This weekend's NYT had an article on the spate of recent athletic department cuts including the many teams that have been lost to the economic recession.
But the effects go beyond the athletes and coaches of the cut teams. The article predicts that the cuts will "alter the college sports landscape" and further reveal and widen the gap between the haves and have-nots. Smaller programs risk losing any competitive edge.
NCAA President Myles Brand predicts that the net loss in teams will total 1 percent of all intercollegiate teams this year. (That's about 130 teams.) But we also have to remember the tremendous growth in the number of athletic teams and student-athletes. The article reveals some pretty startling statistics.
Some departments remain solvent, however, some so much so that they have been able to divert revenue back to the university. (Of course this idea of "back to the university" implies that athletic departments are separate entities; a problematic paradigm most of the time.)