BAKERSFIELD, Calif.- CSU Bakersfield Athletics has announced a strategic shift in resources to help promote the student-athlete experience and be more competitive in multiple women's sports in the Western Athletic Conference.
As part of the plan, additional funds will be reallocated to women's sports as the result of discontinuing the sponsorship of the water polo and men's golf teams.
Currently, six female sports are funded at levels that rank near the bottom of the WAC and in some cases far-below NCAA maximum-scholarship allowances. By reallocating the resources from the water polo and men's golf programs, CSUB Athletics will invest an additional $170,000 over a three-year period exclusively into female sports to allow for increased participation and enhance the student-athlete experience for female student-athletes.
“It is our desire as an athletics department to be at the highest level possible in promoting academic excellence, providing a positive student-athlete experience, and pursuing competitive success,” said director of athletics Kenneth ‘Ziggy' Siegfried. “While this was a difficult decision to make, I am confident that this strategic shift in resources is what is best for the long-term vision of our athletics department.”
As a result of this latest decision, CSUB will sponsor 16 intercollegiate teams, 14 of which participate in the Western Athletic Conference. Water polo had been competing as an affiliate member of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation. Recently head coach Jason Gall resigned and prior to his resignation, several student-athletes left the program, leaving the team with just 10 student-athletes.
“Our top priority is to provide our student-athletes a quality education and we will continue to honor the scholarships for our water polo and men's golf student-athletes until they graduate should they decide to remain at CSU Bakersfield," Siegfried said.
While the men's golf team is community funded, those fundraising goals had not reached a competitive level for the upcoming season. Prior agreements required specific fundraising marks for community-funded sports, those targets had not been met for several seasons.
With the reinvestment, CSUB will increase the resources available to select women's sports to ensure an increase in participation for female student-athletes. This will provide additional scholarships, roster spots, academic support, sports medicine and other support services to ensure a positive and competitive student-athlete experience at CSU Bakersfield.