Cal Poly Pomona has a storied legacy in intercollegiate athletics, with 13 national championships, 16 national athletes of the year and several hundred All-Americans under the tutelage of Hall of Fame coaches such as Darlene May (women’s basketball) and John Scolinos (baseball). The university competes at the NCAA Division II level nationally and the California Collegiate Athletic Association for conference play.
While athletics has helped build a national identity for Cal Poly Pomona, the university has not reciprocated in staffing and facility support. The university’s athletic facilities must rank among the worst in Southern California. Bleachers at the soccer field were formally condemned years ago, but have yet to be physically removed. Scolinos Field does not have restrooms or locker rooms on site. Neither Darlene May Gymnasium nor Kellogg Gymnasium has air conditioning, frequently forcing athletes to practice in an unhealthy environment. The budget currently supports one head coach for four different sports (men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s track and field). The limited institutional support is demoralizing for the coaching staff and student athletes. The committee recommends that the university commit to funding athletics at a level that would lead to team success and institutional pride in the programs. That will require either significantly enhanced funding from a variety of sources, or a re-conceptualization of what our institutional goals are for athletics. To allow these programs and student athletes to continue under current conditions tarnishes our reputation. The institution should clearly define the goals of athletics and fund accordingly.
Implementation Process - Student Affairs should initiate a review of current athletics program funding in relation to peer institutions with which we compete. If, as the individual athletic program reports suggest, we are noticeably below our peer institutions in funding, a decision needs to be made whether to invest in the success of our programs, or to change our goals for athletics to be consistent with available resources. The upcoming capital campaign is an obvious opportunity for funding an increased investment in athletics.