Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Korean's alma mater, University of California, is getting rid of five athletic programs: baseball, men's rugby, men's and women's gymnastics and women's lacrosse because of budget cuts. A layperson might think getting rid of baseball was the biggest deal, but actually it's getting rid of rugby that hurts the most. Cal men's rugby team won 25 national championships in the last 30 years. The Korean daresay that there probably is no other outfit in the history of organized sports that had that kind of dominance.

The Korean used to be a tour guide at Cal, and our amazing rugby team was the Korean's favorite line, along with our 65 Nobel Prize winners. This sucks. The Korean will need to Scotch tonight. Damn you to hell, California state government.


  1. I've always read your blog for the invaluable insights into Korean culture, but as it happens I recently started working for one of the UCs. I can't tell you how many times now I've received first an email saying "Sign up for this or that fun event", only to receive an email a day later from the head of the department: "fun event cancelled due to budgetary reasons". Really sad!

  2. Do you have a breakdown of how many of UC Berkeley's Nobel laureates were "homegrown" and how many were brought in after their research (or even after their award)?

    Anyway, sports have their place for revving up school spirit, but UCs are still academic institutions. I did enjoy watching "Cal Irvine" play basketball, but I'm glad we didn't sacrifice something important to make a football team.

    Especially since then we couldn't wear the "UCI Football — Undefeated since 1965" sweatshirts.

    But I feel your pain. Since the sport was already there, it is a tragedy in its own way to see it go.

  3. As a Korean that plays rugby, I had the pleasure of playing the Cal Rugby Team several times. They are well coached, very skilled and always fit. Jack Clark does a fantastic job with them. Its a shame that they were dropped from the varsity program. While there are very few varsity rugby programs, it forced other schools to try to emulate Cal. Not only is this a blow to Cal and its rugby team, its really a blow to rugby in the US.

  4. News to me that you attended Cal. Glad to see another well read Korean brethren graduated from Cal.

    Back to the topic, I can't believe they're cancelling the rugy program. Our perpetually disappointing football team is getting a multi-million dollar stadium and gym renovation and the Cal rugby dynasty is coming to an end due to funding? fuck that.

    As long as the food at Asian Ghetto doesn't get any worse (which it can't), I'll keep breathing.

  5. kushibo,

    Wikipedia has a list of Nobel prize winners with their affiliation for UC Berkeley.,_Berkeley

    I can personally attest that these are not some researchers hidden away at Lawrence Berkely Lab. During my years at Cal, I was personally taught by 2 Nobel Prize winners on that list. Professor Owen Chamberlain taught freshmen physics and Professor Yuan T. Lee taught physical chemistry.

  6. comments is cutting off part of the wiki address.

    Replace University at the end with


  7. Thanks for the link, JR, but it doesn't answer my question exactly. My question is how many of the UC Berkeley Nobel laureates did the research for which they won their Nobel at Berkeley?

    But it is good to know that the Nobel laureates are actually teaching. UCI has far fewer laureates, but I managed to learn about climate science from one of the guys who shared the 1995 Nobel for their discovery of the threat of CFCs to the ozone layer (one of the others did his Nobel-winning research at UCI, but was at MIT, I think, when the award was announced and then was poached by UC San Diego afterward), and it is a neat experience.

    Anyway, my question was certainly not meant to bash UC Berkeley in any way. It was more about the nature of Nobel laureates as a recruiting tool akin to sports stars.

  8. I would say majority. UC Berkeley is the home school for those doing research at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. Most of the atomic research in the US happened at that lab. Most of those Physics and Chemistry laureates (41) were based at Lawrence Livermore or Lawrence Berkeley Lab. There's a reason why Cal is the best public University in the world.

  9. One other big contributing factor is that Robert Oppenheimer, the father of the atomic bomb, was a professor of theoretical physics at UC Berkeley.

  10. I pretty sure that if they get the money back, they will find a way to bring it back


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