotiations continue, Kliavkoff said it’s difficult to disclose exact impact without disclosing classified information, but confirmed that Pac-12 is seeking bids with and without UCLA.

Beyond the financial component of added travel, Kliavkoff said “media research published by the National Institutes of Health, studies conducted by the NCAA, and discussions with our own student-athlete leaders” indicate that the move will have a negative impact on student-athletes. ‘ they are distracted from their mental health and academic pursuits. He also added that facing cross-country trips to see UCLA teams play would be a burden for family and alumni.

Finally, Kliavkoff said the additional travel goes against the UC system’s climate goals and is working against UCLA’s commitment to “climate neutrality” by 2025.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.