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SPORTS WATCH : Damage Control

August 07, 1993

When UCLA athletic officials announced that men's and women's gymnastics and men's swimming will be eliminated at the end of the 1993-94 academic year, they made a necessary, if jarring, move. The decision will save the school's athletic department, which faces a $900,000 deficit, about $670,000. Other cuts in athletic programs, including football, will save $100,000 more. UCLA earlier eliminated or reduced funding for water polo, crew and other sports.

That most public attention focused on the end of gymnastics and swimming is understandable because these teams have produced dozens of high-profile Olympic athletes, including a handful of stars who made the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics so memorable. So this is truly a sad loss of tradition, not to be taken lightly. But the saddest thing of all is that such painful cutbacks will have no effect on UCLA's overall budget crisis. Athletics is funded not with state money but with private donations and revenues generated by ticket sales and broadcast rights.

Some may be troubled because ending UCLA sports teams stirred more public concern than last spring's proposal to close the schools of public health, library science, social welfare, and architecture and urban planning and to scale back the nursing program. However, we hope the concerns over both moves prove beneficial. They will indeed if they prod more Angelenos to focus on just how bad things are financially for our most prestigious public university, and rally us to do what we can to help keep the damage from worsening.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday August 10, 1993 Home Edition Metro Part B Page 6 Column 4 Metro Desk 2 inches; 49 words Type of Material: Correction
UCLA--An editorial on Saturday incorrectly stated that UCLA has proposed closing the schools of public health, library science, social welfare, and architecture and urban planning. The administrations of the schools would be eliminated, but students would still be able to take classes and major in these subjects. The Times regrets any confusion.

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