Golden Nuggets: Robert Birgeneau and Sandy Barbour on Cutting Baseball, Gymnastics, and Women's Lacrosse

Cal's baseball, men's gymnastics, women's gymnastics, and women's lacrosse will all enter their final year this season.  At today's announcement, Chancellor Birgeneau and AD Sandy Barbour addressed the need to cut four sports to balance the athletic budget.

The move, announced Tuesday, is part of the school's attempt to trim a nearly $13 million athletics-department subsidy from the overall campus budget. The cuts will save $4 million in 2011-12, the school said.

The decision will affect 163 athletes, and 13 coaches will lose their jobs. University leaders hope to lower the department subsidy to $5 million by 2014, a number Chancellor Robert Birgeneau has called acceptable.

"This decision was not entered into lightly or in haste," Birgeneau said at a news conference, adding that no other teams would be cut in the near future. "Everyone deeply regrets the human toll these decisions will take."

Athletic Director Sandy Barbour said she and others tried to find ways to raise money so they could avoid cuts. In the end, she said, the elimination of several teams "was the best available option."

The university will continue to pay athletic scholarships to the affected students and will help those who want to transfer to other schools, officials said.

After the jump Rugby hopes to continue playing at championship-level caliber, Tedford holds a special media session to address the Arizona loss, the Bears get an early start for UCLA preparations, and Cal basketball has eight more games televised nationally.

Cuts to Sports

As a varsity club sport, men's rugby, currently the only program to have varsity status among more than 325 Division I schools, will continue to use Witter Rugby Field as its primary training and competition venue, as well as have its offices located in the Doc Hudson Field House. In the very near future, Athletics and university leadership look forward to working with members of the rugby program to address a plan to cover the support services they need to maintain their high level of success, including admissions, sports medicine and access to training facilities. Rugby was previously designated as a club sport from the late 1950s until the early 1990s.

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