Could California politics block UCLA’s move to the Big Ten? | College Football Enquirer

Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde discuss the possibility that California Governor Gavin Newsom and the University of California system Board of Regents could potentially block UCLA’s move to the Big Ten, and debate which school would be a great backup plan if the deal does fall through.

Video Transcript


DAN WETZEL: This UCLA to the Big Ten story has, potentially, a hurdle to clear. An exclusive interview with Fox 11 in LA, California Governor Gavin Newsom said that the University of California Regents, who oversee the entire UC System, which includes, obviously, UCLA but also Cal and a whole bunch of other really good schools, were not consulted about the Bruins leaving the Pac 12. It was done without any regrets, oversight, or support. It was done without any consideration to my knowledge, Newsom said.

There's been some talk about the UC board of Regents potentially wanting to weigh in on this potentially, blocking it. I don't know. UCLA leaving, and as this shakes out, especially if this shakes out very quickly, could have devastating impacts to Cal, as we've discussed in past podcasts. Could this get hung up in California politics, Pat?

PAT FORDE: Well, yeah, I mean, it's on the way. I mean, Newsom said it. Newsom was asked, are you going to look into it? He's like, oh, no, we're not going to. We already are. So can they make life difficult for them? Yeah.

But here is my thought on this whole thing. I go back to the urge to be secret about everything is not necessarily conducive to doing business. I mean, it can get you into trouble. Again, I understand that, yes, it would have absolutely set off a tidal wave of panic and news if they had gone to the Board of Regents and said, hey, we're considering leaving and that got out.

But do you have to be lying, deceitful, dishonest, and do everything in the dark to get things done? I don't think you have to.

DAN WETZEL: Yes, this is college sports!



I say try actually being honest. Try it! Give it a shot. UCLA can tell their regents, can inform the people who are running the damn school system, the entire state system, hey, you know what? We're contemplating this move. And the world will continue to spin after you make the move or don't make the move.

DAN WETZEL: Angering the board of trustees or whatever this thing called there, not a good idea.


DAN WETZEL: These are the people in charge.

PAT FORDE: In charge of funding.

DAN WETZEL: Of funding, of, hey, we're going to open a new autonomous driving lab. Where are we going to put it? Well, it sounds like it's going to Irvine now.


DAN WETZEL: We're going to fund this. We're going to do this. We're going to promote this. The UC system is not a conference. You can't switch UCLA to Nevada.


PAT FORDE: That'd be a hell of a thing if they did.

DAN WETZEL: Probability that this mucks anything up, I would say low. But man, it's California.

PAT FORDE: I mean--

DAN WETZEL: Anything's possible in California.

PAT FORDE: Yeah, you're literally taking on the governor here. He's one of the Board of Regents.

DAN WETZEL: And he wants to run for president though, doesn't he? Does he want to be the one that screws that up? He'll never win a primary in the Midwest.

PAT FORDE: Right. Block UCLA to the Big Ten, and lose Ohio, Michigan, all those important swing states.

DAN WETZEL: 120 electoral votes, what happened to them. Well, he blocked the Big Ten expansion. History books would be like, this is very weird, very weird. Weird way to lose the election.

Let's say, for the sake of argument, UCLA is blocked. USC is not part of that. They are a private institution. My guess is that the Big Ten looks and says, listen, if this is going to become some big problem, UCLA is out, and we're taking Stanford.


DAN WETZEL: They could swap. This is the problem for UCLA because they're in because it's like, we want all of LA. But plan B is Stanford's sitting there looking at us. Maybe we take them, right? That would be my first call.

PAT FORDE: No, I would.

DAN WETZEL: You got 20 minutes, dude.


DAN WETZEL: Yes or no, this prom date ends.