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Intercollegiate Athletics subsidy by UC Berkeley

Original post made by Ptown Resident on Oct 27, 2009

At a time when the University is hurting for money, I find it incredible that they still spend millions of dollars a year to subsidize Intercollegiate Athletics.

Web Link

It isn't bad enough that students with GPAs well above 4.0 don't get in at CAL while other students with much lower grades get in on sports scholarships, but tuition, fees and tax payer monies are used to help that!

Don't get me wrong, sports are great and very necessary, but a line should be drawn at these excesses.

There is going to be a hearing soon on the subject, and hopefully the regents will come to their senses.

Comments (21)

Posted by What?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2009 at 8:59 am

Have you no idea the MILLIONS intercollegiate sports bring in to a University with a ranking national sports program? They would never survive without the money sports bring in. Why do you think the coaches make what they do? Not because it costs the Universities to have winning sports programs but because the top sports programs allow the Universities to help pay for the academics. On top of what schools make on ticket sales, concessions and money from attending bowl games, I know people that have donated ten of thousands of dollars to top football schools just to get the right to buy season tickets for life. These are just some of the ways sports bring in money...there is higher sales of college merchandise, jerseys, hats etc., probably money from T.V. if the game is broadcast, the list goes on and on. Make no mistake intercollegiate sports is BIG business.

Posted by Ptown Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2009 at 11:00 am

It doesn't look like it's generating enough revenue. IA has been borrowing millions of dollars from the University and not paying it back, hence the upcoming hearing.

These are times to live within one's means, and that includes everyone, no special considerations.

Posted by Dan Hernandez, a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 28, 2009 at 11:41 am

It appears UC Berkeley has been stealing tax payer funds for years according to the SF Chronicle. UC Berkeley's sports programs are in the hole, millions, and we (the taxpayers) are expected to bail them out using eduction fund. BS! Read this link:

Web Link

Posted by Craig Hoffman, a resident of Dublin
on Oct 28, 2009 at 12:06 pm

California Education Funds are for EDUCATION not football! I would rather see funds trickle down from higher education to California elementary schools than to fill Jeff Tedford's pockets. The Regents are out of line. It is time to reform UC and reign in the Board of regents.

I want my taxes to provide public eduation system that works for my kids and future generations of Californians. I attended CSULB the last year of the 49ers football team and the same problems existed then as now. The team discontinued but the University is functioning as well as ever. Go Bears...

Posted by Jason, a resident of Dublin
on Oct 28, 2009 at 1:56 pm

I know college athletic departments across the country are hurting so this isn't a new conversation. However, a SUCCESSFUL major division 1 college football and basketball program should make enough money to not only cover their costs, but contribute to non-revenue sports. The key word is SUCCESSFUL, and that does not describe Cal Sports with regards football and basketball.

Posted by Rick, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Yes lets ban sports at CAL and then more schools too. Maybe close down state parks as they don't make money. Any more bright ideas by the morons you put these comments out here. We already have almost no Physical education(genius move by the schools). Maybe you started that too.

Posted by poster boy, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2009 at 4:07 pm

I would suspect that if colleges are similar in revenue generation to high schools, then football and basketball make money and most of the other sports lose money. I believe a lot of this happened after i believe title 9.

Posted by Marie, a resident of Birdland
on Oct 28, 2009 at 5:30 pm

Rick, you can't equate physical education classes with college sports; participating in a college sport is an extracurricular activity (like high school sports, rather than PE, yes?). I emphasize extracurricular, just like music classes or drama classes. If you're going to whine about program and budget cuts then you should include these others as well. As a long-time participant in the Pleasanton school music program I saw how much of their own time and money families had to donate to make sure that these activities were kept off the chopping block. Everyone has to make sacrifices.

Posted by Ptown Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2009 at 7:07 pm


There is a world of difference between P.E. and Intercollegiate Athletics.

IA has been losing money on a yearly basis, and using up Educational Funds, never paying it back.

