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Cal Football

The Future of Cal Athletics hangs in the balance

July 3, 2022
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The world of college athletics is changing fast, and the decision on Thursday of USC and UCLA to leave the Pac 12 has brought a crisis to Berkeley whose implications will be felt for decades to come.

To put this bluntly, if the opportunity for Cal to continue to grow its football revenue by playing on College Football’s biggest stage is lost, the Athletic Department and financial future for the University will be forever changed.

  • Cal’s current Stadium Debt and the commitments it made to capital programs (outside of Memorial Stadium), coaches' salaries, etc could be as high as $1B.  The repayment of which is based on the future revenues that come from Football.  
  • It’s almost impossible to imagine that a reconstituted Pac 12 without the LA Schools would be able to come close to the revenue needed to support the current department.  
  • Without a seat at College Football’s biggest table, there’s an almost near certainty of Cal needing to cut many of its current sports.  Though the largest implication may well be the material and long-term loss of alumni support for the University as a whole.  Season ticket holders, ESP donors, Championship Caliber Fund supporters, and potential NIL funders are likely to dissipate quickly

I urge all of you to reach out to your State Assembly and Senate Representatives as well as Chancellor Christ and Athletic Director Jim Knowlton.  A template representing our viewpoint is included below if needed:

Dear Chancellor Christ,

I write to you today as a passionate supporter of Cal Athletics and the University at large.  The events of last Thursday where our sister Campus at UCLA and our long-time rival USC, choose to leave the Pac-12 leave me feeling anxious and unsure about the future.  I implore you and the UC Regents to do all that you can to ensure that Cal protects the invaluable revenue engine and alumni connector that is Cal Football from being marginalized within the changing College Sports landscape.  An outcome whereby Cal competes in a reconfigured Pac 12 or in any way is a second-class citizen to the members of the Big 10 and the SEC will irrevocably alter my future commitment as a donor, ticket buyer, and supporter of Cal.   This University offers the world including College Athletics, too much to be anything other than an equal participant alongside the very best Football Programs in the country.

Best,

XXXXXX

cchrist@berkeley.edu

jim.knowlton@berkeley.edu

Related:  UCLA and USC to leave the Pac 12

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The Future of Cal Athletics hangs in the balance

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