Sad news from the Left Coast

This is the tip of it…look for booster clubs and things designed to fund raise to become the norm and if your kid makes a big time D-1 program you may be fishing for some more money and scholarships will become passe.

Money is only part of the equation…Title 9 and the NCAA combine to help ensure that there will never be enough program resources or scholarship money to adequately support baseball at most colleges and universities that also field football and basketball teams.

This decision by Cal is a particularly poor one…worse even than most university committee decisions are: They eliminated the D-1 baseball program that won the first ever Collegiate World Series and emasculated an historic rugby program that won 25 titles over the past 100+ years of its existence by converting rugby to “university club” status.

You don’t wanna know most of the 25 other sports they will continue to fund at Cal Berkeley.

Funding of baseball needs to come from a renewal of TV contracts, you don’t have that problem in college football where the TV revenue is serious money for the schools. Baseball is just put in another catagory and rarely seen on TV except at College World Series.

Another effort needs to be put in by baseball lovers at the high school level, football might get 1000-2000 to a game here (in the cold) but baseball might draw a crowd of parents of the kids playing. What’s the difference and what’s the solution? Dont really know but that’s where interest is generated and where the money starts.

Football games, even at the HS level, are entertainment spectacles that draw big crowds partly because you don’t need to know much about the game to enjoy being part of the audience.

You don’t need to know what’s happening on the field to enjoy the fact that two teams are colliding with one another on every play.

And, you don’t need to know anything to enjoy the half-time show, plus all the band members’ and cheerleaders’ families show up to see them play, too. Adds to the crowd.

Even the time clock may be an advantage to the average football fan…you can precisely plan your way-too-busy life around a football game. HS football games are also great for Friday night dates.

If you’ve ever seen the kind of schticks and promotional gimmicks many minor league clubs put on between innings, maybe that’s a model of where the sport needs to go at the HS/college levels…just do whatever it takes to draw people in, so that the game can survive.

HS football seems very inclusionary (if that’s a word)…lots and lots of students and families are involved in the ritual of homecoming, and the rest of the schedule, beyond just the team members and coaches.

On the other hand, HS baseball seems very exclusionary (if that’s also a word)…aside from the actual team and coaches, plus team families, there’s really nobody else deeply involved in it.

Another huge issue is: Unlike the Friday night football ritual, there are so many regular season HS baseball games played early in the afternoons on weekdays…not even the team families can attend those.

None of that means the players aren’t fully committed; however, it can make for some very bleak comparisons when ADs with limited budgets are trying to figure out how to apportion $$$ on athletics programs. I guess it’s no secret that popularity carries a lot of weight.