Cal AD: Five teams to know fate within 10 days

Cal AD: Five teams to know fate within 10 days
February 1, 2011, 6:05 pm
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Feb. 1, 2011COLLEGE PAGE staff

The five sports targeted for elimination at Cal due to budget limitations will know their status within 10 days, according to a letter from athletic director Sandy Barbour to the university's donor community.

In September the university moved to eliminate baseball, rugby, men's and women's gymnastics, and lacrosse to reduce the athletic department's budget by 4 million and keep Cal in compliance with Title IX gender equity requirements.

Monday was reportedly the university's deadline for a final decision on those sports but a source close to the situation told there will be a "few days reprieve" amidst hopes that the effort could be met by a positive report from the UC Berkeley Chancellor.

The Save Cal Sports group reportedly has raised 16 million in an effort to save the five teams -- baseball, rugby, men's and women's gymnastics and women's lacrosse.

Comcast SportsNet Bay Area was provided a copy of email from the Save the Cal Baseball committee, as well as an email from Barbour (full text below) to donors.

According to Save Cal Sports' Web site, the University and the Chancellor's office "have stated that the number for reinstatement of all five programs is 25 million."

The following is correspondence from Barbour to Cal Bear Backers:

Dear Cal Bear Backers,With the end of January now upon us, we have reached the point when we need to provide clarity for the future of the teams directly impacted by our program cuts. As you know, several months ago we established Jan. 31 as the deadline to determine whether new philanthropic efforts could generate the money necessary to reinstate them past the end of their 2011 seasons.We are now in the process of taking a careful look at the results of the fundraising work in order to fully understand the level and extent of the commitments, giving them as much due diligence as possible. The deep devotion you - our donors - have for this University has been made only more obvious by the sincere attempt to address the challenges facing our department during these difficult economic times.Our criteria, though, have remained the same since our announcement last September: to have a viable plan that attends to the long-term economic issues of Cal Athletics - not just for a few years, but in perpetuity - and will build an endowment capable of addressing the department's financial needs without creating an undue burden on its operating budget or undermining our goal to support excellence on the field and in the classroom.We are focused on doing the right thing for those most impacted - our student-athletes and coaches - and every day that passes only limits the options they can consider as far as next year is concerned. We owe it to everyone involved not to let the situation linger and expect to have a final decision within the next 10 days.Thank you again for the work and energy you have put into this effort. We will be in touch again very soon.Sandy BarbourDirector of Athletics