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UC Davis cut four sports progams while athletics administration redecorated?

Mar 15, 2011, 2:04 PM EDT

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Gunrock the Mustang is not a bit pleased over the controversy at UC Davis, that Div. I school you may not have heard of that’s tucked into the bucolic, oak-filled territory just west of Sacramento. One of the kids I formerly coached in basketball is there on a wrestling scholarship, and that sport, along with three others, has just been cut. Students there are claiming fiscal mismanagement, and are threatening to sue.

Every lawsuit needs a convenient hook, and this has one. Even though wrestling, men’s swimming and diving, indoor track and field, and women’s rowing were all cut in the new budget just submitted, the athletics administration still found $4,000 to redecorate the office of the new associate athletic director. With four sports cut and the threat of perhaps more to go in 2012, I’m not even sure why you’d need an associate athletics director. But apparently you do, and he must have new drapes.

The Office of the President conducted an independent investigation and cleared administrators of any wrongdoing. But former Aggies swimmer Zach Hansen is not happy with what went down.

“They did it behind closed doors, and the people who were supposed to be involved were kept out,” Hansen said.

He said some students are now considering a lawsuit against the university on the grounds that student funds aren’t being handled properly.

Hansen cited the $4,000 price tag on the new office furniture and carpet for the school’s associate athletics director and senior women’s administrator as an example. UC Davis officials say the director changed offices to handle new responsibilities and called the cost typical for an annual renovation.

“There’s new carpet, there’s new furniture, they threw out the old carpet and old furniture the previous person used for several years,” Hansen said. “Apparently he didn’t have a problem with it.”

However this turns out, it’s clearly another example of people in charge being tone-deaf to perception. You don’t cut four popular sports and then immediately go browse carpet samples. How does that look? The associate athletic director couldn’t live with the old desk until this blew over? Think, people!

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UCD Students May Sue College Over Sports Cuts [CBS Sacramento]

  1. udub - Mar 15, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    Oh please. The cost of operating wrestling, men’s swimming and diving, indoor track and field, and women’s rowing is nothing close to $4,000. To compare it like they chose carpet over these sports is ridiculous.

    • lewp - Mar 16, 2011 at 5:24 AM

      I have to agree with Rick, it looks goofy. Why cut programs and buy carpet in one felled swoop?

      That money surely could have gone towards travel, uniforms, or whatever the cost of supporting thos programs could be.
      My question is, why have an associate athletic director when there when there are potentially no athletics? Why vote yourself out of a job?