IN NOVEMBER OF 2015, A FEW DAYS BEFORE the Big Game between UC Berkeley and Stanford, California State Sen. Nancy Skinner attended an Oakland Rotary Club meeting. That day, as it often does, the club was discussing athletics, and it had invited antitrust economist Andy Schwarz, a longtime critic of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Schwarz, “a Stanford guy,” shared the stage with the Cal Band, which played Cal songs, before he began his presentation.
There’s money in college sports. Lots of it.
March Madness, the national basketball tournament, alone brings in more than $900 million annually for the NCAA, the nonprofit that oversees college athletics in America. And big-time college football generates even more revenue than basketball. The athletes who play these sports, however, reap none of that windfall and are, in fact, forbidden by the time-honored rules of amateurism, from profiting off their sport.
Alysia Montaño had just finished a workout when she got the call. It had been only four months since the birth of her daughter, Linnea, in 2014, but she was feeling strong and had her sights set on the 400-meter race at the USA Track & Field Championships in Sacramento. She had worked hard throughout her pregnancy, going to photo shoots in Los Angeles with her sponsor Asics, and continuing to train and race. She said of her mind-set at the time: “I was 100 percent an Asics athlete. Wherever you need me, I’ll be there.”
From her office in Haas Pavilion, Teri McKeever can look down on Spieker pool. She’s been known to yell out the windows if things aren’t going the way she wants—just one of the many ways she’s distinguished herself over three decades of coaching at Cal.
Posted on January 10, 2019 - 3:50pm
This weekend, the NCAA’s newest “Emerging Sport for Women,” varsity triathlon, will be holding the Women’s Collegiate National Championships in Tempe, Arizona. But the 75 women racing the sprint triathlon aren’t NCAA athletes. And triathlon isn’t an NCAA sport—at least not yet.
Posted on November 2, 2018 - 1:46pm
With so many world-class athletes, UC Berkeley is always well represented at the Olympics. The joke in 2012 was that if Cal were its own country (and isn’t it, in its own way?), it would have tied for sixth in the world for the number of gold medals won. That number was 11, by the way.
Posted on June 16, 2016 - 3:31pm
When Keala Keanaaina came to Cal on a football scholarship in 1998, a career in the NFL was not on his radar.
“I wasn’t one of those football guys that dreamed of going to the pros,” says Keanaaina. “I chose Berkeley because of its academic reputation. My goal was to graduate and get my degree.”