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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of July 17 - 23, 2002


Football or physics?

Idahoís Vandals, Broncos, Bengals, Eagles, Warriors and Cardinals have become endangered species.

Idahoís college and university teams may soon become victims of budget cuts by the state Board of Education.

The board is looking for ways to rewrite the budgets for Idaho universities and colleges to survive $23 million in funding reductions this budget year and next.

Cutting college athletics is a desperate move, but Idaho is in desperate straits. The move could shift $13 million to academics. Thatís a big chunk of change that will be hard for budget-cutters to ignore.

Donít blame the Board of Education.

Blame Gov. Dirk Kempthorne and the Legislature who didnít leave the board any room to maneuver. They made bone-deep budget cuts and impossible choices inevitable when they handed out $100 million in permanent tax cuts and ignored warnings of severe consequences if the economy soured. And sour it did.

Already, college and university athletic budgets have been scaled back like other departments. The state board has only tough options left. Football or physics? Basketball or biology? Athletic scholarships or algebra?

Itís too bad itís come to this, sports fans, but if higher education is to survive, the choices are clear.


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.