Read the Pac-12 letter to the University of California Regents


We know from published medical research from the National Institutes of Health, studies from the NCAA, and from interviews with our own student-athlete leaders that significant additional travel, including repeated travel across 3 time zones, impacts the physical and mental well-being of student-athletes. Impacting Athletes -Being and their academic aspirations. These increased travel demands require exercise students to travel across multiple time zones on a regular basis, disrupting sleep, mood, and physical and cognitive function for days after travel, with cascading personal repercussions. In fact, a common medical guideline is that it takes a body one day to adjust to each time zone crossed. Our calculations are based on nine of UCLA’s teams with regular conference travel schedules (football, men’s and women’s basketball, women’s volleyball, women’s soccer, baseball, men’s and women’s tennis, and softball). will fly 159% more air miles and drive 44% more bus groundmills than today in the Pac-12. Longer flight and bus times add up over the season, resulting in fewer days on campus with their fellow students focused on education. Even if UCLA athletics decides to charter more flights, UCLA student-athletes will, on average, face twice as many absentee days from campus. 2. Significant hardships for the families of UCLA student-athletes and UCLA alumni In addition to the travel difficulties for student-athletes, we are also concerned about the significant additional burden that UCLA’s decision places on families of student-athletes and loyal, dedicated alumni. With almost all conference games taking place at least 2,000 miles from campus, families of UCLA students have to make longer and more expensive trips to watch their children compete. 70 percent of UCLA grads live on the West Coast and face similar travel and expenses to see the Bruins at away games. 3. Significant negative impact on UCLA’s spending For all the explanations in hindsight, UCLA’s decision to join the Big Ten was clearly financially motivated after the UCLA athletic department managed to rake in more than $100 million in debt over the past three fiscal years to accumulate UCLA’s financial backing as the impetus for its decision was widely touted in the media and public discourse. While it is true that the Big Ten Conference recently announced a major media rights deal, the Big Ten’s payouts to its member schools in the near future will be larger than the payouts available to Pac-12 schools from the Pac-12 Conference standing, UCLA’s membership in the Big Ten will also require significant additional spending for the athletic department. By our estimates, UCLA’s additional travel expenses, competitive salaries and match guarantee expenses will more than offset ALL the additional revenue UCLA will generate from the Big Ten’s media rights deal. UCLA currently spends about $8.1 million a year on its teams traveling to attend the Pac-12 conference. UCLA will increase its team travel expenses by 100% when flying commercially in the Big Ten ($8.1 million per year), 160% more when chartering half the time ($13.1 million per year), and by 290%. increase as each flight is chartered ($23.7 million increase per year). Travel aside, we also expect UCLA to increase spending to compete with the average Big Ten athletic department. Based on UCLA’s most recent spending, normalized for the average budget and size of the Big Ten athletic departments, UCLA needs to increase head coach salaries and bonuses by 19%, assistant coach salaries by 13%, and guaranteed spend by 122% . and its administrator salaries by 27%. That equates to roughly $15 million in additional annual spending just to compete with an “average” Big Ten budget. Finally, UCLA will likely face further increased annual expenses to compete as a member of the Big Ten in marketing, fundraising, recruiting and gaming operations. Any financial gains UCLA will make by joining the Big Ten will ultimately go to airlines and charter companies, administrators’ and coaches’ salaries, and other recipients, rather than providing additional resources to student-athletes. 360 3rd Street, 3rd Floor 11 San Francisco, California 415.580.4200 Pac-12.com

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