Cal Berkeley saved from Title IX penalties by fundraising


To save Cal Berkeley sports teams, student athletes did fundraisers and got alumni donations to practically self-finance three varsity teams. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Student athletes from the University of California, Berkeley, had to do some aggressive fund raising to keep several sports teams alive. Budget cuts forced the school to cut funding from five varsity sports. The school would have been hit with severe Title IX penalties if some teams had gone under.

Title IX penalties staved off

The University of California, Berkeley, also known as UC Berkeley or Cal Berkeley, was among many schools facing severe budget cuts due to California state budget issues. Cuts included trimming $4 million per year from the athletics department budget, according to the New York Times. Five varsity level teams were being eliminated, including Cal baseball, women’s gymnastics, men’s gymnastics, women’s lacrosse and men’s rugby. If those teams had been eliminated, Cal Berkeley would fall into violation of Title IX, which prevents federal funding going to any institution discriminating on basis of gender. The ratio of fewer female athletes to male athletes would have been less than the ratio of female to male students and prevented the university from receiving any subsidies.

Fundraising saves three of five

The five programs slated to be cut were told in September, 2010, that they had to raise $25 million or be cut, according to ESPN. The Cal baseball team and men’s gymnastics teams have not raised quite enough, but the women’s lacrosse and gymnastics were saved in part by donations from the Cal men’s rugby team. UC Berkeley may be without a baseball team for the first time in more than a century and will be one of the few California universities that will not field one. Supporters of the two women’s teams and men’s rugby team have raised $8 million, thanks to generous donations of alumni and aggressive fundraising.

Stronghold of the Game Played in Heaven

UC Berkeley fields the most successful men’s collegiate rugby team in the nation, having won more than 25 national championships in the past 30 years. The Cal Rugby team is in many ways more successful than the football team. Many Berkeley players have represented their country as a member of the Eagles, the USA national rugby union team. The team has a huge following and support base to draw from.


New York Times


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