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Archive for January 31, 2007

Jan. 31, 2007 — Barely hanging on

It was announced earlier this week that Ohio University, a school which had raised some $200 million in a capital campaign called “Third Century,” was cutting its sports programs to the bare minimum needed to maintain Division I-A membership.

Amongst the cuts thought necessary to save $400,000: the women’s lacrosse team. What that leaves is 16 sports, but it leaves some 87 scholarship athletes in a lurch.

You kind of wonder if this is what could be called “The Boise State Effect.” Division I schools such as Ohio University, Western Michigan, and Temple now have the proverbial dollar signs in their eyes since Boise State’s miracle win in the Fiesta Bowl, but those dollars have to come from somewhere.

And what that’s going to do is leave many mid-major college athletic departments barely hanging on in hopes for that big payday in a the Bowl Championship Series, despite rules written carefully to exclude most of them.

I don’t think schools like Rutgers and Ohio University are making the best investment.