Tag Archives: Program Elimination

“SAVE CAL LACROSSE”: Cal Berkeley Women’s Lacrosse Is REINSTATED Along With Women’s Gymanastics And Men’s Rugby

Three athletic teams at the University of California, Berkeley, slated to cease intercollegiate competition at the end of this academic year – women’s lacrosse, women’s gymnastics and rugby – will be preserved, campus officials announced today (Friday, Feb. 11). 

New philanthropic commitments will support the teams’ expenses while plans are implemented for long-term financial self-sufficiency.  With today’s announcement, the campus remains on track to meet its commitment to cap annual allocations for Intercollegiate Athletics at no more than $5 million annually by 2014.

After a comprehensive, sport-by-sport review of the philanthropic commitments, unfortunately, it was determined that the pledges for baseball and men’s gymnastics fell short of the criteria provided to potential donors: sufficient funding to support team expenses for the next seven to 10 years and the presentation of a feasible plan for sustained financial independence.

All told, the campus received $12 million to $13 million in philanthropic pledges from the organizers of the fundraising efforts. Of that total, the campus is confident that at least $8 million will be available to support the net expenses of women’s lacrosse, women’s gymnastics and rugby. This new and incremental philanthropy gives the university the confidence that these three teams will cover their costs for at least the next seven to 10 years.


“SAVE CAL LACROSSE”: Cal Berkeley Women’s Lacrosse And Four Eliminated Programs May Be Reinstated To “Comply With Title IX”

“…The cutting of two women’s teams — lacrosse and gymnastics — threw the Cal athletic department out of compliance with the federal gender-equity law known as Title IX. Without the five teams, the university, based on numbers it provided, will have to add 50 spots for women and eliminate 80 spots for men to meet Title IX requirements…”

When the University of California, Berkeley, announced it was eliminating five varsity teams last fall, the decision was sold as a necessary sacrifice by a university reeling from severe cuts in state aid.

Four months later, the university finds itself in a dilemma caused by a largely overlooked consequence of that decision. The cutting of two women’s teams — lacrosse and gymnastics — threw the Cal athletic department out of compliance with the federal gender-equity law known as Title IX. Without the five teams, the university, based on numbers it provided, will have to add 50 spots for women and eliminate 80 spots for men to meet Title IX requirements. That is in addition to the more than 100 male athletes already cut when men’s rugby, baseball and gymnastics were dropped as varsity sports, or about the equivalent of two football squads.

But there is a chance it will never come to that because the university is considering reversing course. After originally saying it would take at least $80 million in private donations to reinstate the five teams, officials recently said they would accept $25 million to guarantee the return of the teams for a shorter time if supporters could demonstrate a long-term plan for financing the teams. The Cal athletic director, Sandy Barbour, said she had received a proposal from supporters of the affected teams that includes about $12 million in pledged donations. Officials are said to be considering a range of options, from reinstating none to some or all of the teams, and an announcement is expected Thursday.

Barbour said the university’s decision to consider reinstating the teams was in reaction to the outcry by supporters of the cut teams, not to a dawning unease about how Cal would comply with Title IX.

“There was, as we anticipated, a lot of emotion, a lot of passion,” Barbour said, “and quite frankly a little bit more of a call to action perhaps than we anticipated.”

Shellie Onstead, the coach of the women’s field hockey team, said the uncertainty had been difficult. “I think everybody’s afraid to start believing one way or the other,” she said. “It’s hard times for all of us.”

Until now, Cal had been fulfilling Title IX requirements by asserting that it met the “interests and abilities” of its female students, one of three so-called prongs that institutions can choose to comply with the law. When a university cuts even one women’s team, it can no longer rely on that claim, nor can it argue that it has a history of expanding opportunities for women, which is another option for compliance. Now, Cal has effectively backed itself into a corner and is left with only the third option — proving that female participation in athletics is proportionate to female undergraduate enrollment in the university.

By that measure, Cal falls considerably short. Just 40 percent of the 965 participants on the university’s varsity teams were women in the 2009-10 academic year; its overall student enrollment was 53 percent female. To comply with Title IX, officials have said they plan to trim male rosters while expanding the size of female teams, a practice known in college athletics as roster management.

