UC Berkeley announced yesterday that it will be dropping four team sports — baseball, men’s and women’s gymnastics, and women’s lacrosse — in a cost-saving move. It also plans to drop men’s rugby from varsity to club status.

The school allocated more than $13 million to athletics last year, and it’s looking to bring that number down to $5 million by 2014. Yesterday’s cuts are expected to save the university $4 million next year.

According to the Daily Cal, Berkeley’s student newspaper, the criteria used to decide which teams to dump included

“financial impact, the team’s history of competitive success, the department’s ability to comply with Title IX and the principles of gender equity, donor impact, opportunities for NCAA and Pac-10 success, contributions to student-athlete diversity, student-athlete opportunities, utilization of support services, contributions to the Directors’ Cup, contributions to the athletic department mission and prevalence of local and regional varsity competition.”

I’m curious what y’all think. Is cutting athletics an appropriate response to the current crisis, or is it yet another example of balancing the budget on the backs of the students? And if cuts to sports are the way to go, are these criteria good ones?