California board of trustees allows UCLA to join Big Ten, with strings attached

UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ, who had hoped the regents would block UCLA’s move, brushed shoulders with reporters as she walked away from the meeting immediately after the meeting. “I have nothing to say,” she said.

Lark Park, one of five regents who voted against ratification, said “it doesn’t suit me” but declined to elaborate. According to Leib, those who oppose the deal do so for philosophical reasons. “Some people who feel like putting the genie back in the bottle and trying to get UCLA back into the Pac-12 would be better off are my guesses,” he said.

It might seem symbolic that the vote took place on UCLA’s Ruskin Center campus, next to the football team’s practice field and basketball court, in the historic Pauley Pavilion — but it was a coincidence. A special meeting had previously been scheduled for Wednesday to address the health services board.

For a process that has dragged on longer than many directors — and UCLA, Pac-12 and Big Ten officials — expected, it’s fitting that Wednesday’s meeting must overcome its own unexpected hurdles.

The meeting was delayed for two hours by protesters representing striking academic workers, who twice interrupted it by chanting slogans and sitting on the floor refusing to leave until police handcuffed them and led them out. Wednesday marks a month since the strike, which has affected about 48,000 employees across the sprawling university system.

A total of 14 protesters were arrested Wednesday for trespassing.

Hundreds of protesters, including a man playing an accordion, carried picket signs, chanted slogans and marched around the Ruskin Center, which is surrounded by a makeshift chain-link fence and reinforced by police and campus security personnel.

The board’s decision ends a drama that began on June 30, when USC and UCLA sent shockwaves through college sports when they announced they would join the Pac-12 in the Big Ten.

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