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Archive for September 15, 2017

Sept. 15, 2017 — The perils of running afoul of the Constitution of the United States

Over the last dozen or so years, there has been dread, fear, and just a little bit of paranoia for non-revenue student-athletes at the University of California, Berkeley.

It’s much more than the kerfuffle which saw the school’s field hockey team lose its home ground for several seasons. It’s more than the cuts that were saved only at the last minute through alumni-funded donations.

And now, as it turns out, perhaps Berkeley’s decisionmakers made an error of huge proportions when it comes to Title IX compliance.

It’s come out this week that since the spring of this year, the U.S. Office of Civil Rights has put the university’s athletic department under continuous monitoring.

Usually this kind of compliance activity can be accomplished through reports written by lawyers or consultants. But to have monitors on campus, examining decisions as they happen? That’s a new one.

But what’s also new is what’s revealed at the end of the story: UC Berkeley’s athletic department is $400 million in debt.

That, frankly, could be the start of a domino effect when it comes to colleges defaulting. Only a couple of NCAA Division I universities have budget balance, and a lot of it is because of profligate spending on football and men’s basketball, and the inability of sponsors and donors to make up the difference.

Makes you wonder what might happen if the Feds step in at the rest of the 149 Football Bowl Subdivision universities.