Three athletic teams at the University of California, Berkeley, slated to cease intercollegiate competition at the end of this academic year – women’s lacrosse, women’s gymnastics and rugby – will be preserved, campus officials announced today (Friday, Feb. 11). New philanthropic commitments will support the teams’ expenses while plans are implemented for long-term financial self-sufficiency. With today’s announcement, the campus remains on track to meet its commitment to cap annual allocations for Intercollegiate Athletics at no more than $5 million annually by 2014.
n September 2010, UC Berkeley announced its intention to eliminate four teams – women’s and men’s gymnastics, women’s lacrosse and baseball – and to assign rugby to a newly created sports tier. During the last several months, alumni, student-athletes, coaches and fans mobilized to solicit funding to preserve the teams’ intercollegiate status.
After a comprehensive, sport-by-sport review of the philanthropic commitments, unfortunately, it was determined that the pledges for baseball and men’s gymnastics fell short of the criteria provided to potential donors: sufficient funding to support team expenses for the next seven to 10 years and the presentation of a feasible plan for sustained financial independence.