Stanford alums fight to keep 2 Cal sports alive

Stanford grads Pete McCloskey and Joe Cotchett hope to save some Cal athletic programs.
November 5, 2010 9:40:15 PM PDT
A couple of Stanford alums are teaming up to save their cross bay rivals. Former Congressman Pete McCloskey and attorney Joe Cotchett are both Stanford grads but they're trying to prevent some sports programs at cash-strapped UC Berkeley from being cut.

The Cal baseball team and the Cal rugby team are due to be cut the university says the sports programs fell victim to the poor economy and the state's budget problems.

"State crisis put the campus in a crisis. Athletics is not immune from the financial crisis the campus is facing," UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof said.

But down on the Peninsula, a couple of Stanford grads are collecting checks in hopes of restoring men's baseball and rugby. Cotchett credits McCloskey for coming up with the idea of raising money for Cal baseball and rugby.

"A lot of us think playing ball against Cal was kind of a privilege. We'd like our grandchildren to have that same privilege," McCloskey said.

But in cutting the sports programs, the chancellor of UC Berkeley didn't cut just men's baseball and men's rugby, he also cut men and women's gymnastics and women's lacrosse. The university says women's teams will have to be restored if the men's teams are, and that would mean finding $70 million to $80 million for the university's endowment.

Women's lacrosse player Allie Welsh says she understands the university needs a permanent source of funding and she's hopeful.

"Our coach had a week and she rounded out $100,000, which is unbelievable fundraising. I think that it proves that there is just so much camaraderie between Cal and Stanford and the Bay Area," she said.

The coach of the baseball team argues maybe the university doesn't have to get all $70 million at once.

"I think it's more in the realm of trying to get three to five years of money to show there's some sustainability out there," UC Berkeley baseball coach Dave Esquer said.

But there isn't a lot of time; Cotchett and McCloskey say the university has until January, or the two Stanford alums will send the checks back.

Checks to save Cal Berkeley baseball and rugby can be made out to:

Pete McCloskey or Joe Cotchett,Trustees
840 Malcolm Road
Burlingame California, 94010


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