SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cal-Berkeley to Cut Baseball, Men's and Women's Gymnastics and Women's Lacrosse

You can read all about it here.

Is this a sign of things to come at state schools, many of which are mired in budget crises? There used to be a saying (and perhaps it still exists) that trends would start in California. Will UC-Berkeley's move to eliminate these sports embolden other athletic directors to cut longstanding programs, such as baseball? And will current budget crises further underscore some of the hypocrisies of major college athletics? Heck, many big-time schools have thrown out the notion of the scholar-athlete or the well-rounded, renaissance person (despite the NCAA's advertisements to the contrary), because instead of offering many (read: dozens) of intercollegiate programs they offer, at times, a bare minimum (perhaps as low as eight) to satisfy the requirements for Division I. Put into better English, what I'm getting at is that for many of these programs, it's perfectly okay to pay football and men's basketball coaches millions of dollars per year, even as athletic departments jettison other varsity sports. Of course, many will argue that those coaches deserve the compensation they get because a) they bring in revenue (and no others do) and b) that revenue supports the rest of the program (and many programs barely break even, but that's okay because schools don't want to jeopardize their tax-exempt status by running too many for-profit programs).

But let's get back to the original premise -- there are budget issues everywhere, and these issues could result in high schools cutting back on after-school sports (thereby reducing community building and the chance of kids to identify with their schools), and I would suggest that Cal is only the tip of the iceberg. More varsity sports will fall at universities and colleges all over the country.

Which leads to my next post. . .

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