The University of California’s governing board is scheduled to gather in Westwood next week to deliberate UC Berkeley’s proposed transition to the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) for the 2023-24 season. As reported by Jon Wilner of The Mercury News, this move could have financial repercussions for all UC schools.
Wilner humorously points out that the chosen location for this meeting is fitting, as the governing board is expected to contemplate imposing a subsidy on the Bruins, humorously referred to as the “Berkeley tax” or “Cal-imony.” This light-hearted jest adds a touch of levity to the discussion.
A detailed description of the proposal reveals that UCLA’s potential payment to Cal could fall within the range of $2 million to $10 million. Notably, Stanford is also making a departure from the Pac-12 conference in favor of the ACC, raising questions about the wisdom of Berkeley’s decision.
The potential financial implications of UC Berkeley’s move to the ACC are significant. The governing board’s meeting in Westwood will serve as a platform to assess the feasibility and impact of this transition. The “Berkeley tax” is an intriguing concept that raises eyebrows, considering its potential to affect the finances of both UCLA and Cal.
As UC Berkeley explores the possibility of joining the ACC, it raises questions about the financial stability of the entire UC system. The proposed subsidy from UCLA to Cal could be a substantial financial burden, potentially affecting the quality of education and services across the UC schools.
Stanford’s decision to follow a similar path and join the ACC further complicates the landscape. With multiple schools considering this move, the Pac-12 conference faces uncertainty. The departure of UC Berkeley and Stanford could have a ripple effect on the conference’s financial health.
Jon Wilner’s criticism of UC Berkeley’s decision is not unwarranted. The short-sightedness of the move, as pointed out by Wilner, has significant financial implications that need careful consideration. The governing board’s meeting will provide an opportunity to evaluate the pros and cons of this transition.
“Because the session is closed to the public, the regents won’t vote on whether to eventually force UCLA to turn a portion of its Big Ten jackpot into an annual ‘contribution’ to Cal’s athletic department. But sources believe it will be discussed in detail,” Wilner writes. “The controversial issue first surfaced last summer, after UCLA announced it would enter the Big Ten in 2024 (along with USC) and leave its sister campus behind. Expecting the depleted Pac-12 to lose significant media revenue without the Los Angeles market, the regents voted in December to retain the authority to force the Westwood campus to subsidize Berkeley.”
In conclusion, the University of California’s governing board is set to meet in Westwood to discuss UC Berkeley’s potential transition to the ACC. The “Berkeley tax” concept adds a touch of humor to the serious financial questions raised by this move. The impact on UC schools’ finances, the departure of Stanford, and the broader implications for the Pac-12 conference will be central topics of discussion during the meeting.
“Instead of the $25 million to $30 million they would have received annually from the Pac-12 — or as a full-share member of the ACC — the Bears are staring at just seven figures in media rights revenue into the early 2030s,” Milner notes. “This, for an athletic department that requires more than $20 million annually from central campus just to balance its books.”