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Cal Fires Jack Clark, Nukes Rugby And Cal Athletics

Jack Clark of Cal Rugby
On Tuesday, as this blogger was traveling away from the San Francisco Bay Area and Cal Berkeley, UC Berkeley was in the process of nuking it's prized Rugby Program, and destroying Cal Athletics as we know it.

Rugby Coach Jack Clark was fired - his position ends June 2011 -  and the program dumped to varsity sports status.

The reason given was Title IX requirements to financially equalize male and female sports, but given that Coach Clark had a plan to fund and to elevate Women's Rugby to intercollegiate status that was jettisoned by the Cal Administration, using Title IX as an excuse is pure horseshit.

The overall issue has been Cal's need to cut the overall budget of the athletic department, but the one revenue-generating program, Men's Rugby, and its coach who has a plan to elevated women's rugby, was a major target.

For someone not familiar with this issue at all, Cal Men's Rugby has achieved legendary status in the sports World. The Cal Bears are the 2010 National Champions and have won 25 National Championships and nine since 2000 - and it's 2010 as of this writing.   But because of political infighting, the one money-making program in all of Cal Athletics is being reduced to a mere shadow of itself.

As is common with Cal, the way this came about is always the stuff of harsh political infighting. From experience on the Cal Alumni Board and viewing Cal's Administration up close during the Long Range Planning Meetings , this blogger can say turf battles are a contact sport at Cal.

 For internal reasons not yet entirely known, Jack Clark, who's used to winning, lost a battle.   But in the end, Berkeley lost the one person synonymous with sports success at Berkeley: Jack Clark.

As KalosTV says on YouTube, it's time to celebrate Cal Rugby:

Did Cal Back Sandy Barbour Into A Corner?

The gut level feeling is Cal Athletic Director Sandy Barbour was backed into a corner by the overall Cal Administration. It feels like Sandy was forced to make a choice between her position or that of Jack's and the Cal Bears Rugby team.

Knowing Cal as I do, that gut level feeling that Sandy was placed between a political rock and a hardplace is powerful.

Stay tuned.
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