UC regents order UCLA to pay $10 million annually in 'Calimony' for three years (2024)

The University of California regents on Tuesday ordered the school to pay conference rival California a maximum $10-million annual subsidy for leaving the Pac-12, but in a temporary triumph for UCLA, for only half of the previously proposed period.

By a vote of 7-1, the regents’ special committee on athletics endorsed the plan for UCLA pay Cal for each of the next three years — instead of six — because of a projected $50-million-per-year disparity in the schools’ athletic revenue with UCLA joining the Big Ten Conference.

The regents said they intended to revisit the payment amount halfway through UCLA’s six-year contract with the Big Ten that ends in 2029-30. They also agreed that any change in revenue or expenses for UCLA or Cal exceeding 10% of the 2024-25 figures would trigger immediate discussions to adjust the payment amount.


The measure still has to be approved by the full board of regents Thursday, though that’s expected to be a formality.

UC president Michael V. Drake had recommended that UCLA make the $10-million payment through the full duration of the school’s Big Ten contract. The eight-figure payment the regents approved represented the high end of the $2-million-to-$10-million range they discussed in December 2022 as part of their efforts to help close the gap in athletic revenue between the schools.

Regent Keith Ellis, who represented the lone dissenting vote, said during the open session held at UC Merced that the payments set an unwarranted precedent.

“We historically haven’t done anything like this,” Ellis said, “where we take from one campus and give to another, playing, I guess, Robin Hood.”

It’s likely that college sports will look vastly different by the time the regents revisit UCLA’s subsidy. Athletes could soon be considered employees of their universities with revenue-sharing agreements in place that drastically alter the way athletic departments operate.

“The landscape is so turbulent,” Cal chancellor Carol Christ said. “We’re going to have very difficult choices ahead.”


UCLA is being forced to pay the subsidy known as “Calimony” after announcing in June 2022 that it was leaving the Pac-12 alongside USC for the Big Ten and a far more lucrative media-rights deal starting this August. Oregon and Washington subsequently decided to join their Southern California counterparts in the Big Ten, further contributing to the dissolution of the Pac-12.

Cal later agreed to join Stanford and Southern Methodist as part of an expanded Atlantic Coast Conference while taking a reduced share of the conference’s media-rights deal.

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UCLA, which was represented at the regents meeting by athletic director Martin Jarmond, is expected to make roughly $60 million a year in media-rights revenue compared to only around $11 million for Cal during its first seven years of ACC membership. The Golden Bears will receive larger percentages of conference revenue over the next two years before getting a full share in Year 10.

Critics of the “Calimony” payments that will total at least $30 million feel UCLA is being unfairly punished for seeking the best deal to secure its own future as part of a rapidly changing college sports landscape. Should the Bruins bear the responsibility for being proactive, not to mention a more coveted commodity than the Golden Bears?

Student regent Merhawi Tesfai, a UCLA graduate student who is seeking master’s degree in social welfare and public policy, said he could not support the maximum payment for an indefinite period given the inevitable collapse of the Pac-12.

“I think we’re essentially hurting UCLA as they go to a more competitive conference,” Tesfai said, “on top of the impacts that have been put on Berkeley going to the ACC.”


A $10-million annual payment could put UCLA at a competitive disadvantage in its new conference, particularly when it’s added to a yearly tab as high as $10.32 million that the school has committed to spending on enhanced nutrition, mental health and academic tutoring for athletes in addition to more chartered flights to mitigate travel challenges.

The subsidy also represents a setback for an athletic department that has run up $167.7 million in debt since the 2019 fiscal year, spurring the move to the Big Ten that will provide value beyond the media-rights deal. UCLA also is expected to receive a larger share of College Football Playoff revenue as well as more money from NCAA tournament distributions based on the Big Ten’s recent success in both events.

Now some of that money will be headed to Berkeley, which faces its own massive deficit. Christ said her school’s athletic department was using a five-pronged approach to improve its bottom line by centralizing athletic scholarships in the financial aid office; raising a $100-million endowment for Olympic sports; increasing the revenues generated from Memorial Stadium via more income-producing events; dissolving some funds functioning as endowments and increasing the takeout of athletic endowments to the maximum; and using the UCLA subsidy.

