APER’s views on Cal’s cuts of baseball, gymastics, lacrosse & deranking of rugby

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October 1, 2010

UC Berkeley announced on Tuesday, Sept. 28 that the university planned to eliminate men’s baseball, men’s and women’s gymnastics and women’s lacrosse, and to demote the rugby team to a club due to budget cuts. The Campanil caught up with staff members of the Mills department of Athletics, Physical and Education Recreation (APER) to see what they had to say.

Themy Adachi, APER director

What’s your reaction to UC Berkeley’s athletic cuts?

“Obviously I don’t know all the sides of the story; I do know that the UC system has had to make cuts stay with the budget. It does seem like it was a thoroughly thought out decision, not a knee-jerk decision. It’s unfortunate, and I think the main issue is state funding of education. Hopefully people keep that in mind when they vote in November.”

What do you think the chances are that Mills would have to make similar decisions?

We’re a little bit different in that we’re a private school, so our funding isn’t coming from the state. I feel like the college will support athletics as best and as fairly as it can.”

How important do you think sports are for students?

“Based on evaluations, student athletes have said after their experience it transforms lives. I stay in this business because it changes people’s lives and makes them more confident.”

Of the cut Berkeley sports, which is your favorite?

“I was a softball player at Cal for four years. Softball’s the women’s parallel to baseball, so I’d have to say baseball.”

Colette Bowler, soccer coach

What’s your reaction to UC Berkeley’s athletic cuts?

“I was shocked for one thing. My neighbor was UC Berkeley’s assistant baseball coach, so I feel bad for him.”

What do you think the chances are that Mills would have to make similar decisions?

“I have no idea; it really just depends. I feel like this campus is very supportive of athletics and I’ve never had that feeling where we’re going to cut athletics. President Janet Holmgren values our athletics and would never cut them. I hope our new president will do that as well.”

How important do you think sports are for students?

“Mills values the athletics department. We have a really high retention rate with our athletes coming back to Mills.”

Of the cut Berkeley sports, which is your favorite?

“I played hard-core rugby for many years. Rugby is such a great sport for new-comers. Also, I always hate to see women’s programs cut.”

Natalie Spangler, athletic trainer

What’s your reaction to UC Berkeley’s athletic cuts?

“I’m shocked just because of the caliber of their athletic program and they come across as being so financially stable. For them to have to cut so much is really shocking. It’s really sad for the athletes that have been recruited and the coaches who are losing their jobs. It’s a sad time for Cal athletics.”

What do you think the chances are that Mills would have to make similar decisions?

“It just depends on the College. I think as far as athletics go, I think we’ve done a good job at keeping our financial stability. Whether we’d have to cut sports or not really depends on our support from Mills. Hopefully that doesn’t happen; we’re all crossing our fingers.”

How important do you think sports are for students?

“Sports are important, even though we’re not on television and don’t have to keep a certain level of appearance.”

Of the cut Berkeley sports, which is your favorite?

“Baseball. I grew up playing softball and it’s my favorite sport. But I know that gymnastics there is huge. They have Olympic athletes there who have to find a different place.”

Elese Lebsack, compliance officer

What’s your reaction to UC Berkeley’s athletic cuts?

“I have mixed feelings about it. I obviously feel bad about the student athletes. I can totally have empathy for them. I know that institutions’ funding often dictates decisions, specifically with athletic departments. I’m just going to trust that they’re going to make the best decision.

What do you think the chances are that Mills would have to make similar decisions?

“I feel solid about the support that we have from Mills as a department. I feel very strong support from the institution that they know the value that we bring.”

How important do you think sports are for students?

“I think for the student athletes who participate, the sports are important. It offers an experience to challenge and support; the individual challenge of just pushing your body to new limits and time management.”

Of the cut Berkeley sports, which is your favorite?

“I really love baseball but just at the non-collegiate level. I just like to watch it.”

Nicci Van Dyke, coordinator

What’s your reaction to UC Berkeley’s athletic cuts?

“I would say it’s unfortunate that the athletic cuts have happened, but I’m aware of their overall budget problems just from hearing about them.”

What do you think the chances are that Mills would have to make similar decisions?

“To our sports programs? Hopefully not. I think that because we are a small college, there’s probably a higher percentage of our students who are athletes.”

How important do you think sports are for students?

“When students are athletes, there’s a sense of belonging and the positive experience that student athletes have. I think getting people to learn how to work as members of a team is important. There’s individual performance, but also working as a team. That’s a life skill; sacrifice, discipline and working hard to accomplish something. Learning that it does take commitment to see things through.”

Of the cut Berkeley sports, which is your favorite?

“I’ll say as a spectator, probably gymnastics. I think it’s what people can do with their bodies; the strength and coordination.”


APER’s views on Cal’s cuts of baseball, gymastics, lacrosse & deranking of rugby was published on October 1, 2010 in Sports & Health

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  • Milan Moravec

    Chancellor’s consultants cost $3,000,000: athletic savings $4,000.000. Absolute transparency for University of California Berkeley. UC Berkeley’s budget gap has grown to $150 million, & Chancellor Birgeneau is spending money that isn’t there on $3,000,000 consultants. (A world-class East Coast University is doing the same as UC Berkeley without consultants: $0 cost). His reasons range from the need for impartiality to requiring the consultants “thinking”.
    Does this mean that the Faculty & management of UC Berkeley – flagship campus of the greatest public system of higher education in the world – lack the thinking, integrity, impartiality, innovation to identify savings? Have they been fudging their research for years?
    The consultants will, by the way, get their recommendations from faculty & staff interviews; yet $150 million of inefficiencies could be found internally if the Chancellor & Provost Breslauer did the WORK of their $500,000 jobs (This simple point is lost on Breslauer, Birgeneau).
    The victims of this folly are Faculty, Students & taxpayers.
    There is only one conclusion as to why inefficiencies are not volunteered by faculty & staff: Chancellor Birgeneau & Provost Breslauer have lost the credibility & trust of Cal Faculty & Staff. Even if the faculty agrees the consultants’ recommendations – disagreeing might put their jobs in jeopardy – the underlying problem of lost credibility & trust remains.
    Contact your representatives in Sacramento: tell them of the hefty self-serving $’s being spent by Birgeneau & Breslauer.
    Make a difference…speak your opinion 925 942 6082, 916 651 4007. Let there be light!