Bernie Madoff U: Economics and Athletics

Dave WalkerCorrespondent IFebruary 19, 2009

By now we all know that the economy is in the tubes. Bailout this, and bailout that, stories about how bad things are flood televisions and newspapers on a daily basis. But now stories are starting to surface more often as to how these hard economic times are affecting sports.

Example No. 1 comes from the U, and not Bernie Madoff U.

The Miami Hurricanes football squad play three in-state road games this upcoming season. The first, being a Labor Day prime time game against hated Florida State. This game will be same old same old. Board a private plane, fly to Tallahassee, play the game, fly back. The other two games are going to be different.

Four to five hour trips to Orlando to play UCF, and Tampa, to play USF, will be taken via the bus, to help cut costs. Head coach Randy Shannon said at a fundraiser last week, "This is just a sign of the times, and we will have to adapt." How much will this save? I don't know, but it seems to make sense.

Example No. 2 comes from the desert.

Both head coaches Herb Sendek and Dennis Erickson will be forced to lose 12 days of pay between now and the close of the fiscal year. Across the board many departments at ASU will be doing so in an effort to save around $24 million, or about 1,200 jobs.

Other schools including Clemson, Maryland, and Utah State are also doing something similar, but no word as to which coaches from these schools will be taken the vacation to Wally World with the Griswalds.

The final example comes to us from Big D.

The brand new Texas Stadium appears to be heading towards its opening without a stadium sponsor. AT&T was thinking about jumping on ship last April, but have since backed off. I mean, come on, it wouldn't be the 21st century without having the Fed Ex, Pepsi, AT&T, Papa Johns, Lonestar Beer Texas Stadium...

The bottom line is that no one, and nothing is spared in these tough economic times. Sure, you are still gonna have your high paid free agents making millions more than what they are worth, but those times could be coming to an end, as the fans who pay the hundreds of dollars to see these athletes do what they do slowly start to shy away and save the almighty dollar. So far, it has been athletics at the college level that have been affected the most. I didn't even mention that Stanford is looking at cutting some sports.

In a country that is at war with the terrorists and anything else that threatens our way of life, you have to take a step back and ask, aren't we at war with each other? Is it white collar vs. blue collar? Middle class vs. upper class?

Where do we draw the line with these white-collar criminals stealing millions and then putting their hands out for a bailout? Is the line drawn when you have your favorite sports team renting a high school field because they cannot afford to maintain their current stadium? What do you think?