California leads the nation in tuition increases and the UC system has said that annual tuition hikes could range from 8% to 16% over the next four years. That would follow a tuition hike of 17% for in-state students last year, leading to student protests and sit-ins on the Berekely campus. Cal Berkeley is also leading the nation in expensive sports projects. The $447 million of debt required to renovate Cal’s football stadium, including a multisport training facility, is an unprecedented amount of borrowing for a college sports project. In fact, it’s more than double the second place project. (See “Cal’s Football-Stadium Gamble“)

So far, revenue projections to pay off the debt are well short of expectations, leading university officials to admit that the shortfall “would have to come from campus,” including possibly student fees.

“It is disconcerting that the university may be gambling with student fees and other academic funds to cover a massive financial commitment for a football stadium,” says Brian Barsky, a Cal professor.

This possibility is especially troubling considering that from 2003-2011, the Cal athletic department needed $88.4 million in campus academic funds just to stay solvent, according to research conducted by Barsky.

Cal’s football team has been mediocre for decades. Meanwhile, Berkeley currently maintains the country’s highest academic ranking among public colleges. However, that premier academic status is in jeopardy due to the incessant efforts of Berkeley administrators to feed the big-time sports pig.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


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