Saturday, May 18

UC Board of Regents authorizes $10 million yearly payment from UCLA to UC Berkeley

California Memorial Stadium, where UC Berkeley’s football team plays, is pictured. The UC Board of Regents Special Committee on Athletics authorized a payment of $10 million a year from UCLA to UC Berkeley. (Daily Bruin file photo)

Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly stated that the UC Board of Regents Special Committee on Athletics approved the transfer of $10 million a year from UC Berkeley to UCLA in a sentence. In fact, the transfer of $10 million a year is from UCLA to UC Berkeley.

This post was updated May 14 at 11:31 p.m.

MERCED – The UC Board of Regents Special Committee on Athletics voted to authorize the transfer of $10 million a year from UCLA to UC Berkeley from 2024-2025 through 2026-2027, revisiting the financial support in 2027-2028. 

The vote comes in the wake of UCLA leaving the Pac-12 to join the Big Ten, a decision the Board of Regents approved in December 2022.

Berkeley announced in September 2023 that it will join the Atlantic Coast Conference in September 2024, preceding the dissolution of the Pac-12.

In an 8-1 vote, the committee approved the yearly payment of $10 million from UCLA to UC Berkeley. The money will be transferred gradually from the 2024-2025 to the 2026-2027 academic years. Alumni Regent Keith Ellis was the one vote against the proposal.

Nathan Brostrom, the executive vice president of the UC, said the rationale behind the payment comes from a projected revenue difference for UCLA and UC Berkeley of $50 million after the two schools left the Pac-12. He added that the conference moves would lead to an overall increase in revenue across the UC system.

Although the original proposal would have spread the payment out until 2029-2030, Chair Richard Leib passed an amendment changing it to 2026-2027. When he proposed the amendment, multiple committee members cited the unpredictable nature of the college sports landscape.

In line with the original proposal, the payments will also be reviewed if revenues of either campus athletics program differ from their projections by more than 10%.

Mark Robinson, a UC Regent, also said the regents initially allowed UCLA to join the conference because of fears other universities would take spots in the Big Ten instead. 

“We delayed as long as we could in order for a better deal to show up,” he said. “We did that out of the fear that if we kept UCLA back, some other school would go.” 

Members of the Regents Special Committee on Athletics met Tuesday at UC Merced. (Sam Mulick/Daily Bruin)

UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ – who retires in June – said the first payment also would not likely be received until the 2025-2026 academic year because of how long it takes for universities to process finances. She added that UC Berkeley maximized stadium revenues on campus and increased athletic endowments to further secure her campus’ athletics financial future. 

“There’s this payment from UCLA that reflects the stark inequity of the media deals we were either able to complete or join as a consequence of the Pac-12 collapsing,” Christ said in the meeting.

Student Regent Merhawi Tesfai – also a graduate student in social welfare at UCLA – said on the committee that he believes the payment is unfair. Brostrom also said UCLA is facing increased expenses associated with the program’s move, adding that he believed the Pac-12 would have collapsed even if UCLA had not withdrawn.

“We’re effectively hurting UCLA as they move to a more competitive conference,” Tesfai said.

Features and student life editor

Winward is the 2023-2024 features and student life editor. He was previously a News reporter for campus politics and features and student life. He is also a second-year English literature and statistics student.

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