Editor’s note: The following is an open letter to Chancellor Linda Katehi in response to Friday’s announcement that four ICA sports would be discontinued.
I urge you not to follow the recommendation of Athletics Director Greg Warzecka to cut the women’s rowing and men’s wrestling, swimming and indoor track teams. This is a shortsighted solution that will result in long-term problems for the athletic department and all of UC Davis.
Mr. Warzecka’s arbitrary determination to eliminate the women’s rowing team despite the fact that it is the most economical women’s sport will likely result in even more Title IX lawsuits and grievances. Honoring the scholarships, as he has stated he will do, will not save the university money in the short-term, and will result in the long-term diminution of the prestige of the school and its athletic department. The decision to cut men’s wrestling will not insulate the school from its likely defeat in the pending Title IX lawsuit by the women wrestlers.
It’s unlikely Mr. Warzecka’s attempts to make UC Davis into a leading football contender will result in any additional revenue or prestige for the school. Rather, the athletic department at UC Davis needs to get back to basics, provide services and promote the interests of all the students.
In these difficult financial times, little effort appears to have been made to explore other sources of funding, to build an effective alumni support network or to share the losses in an equitable manner.
Please do not follow this ill-considered recommendation. Allow more time to devise a solution that works for all of the UC Davis community.