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UC regents order UCLA to pay $10 million annually in 'Calimony' for three years (2024)


UC regents order UCLA to pay $10 million annually in 'Calimony' for three years? ›

UC regents committee orders UCLA to pay UC Berkeley $10M per year for 3 years. UCLA could pay the University of California at Berkeley $10 million a year for three years instead of six as a result of the Bruins' upcoming move to the Big Ten and the demise of the Pac-12.

Why is UCLA paying Cal? ›

By a vote of 7-1, the regents' special committee on athletics endorsed the plan for UCLA pay Cal for each of the next three years — instead of six — because of a projected $50-million-per-year disparity in the schools' athletic revenue with UCLA joining the Big Ten Conference.

Why does UCLA have to pay UC Berkeley? ›

The University of California's governing board on Thursday ordered UCLA to pay UC Berkeley $30 million over three years to make up for leaving its rival campus behind in the collapsing Pac-12 athletic conference.

Is UCLA public or private? ›

Overview. University of California, Los Angeles is a public institution that was founded in 1919. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 32,423 (fall 2022), its setting is urban, and the campus size is 419 acres. It utilizes a quarter-based academic calendar.

What is UCLA known for? ›

The University of California, Los Angeles, more commonly known as UCLA, is one of the most prestigious and well-known universities in the United States. Established in 1919, UCLA has a rich history and a reputation for academic excellence, research, and a vibrant campus culture.

Why is USC so much more expensive than UCLA? ›

The private versus public school experience

Perhaps the most important distinction between USC and UCLA is the fact that one is a private institution and the other is a public institution, respectively. For students, that will show up most in the price tag.

Are the UC regents paid? ›

No Regent shall receive salary or other compensation for service as a Regent, nor shall any Regent, other than the President of the University, be eligible for compensated employment or appointment in any University-affiliated position.

Is UCLA as prestigious as Berkeley? ›

Both institutions frequently appear in top national and global university rankings. Berkeley takes the world number 10 spot while UCLA ranks 29th (QS WUR, 2024).

Is UCLA the hardest UC to get into? ›

It should come as no surprise that UCLA tops the list. With the lowest number of admitted students in the bustling metropolis of Los Angeles, UCLA has rigorous admissions standards. You might be surprised to note that the most selective major for the fall 2023 class was Nursing, with an acceptance rate of only .

Is UCLA free for California residents? ›

Graduate & Professional Tuition

Tuition and fees for most doctoral and master's programs are about $16,847 per year for California residents, and about $31,949 annually for non-California residents. Tuition and fees vary from these amounts for professional degrees and self-supporting degrees.

Is Harvard or UCLA better? ›

Academic focus: Harvard is known for its excellent liberal arts education, as well as its prestigious professional schools and commitment to research. UCLA is a leading public research university with a wide range of strong programs that may feel slightly more pre-professional.

What is the #1 university in the world? ›

World University Rankings
1Harvard UniversityNorth America
2Stanford UniversityNorth America
3California Institute of Technology (Caltech)North America
4Peking UniversityAsia
52 more rows

Is UCLA like an Ivy League? ›

Although UCLA might be mistaken for an Ivy League school because of its strong academic reputation and highly competitive admissions process, it's important to recognize that the Ivy League designation applies specifically to the aforementioned eight schools.

Why is UCLA so prestigious? ›

With 16 Nobel Laureates, 15 MacArthur Fellows, 120 NCAA championships and more Olympic medals than most nations, UCLA has become a household name synonymous with academic and athletic excellence.

Who is the most famous person to go to UCLA? ›

The Most Famous Alumni of UCLA
  • Randy Newman.
  • James Horner.
  • Carol Burnett.
  • Jackie Robinson.
  • Steve Martin.
  • Helen Hunt.
  • John Williams.
  • Ready to follow in the footsteps of these alumni?
Jun 7, 2024

Is it harder to get into USC or UCLA? ›

USC and UCLA are top-tier schools in the country, despite some differences in their statistics and admission rates. For example, UCLA receives more applicants than USC, albeit with a lower acceptance rate of 9%.

Is UCLA funded by the state of California? ›

Sources. The majority of general funds are provided by state funding as indicated in the California state budget.

Is UCLA connected to Cal? ›

UCLA is part of the University of California (UC) system, which traces its origins to 1868 when Governor Henry H. Haight signed the Organic Act that provided for the first California “complete university.” Classes began the next year at the College of California in Oakland.

Is Cal or UCLA more prestigious? ›

Both institutions frequently appear in top national and global university rankings. Berkeley takes the world number 10 spot while UCLA ranks 29th (QS WUR, 2024).

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