ESPN: In letter, Pac-12's George Kliavkoff cites 'significant' financial, mental health concerns on UCLA move to Big Ten

BleedGopher

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Per ESPN:

In a letter provided to the University of California Board of Regents ahead of a closed-door session Thursday to discuss UCLA's proposed move to the Big Ten conference, Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff detailed "significant concerns" he had with the move, including student-athlete mental health, increased travel and operational costs, and negative impacts on both Cal's revenue and the UC system's climate goals.

Klivakoff's letter was provided in response to a request from the regents for the conference's perspective on UCLA's move, according to a source.

"Despite all the explanations made after the fact, 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 wrote.

From there, he made the case the increased revenue UCLA will receive would be completely offset by the increased costs coming from increased travel, the need for competitive salaries within the Big Ten and game guarantee expenses.

"UCLA currently spends approximately 8.1 million per year on travel for its teams to compete in the Pac-12 conference," Kliavkoff said. "UCLA will incur a 100% increase in its team travel costs if it flies commercial in the Big Ten (8.1 million increase per year), a 160% increase if it charters half the time ($13.1 million per year), and a 290% percent increase if it charters every flight ($23 million increase per year)."

Beyond the financial component of the added travel, Kliavkoff said "published media research by the National Institutes of Health, studies conducted by the NCAA, and discussions with our own student-athlete leaders," will have a negative impact on student-athletes mental health and take away from their academic pursuits. He added that it would also be a burden for family and alumni to face cross-country trips to see UCLA's teams play.

Finally, Kliavkoff said added travel runs contrary to the UC system's climate goals and works against UCLA's commitment to "climate neutrality" by 2025.

Go Gophers!!
 

Goldmember

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Kliavkoff is starting to embarrass himself. He may as well be walking around with large pee stains on his pants.

There is zero chance UCLA is in the PAC 12 on July 2, 2024.

He should be focused on luring a few Big 12 teams right now, and selling networks on the value of late night games. If the PAC 12 fails it will be because he took his eye off the ball.

How dumb must he look to networks when he talks to them about a future that includes UCLA?
 


gophernut1

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He is a good politician. He knows how to speak to his audience regardless of the truth be lives out or believe in. If Clemson came knowing he wouldn't care about how it impacted S. Carolina, the environment or the athletes.
 






hello-world

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He is a good politician. He knows how to speak to his audience regardless of the truth be lives out or believe in. If Clemson came knowing he wouldn't care about how it impacted S. Carolina, the environment or the athletes.
I think this is the correct take. Things like UCLA's impact on climate change are going to have more on an impact on this group than tradition, competitiveness, etc. He made the best argument for his audience regardless of how it would play in any other part of the country.

I wouldn't be surprised if it works. Also wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't.
 





Panthadad2

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Per ESPN:

In a letter provided to the University of California Board of Regents ahead of a closed-door session Thursday to discuss UCLA's proposed move to the Big Ten conference, Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff detailed "significant concerns" he had with the move, including student-athlete mental health, increased travel and operational costs, and negative impacts on both Cal's revenue and the UC system's climate goals.

Klivakoff's letter was provided in response to a request from the regents for the conference's perspective on UCLA's move, according to a source.

"Despite all the explanations made after the fact, 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 wrote.

From there, he made the case the increased revenue UCLA will receive would be completely offset by the increased costs coming from increased travel, the need for competitive salaries within the Big Ten and game guarantee expenses.

"UCLA currently spends approximately 8.1 million per year on travel for its teams to compete in the Pac-12 conference," Kliavkoff said. "UCLA will incur a 100% increase in its team travel costs if it flies commercial in the Big Ten (8.1 million increase per year), a 160% increase if it charters half the time ($13.1 million per year), and a 290% percent increase if it charters every flight ($23 million increase per year)."

Beyond the financial component of the added travel, Kliavkoff said "published media research by the National Institutes of Health, studies conducted by the NCAA, and discussions with our own student-athlete leaders," will have a negative impact on student-athletes mental health and take away from their academic pursuits. He added that it would also be a burden for family and alumni to face cross-country trips to see UCLA's teams play.

Finally, Kliavkoff said added travel runs contrary to the UC system's climate goals and works against UCLA's commitment to "climate neutrality" by 2025.

Go Gophers!!

Thanks for posting.

I find it odd that UCLA's coaching compensation is so far behind the BG10; essentially uncompetitive. If true, it's a signal UCLA and the PAC12 might be uncompetitive in other metrics too. It could be an indicator of why the PAC12 is essentially a second tier conference to the SEC and BG10.
 

Gophers_4life

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Kliavkoff is starting to embarrass himself. He may as well be walking around with large pee stains on his pants.

There is zero chance UCLA is in the PAC 12 on July 2, 2024.

He should be focused on luring a few Big 12 teams right now, and selling networks on the value of late night games. If the PAC 12 fails it will be because he took his eye off the ball.

How dumb must he look to networks when he talks to them about a future that includes UCLA?
The bolded is just not correct.

It has already been confirmed by legal counsel that the UC Regents do indeed hold legal authority, according to state law and the UC bylaws, to block UCLA's move to the Big Ten, if they choose to do that.

