A $1.79 million reduction to the UC Davis Intercollegiate Athletics Department could result in the removal of up to nine teams from the 2010-2011 budget.
While it’s unfortunate fewer opportunities will be available for student-athletes, the decision to cut teams is the only solution given the present budget situation.
UC Davis has always offered a broad-based sports program – one focused on adding teams, not removing them. It was difficult enough, however, for ICA to use its approximately $20 million budget this year to provide sufficient funding for each of its 27 sports. This reduction simply makes it impossible.
UC Davis will remain a broad-based program, even if it removes multiple teams.
Take the rest of the Big West Conference as an example. The Big West sponsors 18 teams for conference play, with the nine schools in the league offering an average of 18.4 ICA sports.
Hypothetically, if UC Davis cuts six teams, it would still have more sports than any other school in the Big West. Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara have the second-most offerings with 20 sports; UC Riverside, meanwhile, provides the least at 15. Given this economy, it’s financially irresponsible to try to field 27 teams.
It’s also unfair to let this situation drag on any further. High schoolers are currently being recruited to play sports at UC Davis that may not exist next year. Current student-athletes are left in limbo, stuck somewhere between hoping their sport isn’t cut and considering schools to potentially transfer to if it were.
If UC Davis is going to remove teams, ICA needs to announce which sports will be cut as soon as possible. It’s only fair to those this difficult transition will affect most.