P.E. is a class, where all students can sign up and participate. Not the same with College football and Basketball. If IA created money to help with ALL UC students, I'd be all for it, but it's the other way around. It must be stopped, and NOW!

Posted by DaleG, a resident of Birdland
on Oct 28, 2009 at 8:50 pm

"Yes lets ban sports at CAL and then more schools too."

Many school have club teams in lots of sports which don't cost the university any money. There are also intramural sports which at a lot of college are extremely popular.

We don't need to ban sports - we just need to be financially responsible.

Posted by Rick, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2009 at 9:06 pm

Financially responsible...............LOL LOL LOL
Who in government does that anywhere? We overpay almost everyone and then give them great benefits and retirement benefits on top of everything. What you all don't understand is we are close to 22 trillion dollar unfunded liability that we can't pay. So lets be responsible, and start reducing wages and benefits to government workers. So maybe they will look for real jobs. And compete against China instead of running for governments deep pockets

Posted by Mariana, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2009 at 10:46 pm

Mariana is a registered user.

It's very narrow-minded of you, Rick, to place all the blame in the government's hands. Remember that little thing called the "sub-prime mortgage crisis"?

Posted by Jerry, a resident of Oak Hill
on Oct 29, 2009 at 1:58 am

I would submit it's quite evident some college sports programs, such as football and basketball, are "minor league training grounds" for the Pro Leagues, without the Pro's footing the associated cost...

Other than the posted Web Link, I have no knowledge of the funding of a college sports program and was under the impression they were self supporting. My major objection is related to sports scholarships where the athletes are granted a full four year scholarship and only completes a couple years before jumping to the Pro's. In my opinion, that scholarship could have gone to someone wishing to complete a four year program that would benefit society in a critical occupation, not make some person that can throw, run with, or bat a ball an instant "early" millionaire...

But as a proir poster mentioned, a Top 10 Team draws attention and a certain amount of Alumni donations...

Posted by Resident, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Oct 29, 2009 at 8:33 am

I definitely have a concern with the full boat scholarships given to athletes - who by the way are also given extra special privileges in their housing, dining, personal tutoring, and education accommodations. Basically, they are treated like "rock stars" in an educational setting. In addition, they get to decide at any time to quit and not pay back a cent to the taxpayers who footed the bill or lose their placement at the school. I know several students who quit sports teams after getting into UC Berkeley and UCLA. They got into the school solely through a coach's pull and then quit the team - less than 2 months into their training season. At least 3 of them would NEVER have gotten into the school based on their academics. Were they asked to leave the In addition, have you ever noticed how many "OUT OF STATE" students are given scholarships on the team roster? Have their parents paid taxes in California? Have you noticed how many "OUT OF STATE" students suddenly appear in the junior/senior year of high school so that they can take advantage of resident rates in the UC system? Have you seen how many families have the latest cars, beautiful houses, take wonderful vacations....deplete their savings accounts and then take full advantage of college financial aid packages including CAL Grants? I know 2 students who have brand new BMW's and are on close to a full tuition financial aid package. Their parents even admitted this strategy. This costs the government money when you add it up across thousands of students in the system. The middle/upper income family can barely pay for their own children but are paying for others indirectly. The entire system needs to be audited. Also, is it true that all college employees are granted full medical coverage for life after 5 years in the system? That's what I've heard from friends who have family in the system but I don't know if it's correct. That's ridiculous if it is true. The majority of the private sector doesn't even give a life long medical option to their employees - even if you're willing to pay the full cost!

