Cal Professors Vote to End Sports Subsidies

Chancellor complains existing contracts mean no changes anytime soon

By Jackson West
|  Friday, Nov 6, 2009  |  Updated 3:15 PM PDT
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Cal Professors Vote to End Sports Subsidies

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As expensive as the Bears football team may be, that will probably be the last sport considered for getting cut from the roster.

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At a faculty senate meeting yesterday, professors at the University of California, Berkeley passed a non-binding resolution to end $13.1 million in subsidies and loans to the school's athletic department.

The school is facing a $150 million budget deficit, leading it to cut classes, increase class sizes, lay off employees and admit more out-of-state students to balance the books.

However, Chancellor Robert Birgenau says that the school can't get out from under expensive contracts any time soon, and that cutting the subsidy may well mean cutting sports teams.

Another problem is that cutting teams would likely prove unpopular with alumni, and could possibly lead to a downturn in donations to the school.

Not to mention having to endure the sound of laughter from across the bay at Stanford.

Jackson West is glad that NCAA Title IX will protect equal access to the athletic program for women even in the event of cuts.

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