Cal Baseball Will Not Be Saved

February 11, 2011
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Three Other Sports To Be Saved…

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From the San Francisco Chronicle

UC Berkeley officials announced Friday that three sports slated for termination at the end of the 2010-11 school year, men’s rugby, women’s lacrosse and women’s gymnastics, will be preserved. Baseball and men’s gymnastics will be eliminated.

Fundraising on behalf of the three sports to be preserved was the determining factor, university officials said, while noting that fundraising by baseball and men’s gymnastics were not up to established criteria.

“It was determined that pledges for baseball and men’s gymnastics fell short of the criteria provided to potential donors,” the university said in a statement. “Both programs would have needed to raise multiples of what they actually did raise to meet our criteria.”

A total of $12-13 million was raised in the “Save Cal Sports” campaign, nearly $6 million of it coming from rugby supporters. Baseball contributed $1.5 to $2 million, and it is the most costly Cal sport, relying on the university’s general fund for about $1 million annually.

Cal officials said that while baseball will not be back in 2012, it could return in the future if enough money is raised on its behalf.

Title IX also was a factor in the decision. Earlier this week, a report in the New York Times said that Cal’s original plan to cut four sports and demote rugby to varsity club status would put Cal out of compliance with the federal gender-equity law, forcing further cuts to men’s roster spots. The article said that Cal would have to cut 80 men from remaining teams and add 50 women to come into line with Title IX.

A Cal spokesman told The Chronicle that the Times’ numbers were accurate.

Now that Cal is not cutting any women’s sports, it will remain in compliance with Title IX without any adjustments to remaining rosters.

The original plan to trim sports, announced in September 2010, was called a cost-cutting move. UC Berkeley would like to hold its outlay to the athletics department to $5 million dollars a year by 2014. It has been about $13 million annually. Cal officials believe that the fundraising effort mounted since September is enough to keep the university’s contribution to athletics at a sustainable level for the next 7-10 years, while fundraising efforts continue.

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