Tag Archives: Chancellor

The Politics Of College Varsity Athletics: Decisions By Cal Berkeley Chancellor And Athletic Director Have Shown “Gender-Bias” And A Desire To Spend Millions Of Dollars On “Buildings” To Achieve National Status Rather Than Support The “Traditions Of Athletic Excellence”

“I think this is gender-biased,” he said in accusing Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, Athletic Director Sandy Barbour and the Academic Senate. “They could have diverted some of those stupid funds that they’re putting up there on the hill to make an Olympic center. What the heck is that? I’m all for upgrading Memorial Stadium, and having a weight room and all the other aspects of it, but an Olympic center is $30-$40-million. What are we putting that thing in for?”

THE SIX MEN returned to the scene of their baseball triumphs, Evans Diamond on the UC Berkeley campus. Two of them are hobbling, but all six were agitated as they envisioned something special disappearing before their very eyes.

Dr. Bob Albo used a walker and Bob Milano used a cane as they came to look at the 77-year-old field that will no longer host baseball games if the proposed athletic department budget cutbacks go through.

Albo and Milano were joined Thursday by Earl Robinson, Kevin Maas, Cody McCormick and John Baker, collectively spanning six decades of Cal baseball.

Clearly the angriest of the six was Albo, a Cal baseball and basketball star in the early 1950s, and a captain of both teams his senior year. A team physician to both the Raiders and Warriors, he now needs a walker for assistance as he’s battling a form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

On Sept 28, Barbour and Birgeneau announced that UC Berkeley would be eliminating baseball, men’s and women’s gymnastics, and women’s lacrosse, while reducing men’s rugby to club status.

Albo immediately fired off a letter to Barbour, calling the cancellation of the 118-year baseball program “a travesty” then adding “you have done the university a great disservice. You and the rest of your so-called committee should be ashamed.”

Albo and other irked baseball alumni are wondering aloud that if UC Berkeley had a male athletic director instead, perhaps women’s softball would have been axed instead of baseball.

There are complaints, too, about the tree-sitter costs, which ran a million-plus, and all the “golden parachute” retirement packages for faculty and campus employees. UC Berkeley hasn’t exactly managed itself well financially, and its athletic funding ranks at the very bottom of the Pacific 10 Conference.

Now as the Pac 10 evolves into the Pac 12, Cal and Colorado will be the only schools without a baseball team. And it was Cal alumni, not UC Berkeley, who renovated Evans Diamond in 1992 at a cost of $275,000.

So it’s easy to see why the baseball alums are plenty mad.

Milano gave 31 years to Cal baseball as a player in the early 1960s and then as a coach, the last 22 years as head coach before retiring in 1999. Now using a cane as he fights sciatica, he refused to be quoted the first week after learning that baseball was one of the budget victims.

”I was emotionally upset,” he said. “I was too volatile at first, and didn’t need to say something stupid. But (the decision) was done harshly and too quick, and it could have a rippling effect. Other colleges might do the same thing.”

Can Cal baseball ultimately be saved?

“I’d say 60 percent no, 40 percent yes,” said Milano. “Sandy made it clear to me that there was no way to reinstate the program.

For more:  http://www.insidebayarea.com/top-stories/ci_16299944

NCAA Women’s Lacrosse: Moving Forward With Cutting Cal’s Women’s Lacrosse Program Is Stepping Backwards!

 By Eric Arden

The need for the Cal athletic department to participate in the resolution of the current budget issues and cut athletic programs, at this point, is uncontested. The major issue right now is the apparent lack of transparency and engagement of the affected coaches in the process of deciding which programs to cut and if the correct programs have been identified.

Cutting programs of this significance can have far reaching impacts beyond the Berkeley campus to parents, players and coaches at all levels of play. Without transparency in the “process”, including engaging the coaches, it is very difficult for the coaches and anyone impacted to rationalize or begin to support a direction they can’t understand.

Regional and national supporters of women’s lacrosse are trying to understand how a sport that has 6th grade through high school and NCAA participation levels that greatly exceed participation levels of other Cal women’s sports, especially in Northern California, has been selected to be cut. When I first saw the list of teams that were under consideration for elimination, I felt sure that field hockey would be chosen ahead of lacrosse. This is not to say that field hockey is an inferior sport. I am sure the parents, players and coaches are just as passionate about field hockey as those of women’s lacrosse. This is about making difficult decisions based on facts and current participation levels rather than opinions when setting a strategic direction for the Cal athletics department.

Without visibility into the “process” executed by UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau and Cal’s athletic director Sandy Barbour, I will offer transparency into a facts-based decision process that yields a different conclusion.

The first step is recognition of the key external customers whose interest should be placed first in the decision process. One set of customers are the best and brightest high school students that represent the pool of applicants to Cal every year. Another important customer is the California taxpayer who is still funding at least part of the Cal budget.

How do we measure interest in a sport program? Taxpaying parents, players and opportunity drive participation and it can begin as early as the sixth grade. The National Federation of State High School Associations provides clarity regarding participation at the high school level.

  • In the 2009/2010 year, 1827 US high schools participated in women’s field hockey compared to 1885 US high schools participating in women’s lacrosse.
  • In the 2009/2010 year, 98 CA high schools participated in women’s field hockey compared to 157 CA high schools participating in women’s lacrosse.

Reference: (http://www.nfhs.org/content.aspx?id=3282&linkidentifier=id&itemid=3282)

At a national and even more pronounced at a California level, more women are participating in high school lacrosse than field hockey.

The NCAA provides details regarding institutions sponsoring sport programs at the Division 1 level.

  • The number of institutions sponsoring field hockey is 79 compared to 92 institutions currently sponsoring women’s lacrosse at the Division 1 level.
  • SDSU and Fresno State are adding Division 1 women’s lacrosse programs so the numbers in California are growing even in the difficult economy.
  • The NCAA tournament final game for women’s lacrosse set a record for attendance.

