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The pandemic effect on 'secondary' college sports programs

ASU Clinical Assistant Professor Victoria Jackson. Credit: CBS

December 14, 2020

American universities have been rocked by the coronavirus pandemic. Some have shut their campuses down completely. But schools that play big-time sports have gone to remarkable lengths to save their football and basketball seasons. 

Some colleges are testing every player and coach for the virus every day and even that hasn't stopped outbreaks; many games have had to be canceled or rescheduled. But still, they press on.  

They do it, of course, to keep the TV money coming in from football and basketball. But at the same time, dozens of universities have been eliminating smaller "secondary" sports like gymnastics and tennis and swimming. Those sports are getting the axe because they don't generate much revenue, but the dreams of the athletes are no less real.

Victoria Jackson, clinical assistant professor in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, was one of several experts who were interviewed on the topic by Bill Whittaker for CBS' "60 Minutes."

"Every time there's an economic downturn you protect the core business, which is football, which means that other sports are on the chopping block," Jackson said.

Article source: 60 Minutes

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