Campus & community, Campus news

UC Berkeley and the changing landscape of intercollegiate athletics

Chancellor Carol Christ and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Jim Knowlton sent the following message to the campus community on Friday afternoon:

As you may be aware, two more of our Pac-12 peer institutions, Oregon and Washington, have decided to leave the conference one year from now, and there are reports that additional universities may be considering similar steps.

These changes are just the latest developments in the ongoing realignment of the conferences around which intercollegiate athletics are organized; changes that raise serious questions and challenges for Cal Athletics.

We are not watching and waiting from the sidelines. Together, we are evaluating a variety of options that will ensure our student athletes can continue to thrive, and that our intercollegiate athletics program can continue to excel in a manner consistent with our institutional values and budgetary realities.

We recognize and deeply value the singular role Cal Athletics plays in terms of the participatory and educational opportunities it provides to our students, and the way in which it supports the strength, spirit and cohesion of our university’s extended community of students, staff, faculty and alumni.

As we review the options before us, these are the attributes we are committed to protect and preserve.

At this point, as complicated conversations and negotiations continue, there is little else we can say without jeopardizing our interests. We are grateful for the continued support of the campus community and the extended Cal Family, and will remain committed to sharing as much information as we can in the days ahead.