LOS ANGELES (AP) — UCLA cleared a major hurdle toward joining the Big Ten Conference in 2024, getting approval for the move from the University of California Board of Regents on Wednesday.
The regents voted 11-5 to affirm the Bruins’ move during a special meeting on the university’s Westwood campus. A simple majority was needed to pass.
“We’ve always been guided by what is best for our 25 teams and more than 700 student-athletes,” UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond said after the vote. “The Big Ten offers exciting new competitive opportunities on a bigger national media platform for our student-athletes to compete and showcase their talent.”
The regents imposed conditions to mitigate the impact of the move on athletes, including UCLA investing an additional $12 million in nutritional support, mental health services, academic support while traveling and charter flights to reduce travel time.
Richard Leib, chair of the Board of Regents, said it was important to make a decision given UCLA’s ongoing recruiting efforts and the Pac-12 Conference’s negotiations for a new media rights deal.
“We spent an inordinate amount of time into trying to make a reasonable decision. I’m pleased with how we did it,” Leib said. “I think in the end people will be pleased with it and excited about it.”