UCLA directed to provide additional resources for student-athlete support as condition for its move to Big 10 conference

Over the past six months, University of California leaders have engaged in robust public discussions about UCLA’s planned move to the Big Ten Conference and its implications for UC student-athletes. These conversations focused on questions raised by Governor Gavin Newsom and other members of the UC Board of Regents regarding the impact of a proposed change in conferences by UCLA on the well-being of UC’s student-athletes and the need to address those concerns.

As a result of these discussions, the UC Board of Regents today (Dec. 14) directed UCLA to dedicate additional resources from conference-associated revenues to support UC student-athletes as a condition for joining the Big Ten Conference. This support, to be provided by UCLA with oversight from the UC Office of the President, will include enhanced academic and nutritional support and expanded mental health resources for UCLA student-athletes while they are on campus and on the road. In addition, under the terms of the action taken today, UCLA was also directed to provide expanded resources from their conference revenues to support student-athletes at UC Berkeley throughout this transition.

“The University of California is deeply grateful for the guidance and input provided by Governor Gavin Newsom, the UC Regents, UC student-athletes, and community members in open board meetings, surveys, and other discussions on this issue,” said UC President Michael V. Drake. “This additional support will help our student athletes thrive in the classroom, in their communities, and on the playing field. Today’s action reflects the extensive input of the UC community and the University’s deep commitment to supporting our student-athletes as scholars and as competitors, now and in the future.”

This direction came as part of the UC Board of Regents’ formal action affirming UCLA’s planned move to the Big Ten Conference, enabling UCLA to continue planning for its athletics programs in 2024 and beyond, including recruitment of student-athletes and scheduling of competitions.

The Board of Regents approved the implementation of the mitigation measures aimed at better supporting student athletes through increased support for travel mitigation, academic support, nutritional support, and mental health service as a condition of endorsing UCLA’s decision to become a member of the Big Ten Conference:

  • UCLA may proceed with its planned membership in the Big Ten Conference on condition that it implement the mitigation measures described below;
  • Travel Mitigation--UCLA will adopt and implement annual plans to mitigate the travel impacts of its membership in the Big Ten Conference; such plans will take into account the competition schedule for each athletic team and shall be designed to reduce the burden of travel on student-athletes to levels comparable to the burden they would have experienced had UCLA continued its membership in the Pac-12 Conference; these mitigation strategies shall also include enhanced education for student-athletes and coaches around sleep, mental health, and physiology, which would guide nutrition, practice, and competition schedules during and after travel and will be reviewed for compliance with this provision by the Office of the President;
  • Increased Academic Support--UCLA will increase budgeted student-athlete academic support beyond levels established for the 2023-2024 fiscal year in an amount not less than $1.5 million; such academic support shall include additional learning specialists, the expansion of summer bridge programming for student-athletes, and direct stipends to student-athletes for investment in learning technology;
  • Nutritional Support--UCLA will increase budgeted student-athlete nutritional support beyond  levels established for the 2023-2024 fiscal year in an amount not less than $4.3 million; such support shall include guaranteed breakfast and lunch availability on campus for all UCLA student-athletes, professional dietician services, and funds not less than $250,000 set aside for additional nutritious meals while traveling; 
  • Mental Health Services--UCLA will increase budgeted student-athlete mental health services beyond levels established for the 2023-2024 fiscal year in an amount not less than $562,800; such support shall include additional mental health service providers for student-athletes and education programs around stress management, sleep, disordered eating, and other conditions;
  • UCLA will work with the UCLA Division of the Academic Senate to request that faculty provide appropriate accommodations and access to remote courses and online materials to student-athletes, and will engage Student Affairs in facilitating conversations between student-athletes and faculty members;
  • UCLA will collect information on an annual basis from student-athletes concerning their experiences with mental health services provided by UCLA, particularly with regard to wait times;
  • UCLA will conduct an annual survey of student-athletes to ensure the mitigation measures described in this item are sufficient and to identify any additional areas of support that may be needed. Results of such survey shall be shared with the President of the University;
  • The requirements of Paragraphs 1 to 8 shall be effective starting July 1, 2024 (the beginning of the University’s fiscal year) and shall continue until the expiration or termination of the Big Ten Conference New Member Agreement executed by UCLA on or about July 13, 2022, or earlier, if UCLA ceases to be a member of the Big Ten Conference, in which case these requirements will be reviewed and may be modified, as appropriate, by approval of the Board of Regents;
  • UCLA will establish a reserve fund with the Office of the President in the amount of $2.5 million to be used to supplement the amounts specified in this item, if the mitigation measures are determined to be insufficient; such reserve fund shall be established no later than July 1, 2024 and shall remain in place until the earlier of June 30, 2026, or until UCLA ceases to be a member of the Big Ten Conference;
  • The President will return to the Regents at a future meeting, after Pac-12 media agreements are finalized, with a recommendation for a contribution by UCLA to the Berkeley campus in the range of $2 million to $10 million, to be used to enhance student-athlete support at that campus. Such recommendation will be based on the best available information on projected revenues for both campuses.

Summary of investments in enhancing the student-athlete experience
UCLA estimates, UCOP recommendations, and total commitment

Summary of investments in enhancing the student-athlete experience
  Summary of original UCLA estimate Additional enhancements recommended by UCOP Total commitment
Travel improvements

$4.62 to $5.79 million

Additional charter flights to reduce time spent traveling

Additional $35,000

Investment in enhancing student-athlete comfort while traveling

$4.66 to 5.83 million

Nutritional support

$2.93 million

Increase availability of breakfasts and lunches on campus to 400 student-athletes and to increase the number of staff dieticians

Additional $1.375 million

Investment to ensure meal availability to all student-athletes and to bolster nutrition while traveling

$4.31 million

Academic support

$1.04 million

Increase the number of learning specialists, expand summer bridge enrollment, and technology stipends for student-athletes

Additional $460,525

Further increase the number of learning specialists. Additional engagement with the UCLA Division of the Academic Senate to address accommodations for student-athletes

$1.50 million

Mental health services


Increase the number of mental health service providers available to student-athletes

Annual data collection on wait times for mental health services and student-athlete satisfaction with service availability



$9.15 to 10.32 million

$ 1.87 million added

$11.03 to 12.20 million