Cal hits a home run by reinstating its baseball program


California will remain a major league university after all. The school announced Friday that baseball would continue forward thanks to the successful fundraising efforts.

The Bears, with a baseball tradition that dates to 1896, will maintain its Pac-10 (Pac-12 next year) identity and rivalry with Stanford.

"That's fantastic," Stanford coach Mark Marquess said before the Cardinal opened a three-game series at USC. "Everyone in college baseball is thrilled about saving this prestigious program and over 120 years of a rich tradition."

The Axe Trophy originated with the baseball rivarly between the two Bay Area schools.

"We are their biggest rivals and we are thrilled they are back where they should be," Marquess said.

Cal's Herb Benenson reported that former Bears pitcher Stu Gordon presented Chancellor Robert Birgeneau with commitments totaling $9 million.

The fundraising group continues to work diligently to save all the sports Cal had nixed for next year as a prerequisite for saving baseball.

"This is truly an exciting day for Cal baseball," Bears coach David Esquer told Benenson. "I'm especially happy for our players who have endured a difficult six months of uncertainty. They have shown an absolute resolve to focus on their season and have demonstrated a tremendous amount of character throughout this process."

Esquer played shortstop for Marquess at Stanford, helping the Cardinal win a College World Series in the late 80s.

Officials announced the fundraisers are also working with the school to raise significant additional annual resources, beginning with the 2011-12 season.

Baseball, men's gymnastics, women's gymnastics and women's lacrosse were targeted for elimination and rugby was to be relegated to a club sport last September. By February, a group led by Doug Nickle, among others, raised enough to save rugby, women's gymnastics and women's lacrosse.

Friday's announcement assured all teams, with the exception of men's gymnastics, will continue to exist. The university made the decision to cap institutional support for athletics at $5 million a year by 2014.

The Cal men's gymnastics team currently ranks third in the nation behind Oklahoma and Stanford.

Benenson's full story can reached through this link.

— PA Weekly Online Sports

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Like this comment
Posted by Milan Moravec
a resident of Professorville
on Apr 9, 2011 at 10:38 pm

University of California Berkeley Chancellor Robert J Birgeneau and Provost Breslauer need to go.
(The author who has 35 years’ consulting experience, has taught at University of California Berkeley, where he was able to observe the culture and the way senior management work.) Recently: Chancellor pays ex Michigan governor $300,000 for lectures; NCAA places men’s basketball program on probation

Chancellor Robert J Birgeneau’s ($500,000 salary) eight-year fiscal track record is dismal indeed. He would like to blame the politicians, since they stopped giving him every dollar asked for, and the state legislators do share some responsibility for the financial crisis. But not in the sense he means.

A competent chancellor would have been on top of identifying inefficiencies and then crafting a plan to fix them. Able oversight by the UC Board of Regents and the legislature would have required him to provide data on inefficiencies and on what steps he was taking to solve them during his 8 year reign. Instead, every year Birgeneau would request a budget increase, the regents would agree to it, and the legislature would provide. The hard questions were avoided by all concerned, and the problems just piled up to $150 million of inefficiencies….until there was no money left.

It’s not that Birgeneau was unaware that there were, in fact, waste and inefficiencies. Faculty and staff raised issues with Birgeneau and Provost Breslauer ($400,000 salary), but when they failed to see relevant action taken, they stopped. Finally, Birgeneau engaged some expensive ($3,000,000) consultants to tell him and Provost Breslauer what they should have known as leaders or been able to find out from the bright, engaged Cal. people. (A prominent east coast university is accomplishing the same without consultants)

But you never want a crisis to go to waste. Merely cutting out inefficiencies does not have the effect desired. Cal has been badly damaged. Good people are loosing their jobs. Cal’s leadership is either incompetent or culpable.

Increasing the budget is not enough. Take aim at the real source of Cal’s crisis by honorably retiring Chancellor Birgeneau and Provost Breslauer.

We heartily agree.

Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Community Center
on Apr 10, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Cal is building another football stadium again on top of the Hayward earthquake fault. This $400M construction for about seven games a year is insane. Yes, a new football stadium was needed. The old one was falling cracked and falling down. But a reported price tag of $400M is obscene. Stanford built its new stadium for$100M and with donated money on time and under budget. As for baseball, great that it should have been reinstated. Baseball is much cheaper to outfit than football.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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