Is the Iron Curtain Come to California?

It seems that the University of California Los Angeles has decided to move from college’s PAC-12 Conference to the Big 10 Conference, effective with the 2024 academic/athletic year.

It seems also that California’s Governor Gavin Newsom (D) is unhappy about the alma mater of Lew Alcindor, later becoming the NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, joining the exodus from the State, if only functionally and not physically.

Nobody said, “Mother may I?” to Newsom, and that angrifies him as much as UCLA’s decision to go out from a West Coast conference to a more economically sound area of our nation.

I read about it (is how I found out). No big deal. I’m the governor of the state of California. But maybe a bigger deal is that I’m the chair of the UC Board of Regents. I read about it. Is it a good idea? Did we have a chance to discuss the merits (of the decision)? I’m not aware anyone did. So it was done in isolation. It was done without regental oversight or support. It was done without any consideration to my knowledge.

Now, it may be that there is/was a contractual obligation for UCLA to advise the Board of Regents of the school’s discussions and intentions. However, Newsom didn’t mention any of that in his plaint—only that His Nibs wasn’t consulted.

Regarding those more economically sound areas of our nation—in the new era of Name, Image, and Likeness requirements that allow college athletes to personally profit form the use of their NIL material—here is, UCLA’s Athletic Director Martin Jarmond:

…the move was mostly about increasing “exposure” in the NIL era. By opening the school up to potentially more nationally televised games and East Coast markets, Jarmond says they can now provide an enhanced opportunity for student-athletes to find “their voice and their brand and what’s important to them.”

But not so fast: His Nibs is looking for ways to block the move.

Trust me when I say this: We are not going to be looking into. We are already looking into it within (and have been) minutes after reading about this in the newspaper.

No veiled threat there….

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