Kicking around the costs of college football 

Glenn Dickey’s Feb. 11 column was correct about “Cal shuffling programs to offset the rising cost of football.” But that isn’t the half of it. Intercollegiate Athletics’ (IA) most recently available (2008-2009) financial statement appears to shunt expenses from football’s tab to another category called “non-sport specific.”

This nebulous category reported expenditures even higher than the official total stated for the football program and reveals subsidies of $12 million from the Berkeley campus. Less than 1 percent of “fundraising” and “medical expenses” were denoted as football expenses. IA’s administrators (not including coaches) received a whopping $14 million, of which less than $1 million was reported as a football expense.

None of the $4 million of “facilities costs” was allocated to football. Where are stadium maintenance costs? Furthermore, the controversial billion-dollar debt commitment for the football stadium construction project should be integral to any discussion of the cost of football. These facts seem to render specious IA’s claim that football generates more than it costs.

Brian A. Barsky, Professor of Computer Science, UC Berkeley

Suhr for police chief

In Ken Garcia’s Feb. 13 column, the speculation about Greg Suhr as The City’s next police chief caught my attention. Living in the Mission District for 62 years and being very community-oriented, I believe Greg Suhr was the best captain we ever had.

Our 19th Street corridor was plagued with pimps and prostitutes, and Capt. Suhr was the only police captain who literally cleaned up the area, bringing back a healthier quality of life for all the neighbors. To this day his actions in the Mission are still making a difference. The Police Commission could do well by seriously considering Greg Suhr for our next chief.

Jane Perry, San Francisco

Identity politics rule

British Prime Minister Dave Cameron is concerned that multiculturalism is “not working” in Europe. Is he planning a trip to California?

Far from promoting tolerance or cohesion, we have a spectrum of special-interest groups all pushing identity politics. These groups firmly believe “quotas mean democracy” and “hope to dominate the future by embracing special treatment [preferences] for minorities” — to quote Examiner columnist Chris Stirewalt.

These are in fact the enemies of equal rights, and therefore the enemies of democracy.

Philip Melnick, San Francisco

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