SBD/January 27, 2011/Colleges

Cal Set To Make Final Decision On Five Sports Slated For Elimination

Lacrosse among five Cal programs scheduled for elimination this summer
Monday marks the Univ. of California-Berkeley's "school-imposed deadline to decide whether to reinstate baseball and three other sports scheduled for elimination this summer," according to Ron Kroichick of the S.F. CHRONICLE. Baseball, women's lacrosse, men's and women's gymnastics -- "plus rugby, slated for demotion to club status -- find encouragement in feverish fundraising efforts the past four months." Cal Baseball Foundation BOD member Sam Petke said that "Save Cal Sports," a group "spearheaded by baseball alums and designed to preserve all five programs, has gathered more than" $15M in pledges. That is "still well short of the $25 million school officials say is necessary to reinstate the sports," though the programs "hope there's some flexibility on the number." In addition to raising $25M, alums and donors "must produce a long-term plan to fully endow the four programs," which "could require up to" $80M. Kroichick noted the MLB Giants "already have an established relationship with Cal," but they are "not inclined to funnel boatloads of money across the bay." Giants President & COO Larry Baer: "We're not in position to write a huge check, but we might be able to call on friends of the Giants to help." Meanwhile, Cal officials, while "respectful of fundraising efforts, have shown little public inclination to reverse their decision." A source said that there has been "a 'wall of silence' from the school in providing details to those interested in saving the programs" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 1/26).
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