Tuesday, April 20, 2010


At this time of the year the sporting faithful of Long Beach State would really prefer to be scouting post-season opponents or imaging how new recruits would make future Niner dreams come true. I don’t like injecting a dose of reality but I get that uneasy feeling that historically thrifty LBSU athletics will have to make some tough budget calls sometime soon, surely before the summer is over.

When I arrived on campus in 1975 I was told that good coaching, the sixty mile circle of talent around CSULB and the low cost of education could defeat both visiting opponents and in-house budgeteers. Thirty five years later I fear that formula may have run it’s course. The good coaching is still there but big bucks programs from across the nation are picking the ripest fruit in the SoCal vineyards and now the low cost of higher education is under siege from Sacramento and, in some cases, from the 49er student body. Last year, with the economy in a tail spin, a student vote to give general support to the athletics department was unsuccessful.

Back in 2007, the student body did tax themselves for a new wellness and recreation center, and the fee of $232 a year, begins this fall. I guess that free sunshine and green grass isn’t enough for today’s students but let’s put a few bones on the athletic skeleton. This year a full ride scholarship with dorms is $16,470. Except for basketball, athletics provides per scholarship funds about $9,000 per year with the balance needed to match the competition coming from a coach’s fund raising.

Last add Sacto, in 2000 tuition and fees were about $1700 with academic year room and board about $10,000. In 2010 that number will be woefully short of the actual costs. One final factoid, on a side note all CSUs have these mandatory furlough days. Men’s basketball coach Dan Monson jested he would be taking those when the team made road trips to Texas, Kentucky and North Carolina.

SCHEDULE DUSTING--Long Beach State softball, 20-20 and 4-4, returns to their campus field this weekend when it plays host to Cal Poly with a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday and a single game at the same time on Sunday. Those games will be played about the same time that the Big West women’s water polo tournament is underway at the campus pool, Friday through Sunday. The event is a six team shootout and you can take in seven games for a $25 all-session pass.

Baseball is back at Blair for a Friday to Sunday visit from the UCSB lads plus a fund and friend raiser for area Autism programs. On Saturday limited edition Troy Tulowitzki tee shirts will be given to LB’s early birds.

The last laps for Long Beach men’s volleyball are in the books along with a 2010 record of 12-17. Interim head coach Andy Read: “the staff will decompress a little and take stock of what we did right and what we did wrong, There were a lot of tight games but there were matches where if we won that game one instead of losing 30-28, we would have come out fine.”

Our closing quote is from a prominent baseball coach who, when his team was struggling, fell on the sword himself. "I'm ultimately responsible for the way we play, and the way we played wasn't indicative of a champion. That's on me." In their losing streak his team squandered numerous opportunities to win games by not executing fundamentals. And the guy who finger-pointed himself, Oregon State baseball coach Pat Casey. –-DR. DAN


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