Town Square

Protest UC Berkeley Cutting Baseball

Original post made by American, Danville, on Feb 12, 2011

The Athletic Director at UC Berkeley needs to be fired! She falsely told supporters of the baseball team that they needed to raise money for all 5 sports that were being cut, not just baseball, or all 5 programs would be cut. Baseball supporters then went out and raised over 10 million dollars in a very short time, to be used for all 5 sports. She then said since very little money was ear marked just for baseball, they would save rugby and the woman's sports, but get rid of baseball and gymnastics! If baseball supporters were selfish, they would have ignored the other sports, and simply ear marked their money for baseball. Instead, they believed the Athletic Director was acting in good faith, and agreed to share their fundraising with all 5 programs. It appears that the Athletic Director's real reason for cutting baseball is to take control of the baseball stadium and field, which is one of the rare green areas on an urban campus, and use it for some other purpose, possibly connected to the expensive new football stadium. She lied to supporters of the baseball team, has not acted in good faith, and needs to be fired immediately. I would hope all UC Berkeley alumni and supporters would immediately stop donating any money at all to the school, until they fire the Athletic Director. Contact the Chancellor and regents, and let them know your views, and hit them in the pocketbook. Use that internationally known protest spirit and do not let her get away with this injustice!


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Posted by Baseball is America
a resident of Danville
on Feb 12, 2011 at 2:01 pm

The Cal football program if viewed as a profit center for the entire athletic department would certainly cover all expenses for all sports programs, including baseball, women’s gymnastics, and even a traveling tiddlywinks team. However, in the university’s budgeting mind, football need not cover all other program expenses to remain in existence (the regents rely on football revenue for other non-sport related expenses). However, the baseball program is now being asked to raise money for all other threatened sports programs at Cal, if baseball itself desires to remain in existence at the university.

A conveniently designed Title IX double standard.

The root of the “financial” problem is not the traditional and glorious game of baseball itself, but the greedy callous selfish Cal regents, behind the guise of their puppet budget masters spouting out Title IX excuses.

As a bay area college fan, I am a not only a supporter of Cal, but of St. Mary’s, USF, Santa Clara, and Stanford. If baseball is dropped ffrom the Cal program, I will not support another Cal Bear football or basketball game, ever again. Go WCC teams! Go Stanford!

Cal administration has really screwed this one up!

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Posted by C. R. Mudgeon
a resident of Danville
on Feb 16, 2011 at 9:40 am

Indpendent of whether you agree with or disagree with the Title IX rules, it should have been clear from the beginning, back in September, that it was actually impossible to cut any of the women's sports, without triggering the need to cut even larger numbers of mens athletes. Either the AD was totally incompetent in not realizing this, or else she was foisting a sham from the beginning, by including the two women's sports in the group of five "sports to be cut". I believe it was a sham from the beginning. Cal baseball fans have a right to be livid about how they were "played" from the beginning. (I am not a Cal fan, myself, as my allegiences are with other teams. But this whole saga stinks to high heaven...)

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Posted by Milan Moravec
a resident of Alamo Elementary School
on Feb 16, 2011 at 11:26 am

When UC Berkeley announced its elimination of student sports including baseball, men’s, women’s gymnastics, women’s lacrosse teams and its defunding of the national-champion men’s rugby team, the chancellor sighed, “Sorry, but this was necessary!”
But was it? Yes, the university is in dire financial straits. Yet $3 million was somehow found by Chancellor Robert J Birgeneau ($500,000 salary) to pay the Bain consulting firm to uncover waste, inefficiencies in UC Berkeley (Cal), despite the fact that a prominent East Coast university was accomplishing the same thing without expensive consultants.
Essentially, the process requires collecting, analyzing information from faculty, staff. Apparently, Cal senior management believe that the faculty, staff of their world-class university lacks the cognitive ability, integrity, energy to identify millions in savings. If consultants are necessary, the reason is clear: the chancellor has lost credibility with the people who provided the information to the consultants. Chancellor Robert J Birgeneau has reigned for eight years, during which time the inefficiencies proliferated to $150 million. Even as Bain’s recommendations are implemented (‘They told me to do it’, Birgeneau), credibility, trust, problems remain.
Bain is interviewing faculty, staff, senior management and academic senate leaders to identify $150 million in inefficiencies, most of which could have been found internally. One easy-to-identify problem, for example, was wasteful procurement practices such as failing to secure bulk discounts on printers. But Birgeneau apparently has no concept of savings: even in procuring a consulting firm he failed to receive proposals from other firms.

Students, staff, faculty, California Legislators are the victims of his incompetent decisions. Now that sports teams are feeling the pinch, perhaps the California Alumni, benefactors, donors, will demand to know why Birgeneau is raking in $500,000 a year while abdicating his work responsibilities.

Let there be light for transparency

The author, who has 35 years’ consulting experience, has taught at University of California Berkeley, where he was able to observe the culture and the way the senior management operates.
PS University of California Berkeley (Cal) ranking drops. In 2004, for example, the London-based Times Higher Education ranked Cal the 2nd leading research university in the world, just behind Harvard; in 2009 that ranking had tumbled to 39th place.
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