Advocacy group asks UC regents to dam UCLA’s transfer to Big Ten

A brand new voice has joined the small however vocal refrain opposing UCLA’s transfer to the Big Ten Convention.

Ramogi Huma, a former Bruins linebacker who serves as government director of the Nationwide School Gamers Assn., despatched a letter to the College of California regents on Wednesday asking them to dam UCLA’s deliberate exit from the Pac-12 Convention in August 2024.

Huma described the transfer as a “short-sighted money grab” that might hurt school athletes, citing tutorial, racial and psychological well being issues whereas additionally contending that athletic director Martin Jarmond would high a tiny group of beneficiaries.

“Not all money is good money,” Huma wrote. “The Regents should not let a handful of people sell the soul of the UCLA athletics program for TV dollars that will be spent on luxury boxes in stadiums and lavish salaries for a few.”

Huma’s letter comes because the regents put together to render their verdict on UCLA’s departure throughout a gathering on the college scheduled for Dec. 14; the regents have stated they maintain the authority to dam the transfer and have spent the previous couple of months weighing their issues over athlete well-being and the adversarial affect on UC Berkeley versus the monetary windfall that might accompany UCLA’s exodus for the Big Ten.

Along with repeating a number of the issues voiced by Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff, who has talked about the pressure of elevated journey and missed class time as causes for UCLA to remain put, Huma added a racial element. The letter acknowledged that the commencement fee amongst UCLA’s Black athletes is 50%, in contrast with 73% for all Black college students, whereas including that athletes comprise 28% of the college’s Black male inhabitants, versus white male athletes making up simply 2% of that racial and gender group’s inhabitants.

“Allowing UCLA to move to the Big Ten will adversely affect 28% of the total Black male students,” Huma wrote, “compared to only 2% of total White male students.”

The letter additionally cited federal commencement charges for the college’s baseball gamers at 67%.

“There is nothing that UCLA can do to justify the move to the Big Ten given this data,” Huma wrote. “UCLA’s move to the Big Ten is nothing but a money grab that will increase the longstanding racial exploitation of UCLA’s Black male students.”

In keeping with the letter, among the many most closely affected athletes can be these from lower-income households who couldn’t afford airplane tickets and lodge stays for relations that might be required by membership in a coast-to-coast convention.

Moreover, the letter acknowledged, the Bruins’ possibilities of profitable convention titles would lower in a convention with 16 groups versus one with 12, rising the frequency of teaching turnover and resulting in extra buyouts just like the roughly $12 million UCLA gave coach Jim Mora upon his dismissal in 2017.

Concerning UCLA’s competition that it must minimize Olympic sports activities ought to it stay within the Pac-12, the letter stated the college’s athletic division may minimize from different areas such because the lavish buyouts and $5.4 million it as soon as spent on soccer meals in a fiscal yr.

“UCLA does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem,” Huma wrote. “UCLA is fully capable to preserving all sports if it remains in the Pac-12. If the Regents are concerned that UCLA may cut sports if the Big Ten move is blocked, the Regents should block UCLA’s ability to cut sports instead of allowing UCLA to drag its entire athletic program to the other side of the country for games.”

Whereas acknowledging that Big Ten membership would generate further income — some estimates have UCLA pocketing between $65 million and $75 million in media rights income alone within the first yr — Huma questioned the place that cash would go, itemizing the athletic director, soccer coach and males’s basketball coach with out naming them immediately.

“It will also lead to the additional hiring of an ever-increasing athletic administration staff,” Huma wrote, alluding to UCLA acknowledging that it could must spend at the very least $10 million extra to offer enhanced diet, journey, tutorial help and psychological well being providers. “It will benefit construction companies who will build the next gold-plated facility.”

The letter additionally inspired the regents to impose geographical limitations on convention membership to keep away from most of the points the college faces. Quoting statistics from a survey UCLA just lately performed, the letter acknowledged issues about 38% of the college’s athletes reporting not having sufficient info to find out whether or not the deliberate convention swap was good or unhealthy.

“I do not believe that UCLA athletes have the factual information contained in this letter, but I’m sure most or all heard UCLA’s proclamation that the conference move is good,” Huma wrote. “The Regents should consider this before making a decision.”