Kristen Galles, a lawyer who represents athletes suing colleges for Title IX violations, questioned the logic behind Cal’s decision, adding that the university might have exposed itself to a lawsuit by the female athletes whose teams are cut.

“It doesn’t make sense to be cutting any women’s sports if their numbers are that bad,” Galles said. “These schools do not get sued for not offering enough sports; they get sued when they’re dumb enough to cut women’s teams.”

Cal’s actions also drew criticism from Eric Pearson, the chairman of the College Sports Council, which advocates for reform of Title IX. He said Cal was being punished for offering an array of educational opportunities to both men and women. “Why cut these kids, the boys?” Pearson said. “It doesn’t help the girls at all when you cut the boys.”

In a telephone interview, an athletic department official played down the scope of the changes that are planned if the teams are not reinstated.

“One of the things we wanted was to be realistic and not go hog wild and add a bunch on the women’s side and cut a bunch on the men’s side,” said the official, Foti Mellis, the senior associate athletic director. “Most of the women’s programs are either staying put or being asked to add maybe one kid or two kids at the most. And on the men’s side, again, just a few teams have been asked to reduce their roster sizes by just a few.”

Mellis said that by next fall, the department planned to limit its male rosters to a total of 377, and to expand the female participants to 393. According to federal education statistics, Cal had 461 male participants and 341 female participants in the 2009-10 academic year, not counting the athletes on the eliminated teams. Mellis said this year’s participation numbers were comparable to last year’s.

For more:  http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/09/sports/09titleix.html?src=twrhp

Cal Berkeley Women’s Lacrosse And Four Other Eliminated Sports Face January 31 Deadline For “Reinstatement Decision” With University Offering A “Wall Of Silence” On Fundraising Efforts

Cal officials, while respectful of fundraising efforts, have shown little public inclination to reverse their decision. One source close to the situation described a “wall of silence” from the school in providing details to those interested in saving the programs.

Chancellor Robert Birgeneau announced the cuts Sept. 28, as a way to save nearly $4 million annually. The athletic department had a $12 million operating deficit in the most recent fiscal year; money from student registration fees and the chancellor’s discretionary fund covered the gap.

Given university-wide layoffs and cutbacks in this tumultuous economic climate, faculty members pressured Birgeneau to make similar sacrifices in athletics. The school ultimately decided it must limit its annual contribution to the athletic department to $5 million starting in 2014.

The university previously established Monday’s deadline, including it in an informational posting on the athletic department website. Many of the 163 affected student athletes need resolution as they contemplate whether to stay in Berkeley or transfer.

“We have an obligation to the student athletes, coaches and staff to clear up the lingering uncertainty,” Cal spokesman Dan Mogulof said. “We can’t allow that to go on – it’s debilitating. This is not a deadline for checks in hand. It will be time for a serious reality check.”

As this plays out behind the scenes, baseball coach David Esquer tries to point his team toward its upcoming and potentially final season. Three players left Cal at the semester break, transferring to UCLA (pitcher Eric Jaffe), Penn State (pitcher Joe Kurrasch) and Fresno City College (infielder Brett Bishop).

That leaves 35 players about to start practice as a final decision on the program’s fate nears.

“I’m optimistic because I believe in the people behind the efforts,” Esquer said. “I’m optimistic we’ll get this done and reason will prevail.”

And if the school announces it’s still cutting the sports?

“That would be an emotional hurdle for our guys,” he said.

Golden Bear numbers

5 – Cal sports slated to lose varsity status July 1: Baseball, men’s rugby, women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s gymnastics

5 – Days until school-imposed deadline for decision on whether to reinstate the sports

163 – Athletes in the condemned sports

814 – Total athletes in Cal sports

1892 – Cal’s first year of baseball

$940,000 – Net loss for Cal baseball last fiscal year, highest of the condemned sports

$15 million – Money pledged to “Save Cal Sports”

$25 million – School-set target to reinstate the five sports

$80 million – Money needed to endow baseball, lacrosse and gymnastics so they are self-sustaining

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/01/25/SP1M1HE64S.DTL#ixzz1C9Mebi7D

NCAA Women’s Lacrosse: Cal Berkeley Women’s Lacrosse And Other Eliminated Athletic Programs Face Burden Of Raising $80 Million To Endow 5 Sports

It would take an $80 million endowment to create the $4 million in annual income to fund the five sports. Barbour would not

Cal Berkeley Women's Lacrosse Coach Theresa Sherry

specify how much must be raised to “buy time” for the programs.

