A pleasant surpriseThe decision to reinstate the men's gymnastics team is hopefully the is hopefully the end to this sports-saga.
Monday, May 9, 2011
Category: Opinion > Editorials
The men's gymnastic team will be reinstated, making it the fifth and final sports team to survive the proposed athletics cut.
Despite only securing approximately $2.5 million out of their targeted $4 million, the men's team expects that the funds will last for an estimated seven to 10 years. Although the target was not met, we are still happy that such a successful program-with large contributions to national and Olympic teams-will remain on campus.
The men's gymnastics team should use this opportunity to make itself more noticeable in Berkeley and continue to raise funds.
We worry that this reinstatement has the potential to stifle fundraising efforts going forward, something that cannot happen, given the existing funds only last so long.
More than most other teams that faced the proposed cut-such as rugby and baseball-men's gymnastics must fill the gap between the $4 million goal and the $2.5 million reality because of their lower profile on campus.
This is not out of reach, however, as part of the initial fundraising effort involved an outreach program with USA Gymnastics, and such national ties can be utilized in future endeavors as a possible expansion of financial resources.
We also hope that donations from alumni and university sports patrons do not stop as a result of the reinstatement.
The campus's decision to force the program to cut the number of scholarships from 4.7 to three, paired with the decision to make incoming gymnasts ineligible for scholarships, is an unfortunate but fair result of the lack of funds. If more money becomes available, then scholarships should be reinstated, but the current state of finances makes this compromise tolerable.
Because the men's gymnastics team does not have the luxury of a large donor base, it must continue its efforts to secure its spot on campus for the long-term.
Still, its flexibility in the face of adversity offers a broader lesson during such difficult economic times. We congratulate the men's gymnastics team and wish them luck in the coming years.
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