Reference: (http://web1.ncaa.org/onlineDir/exec/sponsorship)

Participation at the NCAA level also favors women’s lacrosse over field hockey.

A well managed college sports program can extend participation far beyond the Berkeley campus. Theresa Sherry and her staff have provided countless hours of support to the Northern California Junior Lacrosse Association (NCJLA). The NCJLA program experienced a 12% growth this last year coordinating 88 girls programs through over 700 games!

Reference: (http://www.ncjla.org/)

Theresa has also developed the Bear Lax program to be the largest women’s lacrosse program in the bay area with players from sixth grade through high school. Recruitment of talented coaching staff from the east coast can be a challenge for lacrosse. Theresa has closed the east coast/west coast gap with talent from Notre Dame, University of Virginia, Dartmouth, Penn and even Northwestern to support her program which includes college counseling. Select teams are formed at the high school level organized by graduating year to maximize the visibility of these players to college recruiters. They are practicing and training year round for tournament play across the country. Theresa has the business acumen to recognize that a Cal scholarship dollar can recruit more California talent at in-state tuition rates and has a recruitment engine in place to achieve maximum visibility into California women’s lacrosse players.

Reference: (http://www.bearlaxclub.com/)

By contrast, the Bay Area Youth Field Hockey program is co-ed and is limited to six one-hour sessions on one field.

Reference: (http://www.youthfieldhockey.org/)

Participation in women’s lacrosse vs. field hockey in Northern California is extremely unbalanced in favor of lacrosse. The NCJLA and Theresa Sherry’s Bear Lax program is light years ahead developing an infrastructure to produce exceptional California based talent and a recruitment engine to bring the best and brightest women’s lacrosse players to Cal Berkeley.

Based on high school and college participation as measured by the National Federation of State High School Associations and NCAA Sports Sponsorship statistics, women’s lacrosse is favored over field hockey. Additionally, the well developed NCJLA organization with Cal’s own Bear Lax club representing the largest number of players in the bay area is expertly positioned to support the taxpaying parents and players in making the most of their lacrosse experience.

In conclusion, this fact-based transparent process yields a decision to remove field hockey in favor of sponsoring women’s lacrosse. Eliminating the women’s lacrosse program when it has greater participation at the high school/college level and significantly greater momentum in California at the youth level, seems to be missing the best interest of the majority of taxpaying parents, players and coaches participating in the support of women’s lacrosse.

A measure of a good management team is the willingness to embrace change when faced with new information.

To the Cal administrators, please consider an approach to reduce sporting programs consistent with all levels of participation and with less impact to the bay area and California as a whole. Move forward with supporting the sports that have greater levels of participation, from sixth grade through the collegiate level, and can also demonstrate positive impact to the bay area and California.

Honor North America’s original game and the fastest sport on two feet. Support women’s lacrosse at Cal!

“REVIVE THE FIVE”: Cal Berkeley Men’s Rugby Team And Supporters Step Up Against Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau And Demand Reinstatement (http://savecalvarsityrugby.com/)

Cal Berkeley Rugby's Chase Brogan is tackled by Chancellor Birgeneau and Vice Chancellor Yeary...stay tuned...Men's Rugby has been hit by far worse before and is the 2010 NCAA MEN'S RUGBY NATIONAL CHAMPION! http://savecalvarsityrugby.com/


How You Can Help

1.  Go the Save Cal Rugby Facebook fan page and show your support by click on the ‘like’ button.

2.  Urge your friends and family to like our Facebook page and email Chancellor Robert Birgeneau (chancellor@berkeley.edu) with a very direct message covering the following points:

  • You will not make any academic or athletics donations to Cal until they overturn this decision.

  • Demoting Cal Rugby does not save the athletic department any money.  The team is self funded and contributed over $300k to the general fund last year.

  • Cal Rugby is willing to fund and administer a women’s rugby team to keep the athletic department in Title IX compliance

3.  Tell every Cal fan you know that the University’s decision means the end of Cal Rugby as we know it.

LaxBuzz.com And Lacrosse-Radio.com Invite Cal Berkeley Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau And Athletic Director Sandy Barbour To Agree To A Meeting With Student-Athletes, Coaches And Parents Of The Cal Berkeley Women’s Lacrosse, Men’s And Women’s Gymnastics, Men’s Rugby And Baseball Teams In The Next 30 Days (Audio)


  • Chancellor Birgeneau, Vice Chancellor Yeary and Athletic Dirctor Barbour to agree to a meeting in a large, on-campus auditorium or hall

  • Student-Athletes, team coaches, and parents of the athletes will all be allowed to attend

  • Daily Californian and other select media to cover this closed-door event

  • Each athletic program will be allowed three individuals to give a 3-minute talk to the Chancellor, Vice Chancellor and Athletic Director. (One person selected from student-athletes, coaches and parents group of each athletic program to speak)

  • After the 15 individuals have spoken (45-60 minutes), the Chancellor, Vice Chancellor and Athletic Director will be allowed to give the administration’s response.



Tom Kovic of Victory Collegiate Consulting talks with Michael Cummins of LaxBuzz.com about Cal Berkeley’s Chancellor’s decision to cut 5 athletic programs: Women’s Lacrosse, Men’s Rugby, Men’s and Women’s Gymnastics and Baseball. The decision to eliminate 5 successful programs has caused a groundswell of support for a meeting of the Chancellor and the Athletic Director with student-athletes, coaches and parents representing the 5 programs. Will the Administration agree to a meeting?

NCAA College Lacrosse Programs: Cal Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau’s Letter On The Elimination Of Cal Berkeley Women’s Lacrosse And Four Other NCAA Sports