Alexander: Gavin Newsom wants answers, but UCLA will still join Big Ten

The world according to Jim:

• I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that the continuing fallout from the defection of USC and (particularly) UCLA to the Big Ten has drawn Gov. Gavin Newsom into the fray, especially since he is also chair of the University of California Board of Regents. But will it make a difference? Probably not.

Newsom has taken up Cal’s banner in this case, dismayed by the secrecy with which UCLA bolted the Pac-12 and, by extension, leaving Berkeley’s athletic program in the lurch. Never mind that (a) UCLA telegraphing its intentions might have blown the deal, which might have led to (b) cutting Olympic sports and leaving its own athletes in their own lurch in order to pare a $102 million athletic budget deficit.

The governor is demanding an explanation of UCLA’s reasoning. The sentence above is a good place to start. …

• There’s not a lot the governor or the regents can do beyond maybe urge (mandate?) a financial settlement to cushion what will likely be Cal’s own budget shortfall, as the result of either staying in a diminished conference or possibly being on the outside altogether if the Pac-12 collapses. …

• Reminder: Pac-12 Media Day is next Friday at L.A. Live. You can bet there will be a lot of passive-aggressiveness directed at the defectors by the holdovers. And if you get the Pac-12 Networks, Commissioner George Kliavkoff’s opening address (probably a little…

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