Bob Milano, who coached Cal baseball for 22 seasons before retiring in 1999, went beyond saying he was "totally, totally disappointed" that the school cut his sport Friday.
"I'm very sad that the University of California did not hold true to what they stated, that it was all or none," he said, referring to the fact women's gymnastics and lacrosse and men's rugby were saved, but baseball and men's gymnastics were eliminated. "I believe they don't know what they're doing."
He's not the only one.
Doug Nickle, a former Cal pitcher who helped organize the Save Cal Sports coalition that raised money for all five programs, said the university repeatedly changed the ground rules on fundraising. He charged there was enough money to sustain all the sports and promised his group will not give up.
"We're energized," he said. "We know we're not done."
Vice Chancellor Frank Yeary said during a Friday teleconference that $8 million of the $12 million to $13 million raised came with no strings attached, while the other $4 million to $5 million was pledged by donors intending for all five sports to be reinstated.
Using those figures as a basis, Nickle argued it stands to reason baseball generated closer to $4 million, not the $1.5 million to $2.5 million that Yeary quoted.
Nickle suggested the two sports eliminated could have survived two more seasons while arranging for future funding.
Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour said, "Although we recognize there was some baseball-specific money in the pledges to retain all five programs, the amount attributable to baseball was not sufficient to support the program for more than two years."
The one requirement that was made clear, according to Nickle, was the university's position that no sports could be saved unless all five were. That prompted a combined fundraising effort that became Save Cal Sports.
But Friday morning Nickle said he was told by the administration that had baseball raised $10 million it could have been saved.
"If they had given us that earmark," Nickle said, "we could have raised $10 million specifically for baseball and said, 'Forget you and you and you.' But we didn't.
"Bottom line is there is enough money raised to get all these programs reinstated, still be in compliance with Title IX and be sustainable for the future. For reasons I cannot fathom, they have chosen not to do that."
A's pitcher Tyson Ross, a Cal alum, called it "a devastating day."
"It's definitely disappointing to know the school decided to cut baseball and men's gymnastics," he said. "I do know Title IX played a part and budget cuts were an issue. It's just too bad they couldn't work harder to find a solution, because in the end, I think they could have found a way to keep them. But I think they took the easy way out."
Staff writer Joe Stiglich contributed to this report.
Former Cal players currently on Major League Baseball rosters:
John Baker, Marlins
Geoff Blum, Diamondbacks
Brennan Boesch, Tigers
Allen Craig, Cardinals
Conor Jackson, A's
Brandon Morrow, Blue Jays
Xavier Nady, Diamondbacks
Tyson Ross, A's
Tyler Walker, Nationals