Tuesday, February 24

The Hits Will Keep Coming for College Sports

The University of Vermont and the University of Northern Iowa are small examples of a deluge of budget cuts college athletic departments are facing. Vermont will be cutting baseball and softball at the end of this academic year and Northern Iowa will eliminate baseball. Some people contend that sports are recession-proof but when you consider college athletics on the smaller scale, these are the kids who are going to feel the brunt of the economic downturn with states slashing funding to colleges.

The professional sports leagues are the ones who will be most untouched by the current crisis. Player salaries, TV deals, and advertising are not going anywhere for the pro ranks but it does not mean they are being left unscathed. Roger Goodell is taking a pay cut, and many other NFL teams as well as the league office have let employees go. This problem does not afford sports an immunity even though it is one of the most socially relevant facets of American culture.

The Dow closed at its lowest point yesterday in 12 years. That basically means that the market growth that occured since 1997 never happened. It is just like the picture Marty McFly has with him when he travels back to 1955. He, his brother and sister begin being erased from existence. Unfortunately I cannot hop in a delorean and go 88 miles per hour, go back in time and tell all the banks to stop giving out bad loans.

While pro sports feels the crunch, it is the smaller college programs that are in the vice. Vermont and Northern Iowa are just small examples in what is sure to be a rough period for the smaller programs of college sports. Having been through this personally in college, it is no solace to these young men and women to have their athletic directors come and talk to them about the reality of economics and how they must now pay for someone else's mistakes.

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