Budget cuts, tuition increases and insufficient revenues have left Cal State Fullerton athletics barely clinging on to Big West Division I status.
The NCAA requires a university to maintain seven priority sports and fund them at 80 percent in scholarships in order to be considered Div. I.
The seven sports that are considered priority by the Big West conference out of CSUF’s 15 are men and women’s basketball, men and women’s soccer, baseball, softball and women’s volleyball. CSUF is currently Div. I defending champions in both baseball and women’s volleyball.
CSUF is now at the bare minimum seven priority sports and is in jeopardy of being bumped to Div. II if its expenditures continue to exceed the current budget.
“We have some issues in terms of whether or not we can meet our minimum funding at the Div. I level,” said Steve DiTolla, associate senior athletics director. “In the NCAA, the Div. I level is defined, outside of men and women’s basketball, you need to have 50 scholarships, full scholarships, and we are dangerously close to not being that far.”
The full scholarships are split evenly between the men and women’s priority sports, DiTolla explained. The CSUF athletics budget barely covers these fees even after terminating both men’s wrestling and woman’s gymnastics during spring in order to meet budgetary obligations.
The budgeted athletics scholarship fund for 2011-12 is about $2.1 million and was not increased to accommodate the additional 12 percent tuition fee increase that affected every student on campus.
“When we are issuing scholarships, we pay the school for our student athletes,” DiTolla said. “So as each one of you got hit (with tuition fee increases) we got hit to the tune of about $90,000.”
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