Camilla Hayes, a sophomore on the lacrosse team, was in geography class when she received the e-mail from coach Theresa Sherry on Sept. 28, informing the players their program had been cut.

Cal’s decision to cut baseball, lacrosse, and men’s and women’s gymnastics, plus demote rugby to a club sport. The moves, which will save nearly $4 million annually at a time of economic turmoil in the UC system, thrust 163 student athletes into awkward limbo.

They suddenly found themselves forced to choose between their chosen sport and their chosen school. Should they leave Berkeley to find another place to compete in intercollegiate athletics? Or should they stay to pursue a Cal degree but give up their lifelong passion?

The quandary is complicated by faint hope the five sports could be reinstated, if feverish fundraising efforts sway school officials. All the while, those student athletes wade through a swirl of emotions: confusion, frustration and more.

“They’re angry,” athletic director Sandy Barbour said, “and I get that.”

Take lacrosse, where Hayes will transfer to Maryland at semester’s end but two other players, sophomores Megan Takacs and Melissa Humphrey, will stay at Cal even if it means giving up their sport.

Humphrey wants to pursue her education in architecture and Takacs, after taking a trip to Ohio State (near where her mom lives), chose to stay at Cal because of its academic reputation and location.

Barbour clearly didn’t relish cutting four of the school’s 29 programs, or stripping rugby – winner of 25 national championships since 1980 – of its varsity status.

“It’s the toughest thing I’ve ever had to do professionally,” she said this week, “and there’s no close second.”

Given university-wide layoffs and cutbacks, faculty members pressured Chancellor Robert Birgeneau to make similar sacrifices in athletics. The school ultimately decided it must limit its contribution to the athletic department to $5 million annually starting in 2014 (it was $12 million in the most recent fiscal year), an amount considered “sustainable.”

Alums of the four eliminated sports, and rugby, were outraged by the decision. They soon started vigorous fund-raising in an effort to persuade Birgeneau and Barbour to reinstate the sports.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/11/26/MNV01GHVK6.DTL&ao=2#ixzz16UuF2Ae9

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/11/26/MNV01GHVK6.DTL#ixzz16Ut103U7

Heroes In Athletics: Cal Rugby Lacrosse Alumnus Mark Bingham Honored Cal Berkeley Rugby And America By Defending The United States On 9/11 Aboard Flight 93 (Video)

“Excellence in Achievement by a Young Alumnus. This award pays tribute to Mark Bingham ’93, who died September 11, 2001, defending the United States on United Airlines Flight 93”

Mark Bingham

United Airlines Flight 93

Mark Bingham Mark Bingham (1970-2001), the chief executive officer of The Bingham Group, a public relations firm. Tall and athletic, he started playing rugby as a teenager and continued in college at the University of California, Berkeley. Even after graduating in 1993, Bingham pursued his love of the game, joining the San Francisco Fog, a gay rugby team. Along with sports, he was interested in politics and had served as a volunteer on Senator John McCain’s 2000 bid for the Republican presidential nomination. A self-made success story, Bingham founded his own company, which had offices in New York and San Francisco. It was a business trip that led Bingham to take United Airlines Flight 93. After the plane was hijacked, he called his mother, Alice Hoglan, and his aunt, Kathy, to let them know what happened and that he loved them. It is believed that Bingham participated in the effort to stop the terrorists along with several other passengers. Despite their efforts, they were unable to gain control of the plane, but they did stop the terrorists from using it as a weapon. The plane crashed outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania. He has been remembered by friends and family as a hero, a leader, and a friendly, caring person.

