Tuesday, May 03, 2011

WHY CAL SPORTS WERE RE-INSTATED

Back on  September 28th when Cal announced it would cut five sports and demote the poster child for Varsity excellence, Rugby, to a club sport--my favorite author wrote: 

They say we are running a deficit of $10,000,000 to $13,000,000. They want to get down to $5,000,000 by 2014. So we have to save $5,000,000 to $6,000,000 million.

Well let’s see. Larry Scott, the new president of the Pac 12 is on record as saying that the new TV contract should be north of $100,000,000. I’ve heard (this is unverified) that the current one is $70,000,000 and some expect to double it to $140,000,000. That comes to around $9,000,000 to $12,000,000 per school.

The vaunted championship game (two divisions of six teams—another thing which goes against our grain, but what can we do about it?), will generate around $10,000,000 or about $1,000,000 per school.

Seems to me the creation of the Pac 12 takes care of the Chancellor’s request to save $5,000,000 to $6,000,000 million with another $5,000,000 or so to spare.

Won’t the new Stadium increase revenues? If not, why are we building it?

So what is really going on?”

Here’s an except from  College Hotline, today May 3, 2011:  

http://blogs.mercurynews.com/collegesports/2011/05/03/pac-12-tv-deal-the-details/
ESPN and Fox will be co-rightsholders.

* Games will be shown on Fox, ABC, FX, Fox Sports Net, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU.
* The contract includes the Pac-12 football championship game, which will be shown alternately on Fox and ABC.

* The deal is worth approx $3 billion … or approx $250 million per year or approx $21 million per school per year.

* The deal starts in 2012-13 and covers 12 years.

* The league will form its own network — and be the sole owner (unlike Big Ten Network partnership with Fox).

* The conference will also create a digital channel, like ESPN3.

* The conference is expected to formally announce the deal Wednesday in Phoenix, where it’s holding its annual spring meetings.

I want to publically apologize to all loyal Golden Bears who have no life and actually read these screeds.

Once again I was wrong.  I was guessing—anticipating what appeared to be a “conservative” outcome.  Mea Culpa.   Please forgive me.

That tall handsome guy also wrote:

"We needn’t point fingers nor cast blame. These are good, hardworking people. Under financial stress good people can make bad decisions. It doesn’t make them bad people.

Who among us hasn’t made a short sighted, unsound decision during financial duress? Does using the equity in one’s house as an ATM card, because “This market is different” ring a bell?

Why don’t we just fix it without pointing fingers?

First: What’s the real problem?

My grandfather used to recite a poem that contained these lines:

“You don't go down with a hard, short fall; you just sort of shuffle along,
And lighten your load of the moral code, till you can't tell the right from the wrong."

That’s what we fear is happening at Cal today. That we are taking a slippery slope towards mediocrity and no one is telling the Golden Bear he has no clothes.

This has been going on for decades. The pursuit of money is clouding our thinking. You can't lose your moral compass in one area and retain it in another.

A former administrator and good friend of mind is telling folks that, as a Former Trustee, it is disloyal and “not constructive” for me to criticize the University we all love.

From my Grandfather’s graduation in 1912 to when my dad played for Doc in the 40’s, till I played for him in the 60’s, to the time my youngest graduated in 2008, we have never NOT supported Cal. If those of us who have proven our loyalty through our pocket books and our devotion are not allowed to speak up and dissent, who is?
Sometimes support comes in the form of pointing out painful truths.

Sometimes that dress does make your butt look big.

It’s part of the code: “Friends don’t let friends wear Speedos.”

And this “Speedo” is truly ugly.


Failing to recognize Rugby for its pursuit of excellence and rewarding it appropriately is another sign of degrading the values we all used to hold dear…..

,,,,,What puzzles us the most, is why weren’t we alumni allowed to help? Those administrators involved will tell you’ve they’ve been working on this for 18 months. The question another friend posed is: “Why didn’t you do like a judge does in court and say, ‘this is the way I’m leaning. You’ve got 60 days to change my mind?’”

We were never included in the discussion. The Chancellor’s own committee recommended that the University give benchmarks and time tables to the various sports in an attempt to save the $4,000,000 in question by 2014. Why was that not done?

It’s another sign of descending into mediocrity.

Another line from “The Lure of the Tropics” goes like this:

“I started off to be honest, with everything on the square,
But a man can't fool with the Golden Rule in a crowd that won't play fair.
It's a choice of riding a dirty race, or of being an also ran,
My only hope was to steal and dope the horse of the other man.”

We haven’t played fair with the university. We handcuffed them. We demanded excellence without providing the financial support necessary to achieve it. We, the people of California, didn’t give them the funds. We Alumni didn’t give them the funds to support the sports we cherish. They erred in not giving us the opportunity (though it was one of the Committee’s recommendations) to help them out of this mess.

Hopefully, We’ve both learned a lesson.

Now all we want is the opportunity to make it right. I’m sure all five sports will step up to the plate (if they don’t, fair enough) but Rugby for one is prepared to fund itself and promote Women’s rugby was well."

We can all applaud the Chancellor’s decision to cut back the University’s financial commitment to sports.

These are tough times.  Education comes first.  We support responsible budgeting and financial practices.
Cal told us they took a year an a half to arrive at the decisions they did.  I don’t doubt it. But how could they not figure in the potential gains from this contract?  How could they not include the alumni?

I have over 500 e-mails to back that up.  I have no idea how many e-mails both the Chancellor and the
Athletic  Director received.

However, I’m arrogant enough to believe that the hundreds, perhaps thousands of e-mails the administration received played a huge part.

Now all sports are back.  In another Cal Fan’s Notes we (The Tape Worm and I) will address how we got there.

So, if you love Cal, don’t be strangers.  Continue to let them know what you think.  It has an impact!  As (my favorite author wrote in the first week) “Help Rugby to save Cal.”  We are on a track driven by money which is dumbing down the U.  We are way up in foreign students, and out of state students because they pay more than in-state students.   We’re now (against the going to admit the top 9% of any high school—qualified or not—in the  State.  That means an Hispanic kid who is in the top 30 percent at Acalanes or St. Helena—won’t get in because another Hispanic in Fresno got in because he was in the top 9% of his class, and maybe read one book in his entire life.

California Tax payers (and their children) are getting royally screwed.  I’ll address that next time.
For now, let’s  follow Lincoln in his second Inaugural Address. “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up theUNIVERSITY’S wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all ALUMNI AND ADMINISTRATORS.”

Don’t forget.  This is all about Andy Smith.  (BTW this pic is me and Pappy,, not Andy Smith, but he loved Coach Smith).  It’s engraved on the back of the Bench in Memorial Stadium:
“Winning is not everything; it is far better to play the game squarely and lose than to win at the sacrifice of an ideal."

Go Bears,
Jeffrey Earl Warren ‘70