Given Cal’s star status in Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s Jan. 4 article on the piles of debt accumulated by university athletics departments, throwing $5.8 million at Sonny Dykes on his way out the door added insult to injury. I don’t intend to argue UC Berkeley’s contractual obligations to Dykes but just to add my voice to that of anyone else out there who really wonders at the debt crisis facing UC Berkeley, a significant factor of which is a costly athletics program (with the Memorial Stadium fiasco playing a key role). How the campus manages its finances ought to be on the radar screen of every member of the campus community, including alumni like me (class of ’70). And I suggest that when any of us is approached to donate to Cal we all insist on making these questions part of the conversation.
Paul Wright is a UC Berkeley Class of 1970 alumni.