Shocker: Cal dropping baseball
Posted on: September 29, 2010 4:32 pm
Edited on: September 29, 2010 4:51 pm
In what we can only hope is not a sign of things to come, the University of California made the stunning announcement Wednesday that it will drop its successful baseball program as a result of the state's massive budget problems.
Baseball is a money-loser almost everywhere, with high equipment and travel costs and very little revenue generated. Non-revenue men's sports such as wrestling and swimming have been on the decline for years due to money problems and Title IX compliance issues, but for a big school in a major conference in a warm-weather climate to drop baseball is amazing.
"They've had a very rich college baseball tradition, been to the College World Series a couple of times and won a national title," Stanford coach Mark Marquess said in a statement. "It's a sad day for college baseball. It has an effect on all of the Pac-10. You are talking about a program that started playing baseball in the late 1890s. That's over 100 years of tradition."
Cal will also cut gymnastics and women's lacrosse and demote men's rugby to club status, all to reduce the amount of money the school devotes to its athletic department.
"This is not sustainable for our campus," chancellor Robert Birgenau said. "The situation has raised heated debate about the size and cost of our Intercollegiate Athletics program among many of our campus constituencies."
Cal has been to the College World Series five times and won twice, most recently in 1957. It's major-league alumni (full list here ) include Jeff Kent, Geoff Blum, Brandon Morrow, Xavier Nady and Conor Jackson.
Need another reason to support a college football playoff system? How about spreading around the money it would create in order to save non-revenue sports like baseball?
-- David Andriesen
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