The University of California, Berkeley, has retained the services of Collegiate Sports Services to help put the athletic department's financial house in order.

Chancellor Carol Christ hired the sports consulting and search firm last month, according to The Daily Californian. The CSA team, led by vice president of consulting and former Boston College athletic director Bradley Bates, will receive $75,000, plus expenses, which aren't expected to exceed $15,000 and will be covered by private donations.

The action comes on the heels of back-to-back fiscal years (2016 and 2017) in which Cal Athletics needed separate $20 million bailouts. Moreover, football, the department's top revenue-generator, saw a 22-percent decline in attendance this season.

Cal is currently paying interest on debt incurred during the 2012 renovation and seismic retrofitting of Memorial Stadium as well as construction costs associated with a new athletics complex. In all, Cal Athletics holds $400 million in debt, more than any athletic department in the nation.

CSA's external review, which will come as Cal athletic director Mike Williams prepares to step down in May, will also “develop additional recommendations for the Intercollegiate Athletics department to build a long-term sustainable financial model for (Cal Athletics).”

 

Paul Steinbach is Senior Editor of Athletic Business.