Will California's Budget Woes Affect Athletic Departments of FBS Schools?

Ron JonesContributor IJanuary 22, 2009

Given the tumult in the state of California these days with the budget deficit estimated at 16 Billion according to a 21 Feb 2009 article in the LA Times.  I'm left wondering how will the FBS schools respond to the drastic cuts that will surely come in an attempt to balance the state's budget. 

Already news is coming out of Palo Alto that the most successful athletic department (as measured by the director's cup rankings) over the past decade is looking at making significant cuts as a result of loss in revenue.  Much of the revenue that Stanford is losing is a result of the under-performance of it's endowment which is a significant contributor of revenue to the athletic department and the university as a whole.

Stanford and USC aside, which are private universities, what will be the effect on state schools dependent on revenue from the Sacramento which if reduced would almost certainly effect the athletic departments. 

Will Title IX violations start soaring as athletic departments are forces to obey laws of finance as opposed to well-intentioned but financially naive politicians.  Will we see football programs at places like San Jose State, or San Diego State disappear.  Or will the athletic departments emerge unscathed by the rounds of budgetary cuts.

We can only hope for the best, but in the mean time I suspect that a lot of change will be happening not only in California but all over the country as the laws of mathematics start reimposing themselves.

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