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Morning Power Bar: Expansion Developments; Unionizing

We look at this week in college basketball.

Syndication: HawkCentral Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen via Imagn Content Services, LLC

This is a weekly column for BTPowerhouse that will cover a variety of Big Ten topics that might not deserve a detailed breakdown, but deserve mention. It will be similar to a news roundup with more thoughts and analysis.

So, let’s jump into our Morning Power Bar.

1. Big 12 and Pac 12 cannot reach resolution.

With UCLA and USC heading to the Big Ten, it seemed inevitable the Pac 12 would try something to resurrect itself from mid-major status. Unfortunately, the league’s first attempt at doing so seems to have come up short, with the Big 12 rejecting a potential agreement to unite the two leagues:

With that development, the focus now returns to who else will move and when. The idea the Pac 12 and Big 12 will remain as presently constructed seems incredibly unlikely. It’s just unclear who might be the next pillar to fall. Keep an eye on Stanford, who could join Notre Dame in a move to a conference.

2. Could the State of California block UCLA’s move to the Big Ten?

Considering the magnitude of the move for UCLA and USC to the Big Ten, you knew there were going to be some negative reactions. Well, it looks like California’s Governor had some strong takes on the move last week, claiming he would be exploring legal options to block the move altogether.

Obviously, those are the kind of comments that are going to grab a lot of headlines. It’s not often you see a powerful potential like Newsom going after one of the state’s flagship universities, especially a school as prestigious as UCLA. They’re notable comments.

With that said, it’s hard to feel like this is anything but political pandering. While we’ve seen some miscalculations before, it’s hard to believe UCLA and the Big Ten went down this path without some plan on public pushback. Additionally, based on the fact Newsom didn’t outline any specifics in his statements, it’s fair to speculate he’s making these assertions without any firm footing. All told, don’t expect much to come out of this.

3. Could the Big Ten be unionizing?

We all knew NIL would have a massive impact on college athletics moving forward, but it looks like it might even go further in the months ahead. Penn State players are currently leading an effort to unionize college athletics and are demanding revenue sharing and benefit improvements for players.

While it’s still unclear how far this could go, it’s clearly significant. Penn State’s football program is a money making machine and having their players join a union is a significant first step. If this expands, it has a chance to turn college sports on its head.


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