Pac-12’s Kliavkoff nonetheless calls UCLA’s exit a serious misstep

Like a degree guard attempting to pressure a turnover to finish an inconceivable rally, Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff remained on the assault Wednesday in his bid to maintain UCLA from abandoning his convention for the Massive Ten.

Kliavkoff stated at Pac-12 basketball media day that among the many greater than 100 UCLA coaches and athletes he had corresponded with in regards to the departure, there was unanimous opposition.

“I have yet to talk to anyone in the UCLA and USC community who’s in favor of the move,” Kliavkoff stated at convention headquarters, referencing the Trojans’ exit alongside their crosstown rivals scheduled for August 2024. “I will say that I probably hear from folks who are not in favor, not surprisingly.”

Reiterating what he wrote final month in a letter to the UC Board of Regents asking the governing physique to dam UCLA’s transfer, Kliavkoff stated the college would lose cash due to its departure.

“We believe between the travel and the coaches’ salaries and some of the other expenses you incur when you join the Big Ten,” Kliavkoff stated, “the small delta in the media rights deal [between the Pac-12 and the Big Ten] will be more than offset. We stand by those numbers.”

One individual acquainted with UCLA’s athletic division funds disputed Kliavkoff’s numbers, estimating the journey price will increase incurred by further chartered flights and resort nights related to arriving early at faraway websites can be greater than offset financially by the income improve.

UCLA is projected to make between $65 million and $75 million in media rights income alone throughout its first yr within the Massive Ten. Extra cash will come from School Soccer Playoff and NCAA event distributions, which have not too long ago been bigger for Massive Ten faculties than their Pac-12 counterparts primarily based on having extra groups concerned in these profitable video games.

Some expense mitigation would additionally come from neutral-site competitions for Olympic sports activities groups. The Massive Ten has assured UCLA that new scheduling fashions can be explored to assist decrease journey distances and prices. This might embody using impartial website competitors in a centrally situated metropolis comparable to Chicago or Minneapolis for Olympic sport groups over a number of days.

Requested how he would anticipate to maneuver ahead in a cooperative method with UCLA if his letter contributed to the Bruins’ needs being thwarted, Kliavkoff stated, “We’re not thwarting anyone’s wishes. It’s not our choice. It’s up to the regents, and we’re just providing information as requested.”

Readability about whether or not the regents will attempt to block the transfer is anticipated at their assembly subsequent month in San Francisco.

Kliavkoff wrote in his letter to the regents that there was “urgency” within the scenario as a result of the Pac-12 is finalizing a brand new media rights contract. Some projections have estimated that the deal might fetch between $35 million to $40 million yearly per college, although that quantity will surely rise with UCLA and the coveted Los Angeles market a part of any deal.

Kliavkoff stated the convention’s new deal would “close the gap between us and the Big Ten and the SEC [Southeastern Conference],” which he referred to as a primary step in strengthening the Pac-12 model.

“Eventually, we’ll catch those guys,” Kliavkoff stated. “It will take a couple of steps, but we’re going to take a step towards closing that gap. Then we’re going to be looking at expansion. We’re going to be looking at schools that make sense for us.”

UCLA’s Tyger Campbell, left, smiles throughout follow for the NCAA event on March 24 in Philadelphia.

(Matt Rourke / Related Press)

There was additionally a basketball season to debate, which appeared like a welcome distraction amid the lingering uncertainty over UCLA.

Successful October, by no means the aim for UCLA, continued to be an annual ritual underneath coach Mick Cronin. For the third time in as a few years, the Bruins had been picked to win the Pac-12 within the preseason media ballot.

In every of the final two seasons, they fell in need of these projections. Will this be the season that UCLA breaks via for its first regular-season convention title since 2012-13?

There’s quite a bit to love about these Bruins, beginning with level guard Tyger Campbell and small ahead Jaime Jaquez Jr. Each seniors are preseason first-team All-Pac-12 picks and will finish the season as All-Individuals. Cronin stated Campbell, who piled up 32 factors final week throughout a scrimmage victory over San Diego State, can be counted on for extra scoring this season.

He’ll be complemented by a gifted freshman class led by guards Amari Bailey and Dylan Andrews in addition to heart Adem Bona and swingman Abramo Canka. Like Campbell, Bailey and Andrews can play both guard place, including versatility and making lineups interchangeable.

Rounding out the rotation will likely be junior guard Jaylen Clark and fifth-year seniors David Singleton and Kenneth Nwuba along with two redshirt freshmen who’re coming back from critical knee accidents in large man Mac Etienne and guard Will McClendon. Cronin stated Etienne had been enjoying one-on-one and was nearer to being totally cleared than McClendon.

UCLA obtained 26 of 33 first-place votes. Defending convention champion Arizona (three first-place votes) was picked to complete second, adopted by Oregon (three), USC, Stanford (one), Colorado, Arizona State, Washington State, Washington, Utah, California and Oregon State. Media have accurately picked the Pac-12 champion 17 instances in 33 tries. The Los Angeles Instances doesn’t take part in media voting per its longstanding coverage.

UCLA has completed second, fourth and second within the Pac-12 in its three seasons underneath Cronin. The Bruins reached the convention event championship sport final season earlier than dropping to Arizona as a part of a sustained drought for the Los Angeles faculties.

“Since I’ve been in the league, USC hasn’t won the conference title or the tournament,” Oregon coach Dana Altman stated. “UCLA maybe won one tournament, one league title. Arizona’s been up there. We’ve won four conference titles. So our basketball league is going to survive” the departures of the Bruins and Trojans.

Successful a Pac-12 title or two earlier than its departure for the Massive Ten can be UCLA’s most well-liked manner of bidding the convention farewell.