CSNBayArea.com, an official announcement regarding the future of Cal's baseball, rugby, men's & women's gymnastics and women's lacrosse teams could come as soon as Thursday or Friday at the latest.
The university had decided to end four of the programs at the end of this athletic year in an effort to save more than $4 million from the annual budget. The perennially successful rugby team was going to be reclassified as a club sport.
Cal's longterm goal is to cut their overall athletic budget by more than half, going from their current $12 million a year to $5 million annually.
A group called "Save Cal Sports" has been working to raise money to keep the programs going. Former Cal and Major League Baseball player Doug Nickle says the group has raised approximately $15 million - enough to continue the programs through the careers of all the current players. That should buy all of the involved parties enough time to work out a more permanent solution.
It's hard not to think of this as a bittersweet moment for the players and coaches who will surely be thrilled see the programs they love continue on. As the university looks for cost-cutting measures, it's hard not to cast a side-eye glance over to the football program where (as of 2009) Jeff Tedford was the state of California's highest-paid employee at $2.3 million. Meanwhile in early 2010, the UC Board of Regents approved at $321 million renovation of Memorial Stadium.
It's an established fact that football pays the bills in a lot of athletic departments. But if Cal's football program isn't bringing enough revenue to cover all necessary spending, how do you continue throwing big dollars at it to the detriment of other programs?