In a meeting that has been scheduled for quite sometime now, the leadership of the University of California system gathered Wednesday, and among the topics was discussing potential avenues to try to keep UCLA from leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten, the Los Angeles Times’ Ben Bolch reported.
“Two UC regents and the general counsel of the UC system suggested there might be an avenue to block the Bruins’ move that had widely been considered a fait accompli since it was announced in late June,” Bolch wrote.
More broadly, Bolch reported, there was discussion about how to keep university presidents from being able to make decisions such as leaving conferences without more involvement from the UC system.
Multiple times, Bolch quoted UC regent president John Perez as saying, “All options are on the table” to potentially try to keep UCLA from going to the Big Ten.
Also, Bolch quoted Richard Leib, chair of the board of regents, as saying, “We always have the ability to retain authority, which is what we heard today,” although Leib said it was “premature” to say if the board would exercise that authority to block UCLA.
UCLA and USC abruptly announced June 30 that they would be leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten, and the plan is that they will begin competition in the new conference in 2024.
USC was not part of Wednesday’s discussion, because as a private school, it is not part of the UC system.