Posted by Raven, a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Oct 29, 2009 at 9:26 am

Money rules the world---people excuse the athletes and celebrities for their misbehavior. Louisiana can't survive without a Government bailout and Iowans who have a serious flooding disaster never ask for Governemnt help because they are self-reliant minded. People spend money on expensive football tickets and then bitch about what a teacher gets paid--not often questioning what the Superintendant makes in salary and perks which is obnoxious or the City Manager or Fire/Police Chief--Senior Manager type causing "retirement spiking" versus the Police Officer or Firefighter or Sewer Worker who actually makes the community (you and your family)safe and healthy who cannot spike his/her retirement. Haves and Have nots. The Haves want more and the Have Nots are criticized for fighting to have their piece of the pie, albeit, smaller than what the HAVES ALREADY HAVE. The world should crash and people have to survive by using their hands. The world would be more equal and the HAVES would learn the lesson that they are not all that "special" as they purport themselves to be.

Posted by Rick, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2009 at 9:40 am

Marianna..........LOL...the sub-prime mortgage crisis was caused by the government and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And guess what they are setting the stage for the next problem by allowing banks to be even much bigger. Instead they should be breaking them up and making them smaller so they can't cause systemic risk to the financial system and they become more accountable. But instead they try and fix the pay of their employee's. Super sharp representative's again.....LOL.

Posted by mariana, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2009 at 10:08 am

mariana is a registered user.

Rick, you said that "the sub-prime mortgage crisis was caused by the government and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. And guess what they are setting the stage for the next problem by allowing banks to be even much bigger. Instead they should be breaking them up and making them smaller so they can't cause systemic risk to the financial system and they become more accountable."

Really? So Wall Street had nothing to do with that, huh?
And breaking up the banks... horrors, that would involve the government stepping in, wouldn't it?
And I think that maybe the government has a reason for fixing bank employee pay when the CEOs of investment companies are giving themselves million dollar bonuses: Web Link

Posted by dere, a resident of Foothill Farms
on Oct 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm


Posted by Ptown resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2009 at 5:54 pm

dere, I don't think Cal football will be stopped. They'll, however, have to cut down expenses and be self sufficient.

Just like the rest of us. No more special percs for prima donnas.

Posted by Pete, a resident of Amador Estates
on Oct 29, 2009 at 11:12 pm

OK, let's try to keep some other things in mind before we rip on scholarship student-athletes. The percentage of athletes that actually skip the final 2 years of the scholarship is very low. It is not common, but it does make big news because the athlete usually gets drafted into the pros. But it is not commonplace at all. And isn't that what college is prepare the students for a profession? Their profession just happens to be athletics.

Also, please keep in mind that among all the "perks" to being a scholarship student-athlete, they are NOT ALLOWED to maintain even a part-time job while on scholarship. Not during the season or even the off-season. So, they are solely relying on that scholarship money for everyday expenses. And that money only covers tuition, books, room, and meals. Let's look at even mid-major colleges for example (like St Mary's, Santa Clara, USF) and leave out the major colleges like Michigan, Notre Dame, Kentucky etc. When a fan purchases a jersey of a favorite player (which happens a ton) that money goes directly to the university. Then there is the TV money, money at the gate for games, money to park at games as well. In most cases the football and basketball revenue cover their own operational costs as well as the costs of the other athletic teams as well.

Posted by Jerry, a resident of Oak Hill
on Oct 30, 2009 at 2:01 am

If football and basketball revenue covers all operational cost for athletic programs, why would the article on the posted Web Site state, when addressing IA: "yet it has enjoyed substantial subsidies from central campus funds and student registration fees. Plus it has also accumulated a huge debt, with no realistic plan to pay it off"...

College athlete aren't automatically "drafted" into the pros. They must "declare" before they can be drafted, which means the "2 year" chose to leave college on their own accord...

Several years ago an article in one of the sports magazines(don't recall which)did research on some athletes that didn't make it to the pros after leaving college early. They found many, since they didn't have a college education, were employed in a menial occupation. Some couldn't be found. So much for "a profession"...

Also, if I'm not mistaken, several years ago the NCAA changed the rule to allow scholarship athletes the opportunity to hold employment in circumstances such as "hardship", which any athlete can claim and many have...

I have no objection to "Four year full scholarships", I simply believe "four year" means a commitment of four years to an athletic program but since it apparently doesn't, I won't lose sleep worrying about it...

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