Cal Baseball was nearly cut during the 2010-2011 season but at the last second received a reprisal as a couple of boosters came through to fund the program. This summer, Cal Baseball coach David Esquer jumped shipped and went over to Stanford to take over the Cardinal program. When the Cal program was searching for a head coach this summer, several sources had told me that the program was in financial troubles as the boosters money was running low and a new coach would need to focus a ton on fundraising.
On Monday this week. The Daily Cal reported that the Cal Athletic Department needs to cut athletic funding due to a huge deficit and cutting teams is on the table.
It’s no secret that Cal Athletics faces a daunting future: the most debt-ridden athletics program in the nation is tasked with cutting the entirety of its fiscal year 2016 budget deficit — nearly $22 million — by 2020. The way the department hopes to reach that future was cleared up a bit Tuesday, with the fiscal year 2018 budget revealing plans for Cal Athletics to decrease its budget deficit by $4.652 million. This potential future features an $8 million cut of scope, a move that implies cutting many of Cal Athletics’ 30 teams.
Cal Athletics’ divisional budget dashboard — which was crafted in spring 2017 — reveals the department turning to cutting roster spots in some men’s sports and exploring the reduction of travel and out-of-state scholarships. More eye-popping is a section in which the department speaks on potential longer-term revenue generation plans.
Those potential plans include:
- relocating the track and soccer teams to let campus produce residential housing on Edwards Stadium
- selling naming rights for Memorial Stadium to generate more than $4 million annually
- selling alcohol at football and basketball games
These plans are meant to help Cal Athletics — which has more than $400 million of debt to pay for Memorial Stadium and Simpson Student-Athlete High Performance Center — cut a deficit that was projected to be down to $17.81 million in fiscal year 2017. Nearly $18 million will be devoted in each year’s budget to yearly interest payments on that debt. All of these plans are overshadowed by that potential cutting of department size.
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