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UC Merced Launches Athletics Initiative

July 29, 2008

MERCED - The University of California, Merced, is taking the
first steps toward creating a formal intercollegiate athletics
program and expects to have a plan of action in place next year.

The Chancellor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Intercollegiate
Athletics will convene on campus Wednesday, July 30, to meet the
consultants hired by the university to create a strategic athletics
plan. They expect the plan to be complete in January 2009.

The commission, which includes Los Angeles Galaxy coach and
former soccer player Cobi Jones, athletic administrators, former
student athletes, other UC Merced representatives and community
supporters, is charged with offering guidance to the consulting
team as it drafts its proposal for UC Merced’s future athletics program.

The consultants, Cedric Dempsey and Ted Leland, both have a
long history in collegiate athletics. Dempsey served as president
of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) from 1994 to
2003, and Leland was athletic director at Stanford University from
1991 to 2005.

“We are very fortunate to have such experienced consultants
on board,” said Jane Lawrence, vice chancellor for student affairs
and a commission member. “I am confident Drs. Dempsey and Leland,
who are both recognized nationally for the breadth of their
knowledge in athletics, will help UC Merced develop the best
athletics program possible.”

At the commission’s meeting on Wednesday, members will be
introduced to one another and to the consultants. Attendees will
hear a brief presentation on the campus and its current intramural
and club athletics programs. The scope of work for the consultants
will be presented, and then Dempsey and Leland will discuss their
plan for working with the commission.

For more information about UC Merced Recreation &
Athletics, visit