Recession benches sports at many colleges

Colleges are facing tough times. Not only is it costing them more to serve their students, but enrollment is down, state funding is down and alumni and corporate giving is also down. There is increased pressure to keep costs low by not raising tuition, while at the same time there is a dramatic need for cutbacks. The recession has already caused many colleges to cut budgets until there they could no longer parse the people and programs from printers and paper. Now it's to the point where many schools have had to cut entire sports programs to balance their budgets.

The Northern Iowa Panthers are but one of the recent victims of the recession. Sports Illustrated reports that the Panthers will play their last baseball game this Saturday, after which the 103-year-old program -- which was operating at a $400,000 deficit -- will be cut like an out-of-shape freshmen. While the state budget cuts are the nail in the coffin for the team SI cites the cold weather, which batters attendance and forces teams to make costly spring training trips to the South, as a contributing factor.