The question is really if they would "dare" choose to do that.
 



mngolf

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Kliavkoff is starting to embarrass himself. He may as well be walking around with large pee stains on his pants.

There is zero chance UCLA is in the PAC 12 on July 2, 2024.

He should be focused on luring a few Big 12 teams right now, and selling networks on the value of late night games. If the PAC 12 fails it will be because he took his eye off the ball.

How dumb must he look to networks when he talks to them about a future that includes UCLA?
I think he's seen the low numbers that networks are offering the PAC12 for their new deal and has become desperate. And if for some bizarre reason UCLA ended up staying then Oregon/Wash would replace them in 2 seconds. He's f'd either way.
 

Gophers_4life

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Thanks for posting.

I find it odd that UCLA's coaching compensation is so far behind the BG10; essentially uncompetitive. If true, it's a signal UCLA and the PAC12 might be uncompetitive in other metrics too. It could be an indicator of why the PAC12 is essentially a second tier conference to the SEC and BG10.
The PAC is competitive in most non-revenue sports, and they have good programs in basketball. I don't think anyone denies that. They also have solid top 25 programs in football, and USC can be at an Ohio State level with the right admin and coaching staff.

Hence why the Big Ten wants USC.


Those two schools (+ UCLA) approached the Big Ten to come over as a package. The Big Ten didn't go seek them out. The Big Ten said "sounds good to us!"
 

Gophers_4life

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I think he's seen the low numbers that networks are offering the PAC12 for their new deal and has become desperate. And if for some bizarre reason UCLA ended up staying then Oregon/Wash would replace them in 2 seconds. He's f'd either way.
Stanford could be added as a replacement. Or the Big Ten could just stay at 15. They were at 11 for many years after Penn St was added.
 



Iceland12

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Thanks for posting.

I find it odd that UCLA's coaching compensation is so far behind the BG10; essentially uncompetitive. If true, it's a signal UCLA and the PAC12 might be uncompetitive in other metrics too. It could be an indicator of why the PAC12 is essentially a second tier conference to the SEC and BG10.

UCLA fans have been complaining about that for years. Seems the Bruins Administration thought that their Basketball and Football Head Coaching jobs were so desirable that they didn't need to match the competition.

They were wrong. Now? With the Athletic Departments $102M debt over the last 3 years they aren't looking to add to it. Though there is this:

"The Bruins receive just a pittance from campus sources compared with other athletic departments; they do not pocket stadium sponsorship sales and recoup just a small percentage of sales from parking, concessions, merchandise and premium seating sales at the Rose Bowl; they pay a usage fee for games at Pauley Pavilion while receiving only a sliver of concession and merchandise sales; they receive no parking revenue at any venue while footing the bill for staffing; and they refused to enact furloughs or staffing cuts during the pandemic, a rarity at a time when other departments liberally slashed salaries and jobs".

Though taken together, it probably explains why they, along with USC, approached the Big Ten, not the other way around.

The below was written in January of this year. Before the expansion was announced.

 

Gophers_4life

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Reminds me of here at the U, where the athletic dept doesn't get to keep a single dime of any of the revenue collected for gameday parking/tailgating!
 






Com_Cool

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He is a good politician. He knows how to speak to his audience regardless of the truth be lives out or believe in. If Clemson came knowing he wouldn't care about how it impacted S. Carolina, the environment or the athletes.
USC/UCLA needs to get their WHIPs out there to rally the votes!
 

Com_Cool

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I'm curious about how this all works. Does the athletic department just do stuff and then ask the regents for permission or do they work together? Basically, is this the first time the athletic department hears from the regents or does the athletic department communicate with the regents through the process?
 

Sparlimb

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I think he's seen the low numbers that networks are offering the PAC12 for their new deal and has become desperate. And if for some bizarre reason UCLA ended up staying then Oregon/Wash would replace them in 2 seconds. He's f'd either way.
He knows they are in trouble because Oregon and Washington are already coming (not signed yet, but will be). And if Notre Dame finally agrees, Stanford will come too. The plan was never to keep 2 teams out west in the Big Ten. It was to have a pod of teams that would keep travel costs lower.

It is hard to see the Pac 10 fall apart like it is, but its on its deathbed.
 

Panthadad2

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The PAC is competitive in most non-revenue sports, and they have good programs in basketball. I don't think anyone denies that. They also have solid top 25 programs in football, and USC can be at an Ohio State level with the right admin and coaching staff.

Hence why the Big Ten wants USC.


Those two schools (+ UCLA) approached the Big Ten to come over as a package. The Big Ten didn't go seek them out. The Big Ten said "sounds good to us!"

You are correct. I just looked up the Director's Cup standings and UCLA is #15. That's the thing. If the PAC (specifically UCLA) is already competitive nationally now with below average compensation, then the author is not making a valid argument that they would need to increase compensation to match the BG10.
 

Panthadad2

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He knows they are in trouble because Oregon and Washington are already coming (not signed yet, but will be). And if Notre Dame finally agrees, Stanford will come too. The plan was never to keep 2 teams out west in the Big Ten. It was to have a pod of teams that would keep travel costs lower.

It is hard to see the Pac 10 fall apart like it is, but its on its deathbed.

I was thinking the same. His travel cost claims get thrown out the window too if other PAC12 teams join.
 




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