A joke is not a thing but a process, a trick you play on the listener's mind. You start him off toward a plausible goal, and then by a sudden twist you land him nowhere at all or just where he didn't expect to go. Max Forrester Eastman
The Cal athletic department may have to get by on less support from the university than in past years. $5 million less. Read more here.
Now a group of eight faculty and alumni recommends that the institution cut its financial support of athletics by more than half, to $5-million annually, with further reductions in years to come. And while acknowledging that Berkeley's athletics program brings in much-needed cohesiveness and philanthropic support, the group is calling on the athletic director, Sandy Barbour, to make "immediate and meaningful changes" in managing the costs of Cal athletics.
The report faulted the athletics department for three "structural factors" that have, along with fallout from the recession, contributed to the gap: a lack of budgetary controls, participation in a "competitive spending race" that drives up salaries and investment in amenities, and a failure to fully capitalize on philanthropic support.
I found the following to be very interesting:
Scott Biddy, vice chancellor for university relations, was quoted in the report as estimating that a "significantly degraded" athletics program could trigger losses in donations to academics of up to 10 percent, or nearly $25-million in annual giving.
Y'all know swimming alumni tend to give generously. They do, that is, until programs are cut. Ask universities that dropped swimming how much financial support they've received since from former swimmers. I'll bet it's dropped to nearly nothing.
Finally, there's the "if we cut programs, how do we decide who gets the ax?" issue:
If the Chancellor does opt to reduce teams, we suggest that IA employ the following criteria, taken directly from the mission statement of athletics, for deciding which teams should be retained:
o record of athletic success, o the success and integrity of the academic programs of team members o the extent to which the team is or can readily become self funded o compliance with the provisions of Title IX
I know you've heard it before, but check out William Tucker's take on Rosin's recent Atlantic Monthly article. If you've got a few minutes to spare, read it here.
When boys arrive at elite colleges they are likely to be subjected to "orientation programs" in which they learn they have spent all their lives oppressing women and that all their natural impulses are now illegal. They will soon find the swim team, the wrestling squad or some other favorite sport no longer exists because, under Title IX, not enough girls would go out for equivalent sports.
The latest development has been the elimination of walk-ons -- non-scholarship athletes who have not been recruited in high school but try out anyway hoping to make the team. The evil prototype here is Rudy, the 1993 movie about Rudy Ruettiger, a Notre Dame football walk-on who sat on the bench for four years before being allowed in for one play -- and sacked the quarterback. Almost all walk-ons are men. This upsets the one-to-one gender balance required by Title IX. In response, team rosters have been trimmed, junior varsity eliminated altogether and thousands and thousands of young men told they can't try out for sports because an equal number of girls won't do the same.
"What they are doing with walk-ons is deplorable," said John McDonnell, holder of 36 national titles as a track and field coach at the University of Arkansas, in a 2002 The New York Times article. "A student should never be told, 'You can't try.' We are supposed to build leaders and instead we're saying, 'Don't reach for something.' We have an obesity problem and we're telling college kids to go back to the dorm, sit on the couch and watch sports on television."
But Marilyn McNeil, chairwoman of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's committee on women's athletics, holds the prevailing opinion "I hate the movie Rudy," she told the Times. "It's time to tell these students: 'You've got other talents. Go write about sports at the school newspaper, join the debate team, or maybe you've got a nice voice and belong on the stage."
Is it any wonder young men don't find college a very friendly environment anymore?
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