With an expected increase in television coverage of non-revenue sports, Cal is going to have to upgrade its facilities to allow more broadcasts of sports such as baseball and softball. While it is expected that the increased revenue will help cover the costs of upgrades, the details are not yet finalized.
When Steve Physioc and Morgan Ensberg broadcast the California baseball team's 7-0 win over Washington State on March 25, they all but had to grease themselves and their equipment into the cramped concrete bunker with nary a square inch to spare for even the most svelte of sardines that is the Jackie Jensen Press Box at Evans Diamond.
When Diane Ninemire and her perennially-ranked women's softball team make it to the NCAA Regionals -- as they have done the past 22 years -- or into the Women's College World Series -- as they did every year from 1999-2005 -- they cannot play a single home game, as Levine-Fricke Field not only doesn't even have a press box, but also is entirely isolated from any kind of infrastructure to broadcast television or radio. The No. 7 Bears don't even have locker rooms.
While the focus of the new Pac-12 television deal and the formation of a new Pac-12 Network on the horizon, the biggest issue for the University of California Department of Intercollegiate Athletics will be to upgrade those facilities -- and others -- in order to take advantage of the new, national exposure promised by the lucrative deal pegged as high as $3 billion in total value.
"Certainly, the additional ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU events for women's basketball and our Olympic sports, we will certainly contemplate that," said Athletic Director Sandy Barbour. "One of the expenses that we actually don't have really built in to the model, but that we certainly will need to look at, are what are the infrastructure improvements that need to happen in order for us to be able to fulfill our obligations in terms of baseball, softball, soccer, tennis, you name it, being televised."
After the jump Cal alum (and Florida Marlin) John Baker talks about returning from Tommy John surgery, Mohamed earns another prestigious academic award, and coaches/writers respond to the Pac-12 media deal.
- Wilner breaks down the latest figures from the television deal. CalBears.com also looks at all the facts and number associated with the deal.
- The new deal will bring all of the conference's football and basketball games to television. The conference will take advantage of night game timeslots on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. In fact, the conference championship game will be held on a Friday night (instead of the crowded conference-championship Saturday).
- The coaches, not surprisingly, are thrilled with the television deal. It ought to increase exposure to small-market teams like Oregon State and Washington State.
- Mike Mohamed was named to the 2011 NFF Hampshire Honor Society for maintaining a 3.2+ GPA throughout his time at Cal while contributing extensively on the team.
- Mychal Kendricks tops Ted Miller's list of the Pac-12's leading returning sackmen. Kendricks' move to inside linebacker will likely lower his
- Cal alum and Florida Marlin John Baker pens an excellent read on the flurry of emotions that came over him as he made his first hit--a home run--in the majors. After undergoing Tommy John ligament replacement surgery last fall, he expects to go through the same journey again when he returns to the field.
- The bats introduced this season to protect pitchers have led to a 20% reduction in number of home runs this season. David Esquer and his players aren't too excited about the changes.
- The 21st-ranked Bears defeated Santa Clara 4-1 on the road on Tuesday.