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UC Board Approves UCLA's Move To The Big Ten Athletic Conference

Four men in UCLA white uniforms on a basketball court, one with lighter skin, three with brown skin. A Black man in red athletic gear runs behind one of the players who's dribbling an orange basketball. Onlookers are seen in the stands behind.
Jaime Jaquez Jr. of the UCLA Bruins brings the ball up the court off of a Colorado Buffaloes turnover during the Pac-12 Conference basketball tournament semifinals at T-Mobile Arena on March 11, 2022 in Las Vegas.
(Ethan Miller
/
Getty Images)
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Topline:

The University of California Board of Regents voted 11-5 on Wednesday afternoon to allow UCLA to switch its sports teams to the Big Ten Conference from the Pac-12. It's a move expected to generate double its current media revenue.

Protecting students: The board met in closed session before the vote. It received assurances that the well-being of student-athletes would be prioritized, according to Chair Richard Leib — he said he was satisfied with those assurances. "I think the measures that we've put in make sure that we have nutrition support, travel, as well as academic support, mental health services for our athletes," Leib said.

The other side: The National College Players Association, a college athlete advocacy group launched by former UCLA football players, called the switch a TV money grab that would especially hurt Black student-athletes.

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How much money's at stake?: UCLA said it expects to take in up to $70 million in TV revenue — about double what it receives from its Pac-12 membership. Some of that money will go to UC Berkeley to help it recuperate revenue lost from games in the Los Angeles market.