The Economics Of College Athletics: Cal Berkeley Athletic Department Ranks Last In Pac-10 In Corporate Sponsorships At $349,000 Per Year, $4.2 Million Less Per Year Than UCLA

Team Primary deal Years Term Worth in cash and merchandise Value per year
Arizona Nike 7 2007-14 $7,927,500 $1,132,500
ASU Nike 6 2008-14 $11,300,000 $1,883,333
California Nike*# 5 2002-07 $1,745,000 $349,000
Oregon Nike 8** 2010-18 $22,725,000 $2,840,625
Oregon State Nike 5 2006-11 $3,264,250 $652,850
Stanford Nike private schools not required to release contracts
UCLA Adidas 6** 2005-11 $27,412,000 $4,568,667
USC Nike private schools not required to release contracts
Washington Nike 10 2009-19 $34,400,000 $3,440,000
WSU Nike 8 2009-17 $11,700,000 $1,462,500


* expired
** extension
# California’s contracts didn’t include the value of hundreds of pairs of shoes and other promised apparel
Source: University contracts, obtained through state open-records laws. Totals include guaranteed dollar amounts


Cal Berkeley Athletic Program Elimination Decision: “Lets Apply Some ‘Operational Excellence’ To Sports Program Decisions”

By Eric Arden

In October of 2009, UC Berkeley launched an “Operational Excellence” (OE) initiative with support from the consulting firm, Bain & Company, to address the major budget challenges facing the campus community.  At a cost of $3M for a six month engagement, the process was very transparent with the deliverable and actions published on the OE website (http://berkeley.edu/oe/).
However, upon examination of the deliverable, even at a cost of $3M, it appears the scope of the OE effort left out any analysis of cost savings opportunities in the Athletic department.
In response to the current budget crisis, the Cal athletic administration has recently identified 5 sports programs for elimination, but what was the process used to make these significant cuts?  Without any underlying information regarding the process and basis of this decision it is difficult for the sporting community on and off the campus to support this direction or take action to help UC Berkeley improve the situation. 
The coaches, players, parents and sports community are looking for a comparable OE level of effort in the process used to make a decision that has such far reaching consequences. Additionally, the affected teams and their sponsors are prepared to work together to close financial gaps and maintain compliance with Title IX.  However, at this point, no one at UC Berkeley can answer the questions “How was the decision made to eliminate my program?”, and “How much money will be required to reinstate it?”
What follows is an example of an approach to execute a transparent process for the coaches and community to address the financial issues in the sports programs facing UC Berkeley today. This technique is targeted, can be done quickly and at a minimum expense to the University and tax payers.

1) Ask Haas for accounting help.

Follow the money. The Haas Business School has skilled resources that can support resolving the financial accounting issues related to the different sports programs.  Currently, the coaches are trying to pull these numbers together themselves.  Cal needs consistent accounting standards and a complete analysis across all of the 29 sports programs.
For example, each program to understand their position has a right to know:
  • Total revenue from ticket sales, alumni/booster/foundation contributions that support the program including external funding of scholarships.
  • UC Berkeley funded scholarships
  • Non-Capital expenses related to equipment, facilities etc.
  • Detailed Capital Improvement Projects related to facility expansions allocated to the programs requiring the facility

2) Identify and communicate all factors, internal and external, that deserve consideration in a decision to remove sponsorship for a sports program. 

The objective is to consider both direct and indirect or non-tangible benefits related to the sports program on and off the UC Berkeley campus. Sports programs are a way of marketing Cal to the high school population and attracting the best and brightest students. The Haas School of Business marketing department may also be helpful in this analysis.

  • Divulge the metrics that were considered in this decision.”Other important factors considered included… donor impact, student opportunity, proximity of national/regional varsity competition, contribution to diversity, impact on the campus’s ability to comply with Title IX, opportunity for NCAA and Pac 10 success, utilization of support services and history of competitive excellence.” Identify the specifics and replace perceptions that these are opinionated decisions with facts.
  • Consider the GPA of team members (average and cumulative).
  • Consider current participation and growth at the NCAA Level (http://www.ncjla.org/)
  • Consider current participation and growth at the high school level, especially in California (http://www.nfhs.org/content.aspx?id=3282&linkidentifier=id&itemid=3282)
  • Consider current participation and growth at the youth level, especially in California…
With the existing talent in the Haas School of Business, this transparent process and relevant analysis could be delivered in much less time with less funding than the Bain & Company engagement.  A robust analysis would certainly look good on the resume of  graduates looking for jobs in sports marketing or the consulting community.  Lets apply some “Operational Excellence” to sports program decisions and make balanced decisions considering internal and external factors in a process transparent to the community.
Eric Arden
Business Process Transformation