SBD/April 11, 2011/Colleges

Univ. Of California Reverses Decision On Baseball Program, Keeps It Afloat

Baseball's reinstatement means men's gymnastics is only Cal team still eliminated
The Univ. of California-Berkeley on Friday announced that its baseball program "will survive the budget-cutter's ax after all," according to Tom FitzGerald of the S.F. CHRONICLE. Although "fundraising efforts fell short of getting commitments for the university's goal of $10 million, school officials decided the $9 million that was committed was close enough." S.F.-based attorney Stu Gordon, a former pitcher at Cal, "spearheaded efforts to raise millions of dollars, including making his own donation of $550,000." Cal Chancellor Robert Birgeneau said, "It would not have happened without him." Gordon said that last week "there was some scrambling as a result of one donor's substantial reduction of his pledge." That left the effort at about $8M, "but other donors pushed the amount back" to $9M. Gordon said that "more than 1,000 people have contributed, and 40 have contributed more than $50,000 apiece." FitzGerald noted boosters "want to establish a $20 million endowment that would put the program on a sound financial footing," and hope to "make improvements all around Evans Diamond" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 4/9). In San Jose, Jonathan Okanes noted Birgeneau "originally told Cal baseball supporters they needed to raise" $10M for reinstatement, but with the "late signing period for high school seniors approaching Wednesday, Birgeneau accepted the $9 million figure so any players considering Cal could move forward." With the reinstatement of baseball, men's gymnastics is the "only remaining eliminated sport" at Cal, and supporters of that sport are "still working to raise funds for possible" reinstatement (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 4/9). 
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