The news of the week was definitely the historic Pac-12 media rights contract. The more sobering news is that Cal's projections going forward (which still required the millions of dollars in donations from alums) included this money. Or at least what the Athletics Department thought Larry Scott would get. Larry got more! By $1.2 million for the first year. Which is great! Every penny is so important.
Well before Wednesday's announcement, the likelihood of higher Pac-12 media revenues had been factored into the department's long-range planning and analysis process that followed Chancellor Robert Birgeneau's decision to cap campus support for the department at $5 million by 2014. Prior to the scope reduction decisions announced last September, University and athletic department officials consulted with the conference office and received an estimate of $4 million in additional money from a new rights package, or $1.2 million less than the actual contract will provide in its first year.
While the additional funding beyond what was anticipated is certainly helpful, Barbour said that it does not replace or devalue the importance of Cal's donor community, especially in light of the new financial challenges that have emerged in recent months. These include new cuts in state appropriations for higher education and the possibility of more to come, the likelihood of new increases in student tuition that will have a significant impact on the cost of athletic scholarships, and the impact of a required renewal of pension contributions and increased benefits costs for University employees.
The payments do increase over time, so it's all uphill from there!
Today, we have more news on women's golf making the NCAA Tournament, Rugby moving on in their playoffs after defeating life, and Cal baseball and softball both up in Corvallis. GO BEARS!