Bill Walton is not a fan of UCLA joining the Big Ten.
The Bruins are slated to join the powerhouse conference starting in 2024, and while lots of people are pumped, the legendary UCLA basketball player isn't among them.
In fact, he sounds incredibly disappointed that it's going to happen.
"I am not in favor of UCLA's recent announced decision to leave the Pac-12 Conference of Champions, nor their desire to join the Big 10 I don't like this attempted move, I don't support it, I hope it does not happen I don't believe that joining the Big 10 is in the best interest of UCLA, its students, its athletes, its alumni, its fans, the rest of the UC system, the State of California, or the world at large," Walton said in a statement to John Canzano (via ESPN).
He further added, "I went to UCLA - gladly, willingly, and proudly, it was my dream, that dream never included the Big 10. I have spoken to no one, other than the highest-level directors of athletics at UCLA, who think that this proposed move to the Big 10 is a good idea."
Walton also expressed his belief the move is being made because of football and money. That, of course, is 100% true.
Should Bill Walton be upset with UCLA making the move?
While it's clear Walton is passionate about the issue, he might want to recognize this is likely going to be a huge positive for the Bruins.
UCLA's athletic department is reportedly north of $100 million in the hole. Staying in the PAC-12 with marginal revenue streams isn't going to help the program survive.
Football and men's basketball will survive no matter what, but what about all of UCLA's other sports? If Walton truly loves the Bruins, he should recognize this move will save all the sports that don't make money. For the record, that's almost all of them.
Sometimes, it's hard to see what's good for you in the moment. We're all biased and many people allow emotions to cloud their judgement. That's just a fact.
With enough time, people will recognize the upside to UCLA joining the B1G. The program will be swimming in money, all sports will benefit and the national brand will grow. It might not feel that way now for Bill Walton, but he should keep an open mind.