History 303: Research and Writing Seminar in History
In April of 1990, Cal Poly’s President Warren J. Baker and a handful of administrators decided that due to the athletics program’s $95,000 deficit during the 1988-89 fiscal year, a task force would be put together to help determine the future of sports at Cal Poly by a November 1990 deadline. President Baker would ultimately make the final decision when it came to the future of athletics, but he wanted input from members of the Cal Poly community. The task force was comprised of Mustang Booster members, executive directors of organizations such as the Cal Poly Foundation and university relations, administrators, and members of ASI By the November 1990 deadline this task force had determined that there should be either four or nine sports cut from Cal Poly’s athletic program in order to save money and stay in the black during the upcoming fiscal years. The four sports that were proposed to be cut in the thirteen-sport plan were the baseball, softball, men’s swim, and gymnastics teams. The other five sports that were on the chopping block for the eight-team plan were football, women’s swim, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, and wrestling.This paper will examine that task force and the decisions they ultimately made regarding the future of Cal Poly athletics. I will look at all the sports involved, but I will take a more in-depth look at the Mustangs baseball program, from their rise to national champions to their fall onto the chopping block, and how they ultimately survived and later thrived.