Cal rugby, perennial champions

Following a joint faculty/alumni report urging cuts in the University of California Berkeley’s subsidies to its athletics programs, the university will announce today the elimination of five varsity sports: baseball, rugby, men’s and women’s gymnastics, and women’s lacrosse.

The cuts will save $4 million annually. The athletic department’s deficit has ranged from $10-13 million. Following the cuts, Cal will have 22 24men’s and women’s teams.

Cal’s rugby team is overwhelmingly the most successful sport at the university, and perhaps in the nation. It has won the national championship 25 times since 1980, including this year.

Chancellor Robert Birgeneau is holding a news conference about the cuts today at 2:30 p.m. Berkeleyside will provide an update from the news conference.

Update The university’s press release about the cuts is here.

Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine...