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 full report is here.
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