Will recession claim more sports?

While the University of Alabama works on a $80 million expansion to Bryant-Denny Stadium, some schools have a different reality thanks to a deepening recession. According to the NCAA, “The announcement this week of the elimination of teams at Vermont and Northern Iowa continues a trend of NCAA member institutions deciding to drop sports because of the economic downturn. In the last three months, Norwich, Lawrence, Western Washington, Johns Hopkins and Delaware also have cut teams and many other institutions – including Stanford and Hawaii – have indicated financial realities might force them to do the same.”

Northern Iowa cut baseball, a men’s sport. Vermont dropped softball and baseball. According to another NCAA report, men’s sports at NCAA institutions have declined four of the past ten years, while women’s sports have increased every year for the last 26.

Will Title IX claim more men’s sports in this recession? Women’s teams already outpace men’s. According to the NCAA, “Overall for 2007-08, member institutions sponsored 9,380 women’s teams and 8,302 men’s teams for a total of 17,682 championship sport teams.”