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Cal saves 3 teams -- baseball, men's gymnastics cut

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Cal saves 3 teams -- baseball, men's gymnastics cut

Feb. 11, 2011

COLLEGE PAGE

BERKELEY (AP) -- California reinstated three teams Friday that were slated to be eliminated in a cost-cutting move after an aggressive fundraising campaign to keep the programs, while going ahead with plans to get rid of the baseball and men's gymnastics teams.

Chancellor Robert Birgeneau partially reversed a decision announced in September when he said that enough money has been raised to keep the men's rugby, women's lacrosse and women's gymnastics teams. The two women's teams had been slated for elimination, while men's rugby was going to be reclassified as a "varsity club sport."

"We're three-fifths of the way there and we're not going to stop," said former Cal and major league pitcher Doug Nickle, who was involved with the fundraising efforts for the group "Save Cal Sports.""We're heartened and also emboldened. We're energized. We take our licks and we'll keep coming back."

Campus officials said they received between 12 million and 13 million in pledges to retain the programs. They are confident that 8 million will be available for the three sports that were retained, covering all of their costs for seven to 10 years.

Vice Chancellor Frank Yeary said the pledges specifically for baseball and men's gymnastics were insufficient. He said the baseball program raised between 1.5 million and 2.5 million, which would have covered its costs for about two years.

He said the supporters needed to come up with 10 million to achieve the goal of self-sustainability for the seven-to-10 year period.

"We're very impressed with the way the community has rallied," Yeary said. "The challenge for baseball is it is a larger sport in terms of costs. As a practical manner, they would have had to raise four, five or six times as much money as they raised to remain in position to be maintained. From the very beginning we said we simply could not agree to short term or stopgap measures. We needed a sustainable solution."

Nickle disputes the university's numbers, saying his group raised 15 million and that the money the school is turning away would be more than sufficient to put baseball and men's gymnastics on firm footing.

He said officials never gave the baseball program the 10 million figure and that he believes that target could have been reached if it was made clear and that his group will still work to reinstate the two programs.

"We know the university has now made two wrong decisions," Nickle said. "The University of California deserves better. We will continue to work to provide better."

The plan to cut the sports was part of a broader campaign to reduce UC Berkeley's annual support for intercollegiate athletics from more than 12 million today to about 5 million in 2014.

That became even more necessary after Gov. Jerry Brown recently proposed an additional 500 million in cuts from the UC system budget, which would have taken about 80 million from the Berkeley campus.

"This was always about our ability to fund the programs," athletic director Sandy Barbour said. "This was about getting our expenses down to the point where we have a financial model that would fit with what the university was providing us in terms of institutional support."

Birgeneau said he did not believe the announcement in September was premature, even though three of the programs were eventually retained.

He said he sent a message to athletic department supporters 16 months ago that these cuts might be necessary and little was done to retain them until the announcement was made.

"My message engendered virtually no response for an entire year," he said. "The responses only came after the announcement of the cutting of sports. These sports had a full year to raise funds. But until the actual reality of no longer continuing the varsity sports was on the table, it was not until then that we got this wonderful response that we got now."

The decision to retain the two women's programs keeps Cal in compliance with Title IX under the provision that it was meeting the "interests and abilities" of its female student body.

Had the women's sports been eliminated, Cal would have been in violation of that prong and would have needed to make the percentage of female athletes proportionate to the overall female enrollment. To achieve that, the school would have had to undergo "roster management" a process that would have required the remaining men's teams to reduce their rosters by dozens of athletes, while substantially increasing spots on the remaining women's teams.

Part of the money to fund the two women's sports comes from donors to the rugby program, which needed the women's teams to remain in order for the school to remain in compliance with Title IX if it reinstated rugby.

"Our donors have once again generously demonstrated their high regard for Cal rugby through their impassioned response to these financial challenges," coach Jack Clark said. "

The decision to cut baseball leaves the flagship campus of the University of California as the only Division I school in the state not to field a baseball team.

Cal has won the College World Series in 1947 and 1957 and had nine players appear in the major leagues last season. Perhaps the most notable player in its history is 2000 NL MVP Jeff Kent.

The Golden Bears, who open their season next week, are ranked 17th in the Baseball America preseason poll and are hopeful of making the NCAA tournament for the third time in four years.

Cal will honor the existing scholarships for the baseball and men's gymnastics athletes, although many have already started to look at transfer options.

How Warriors fans can watch game this season with Larry O'Brien Trophy

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USATSI

How Warriors fans can watch game this season with Larry O'Brien Trophy

Once the NBA season starts, every player is out for the same thing -- a chance to raise the Larry O'Brien Trophy at the end of the year.

During the 2017-18 season, Warriors fans can watch a game at Oracle Arena with the prize possession right by their side. All you need is $2,000. 

If you can write the check, the trophy will pay you a visit in a premium suite, plus two bottle of champagne and a gift bag that includes a six-inch replica trophy and a replica championship ring. 

Fans are limited to four experiences with the trophy per game. 

Darren Rovell of ESPN was first to share the details. 

Matt Moore blanks Rockies, continues late-season surge

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AP

Matt Moore blanks Rockies, continues late-season surge

SAN FRANCISCO — Matt Moore knew there was something different about his final home start at AT&T Park this season, and not just the fact that he received a loud ovation as he walked off the mound in the seventh. Moore noted later that the outing was the first shutout he has been a part of this year. In fact, it was the first time in 30 starts that he walked off the mound without having allowed a run. 

“I guess it’s better late than never,” he said. 

The Giants are hoping it’s actually a preview of things to come. They counted on Moore to be a big part of their 2017 push, but instead, he likely will finish with the worst ERA of any full-time starter in the National League. Still, general manager Bobby Evans has informed Moore that his 2018 option will be picked up, something that Moore appreciated given the time of year. 

“I always pictured myself here,” he said. 

Whether coincidence or some kind of “weight off the shoulders” situation, Moore’s first start since the public revealing of the decision was his most encouraging of the year. Facing a good lineup, and a team that needed a win desperately, he pitched six shutout innings. The Giants beat the Rockies 4-0. 

Moore was already showing signs of life, with a 3.76 ERA over his seven previous appearances. Bruce Bochy viewed this as another step forward. 

“It’s been getting better and better with each start,” he said. “What he did really well today was on the arm side. He had good balance to both sides of the plate.”

Moore peppered the outside corner with fastballs, and he credited catcher Nick Hundley with stealing a few strikes. The plan allowed Moore to put hitters away in big spots, one of three points of emphasis he brought into the second half. The other two: limiting lefties and getting ahead of hitters.

That’s Moore’s roadmap back to being the player the Giants acquired. For the team as a whole, the roadmap back to relevance is similar to Wednesday’s plan. This is not a home-run hitting lineup, but the Giants are 47-21 when scoring four runs, and Wednesday was a reminder of the different paths to that magical number. 

Brandon Crawford had a solo homer, but the first two runs came on sacrifice flies and the fourth on a walk-wild pitch-single combination. Bochy said he liked “the brand of ball” his team played.

“They executed so well today,” he said. “It’s just good baseball, and that’s what I felt good about.”