Data: Mat Talk Online; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

242 collegiate athletic programs have been cut amid the pandemic, altering the careers and lives of thousands of student-athletes.

Yes, but: Some passionate alumni groups have opted to fight, banding together in hopes of saving the programs they helped build and continue to love.

  • Already saved: Alumni from Bowling Green State University raised $1.5 million for its baseball team, and donors gave Alabama-Huntsville $750,000 for its hockey team.
  • Work in progress: Dartmouth men's and women's Swimming & Diving — among the most recent programs cut — jumped into action immediately with fundraising efforts and a petition to save the team.

What they're saying: Hayley Winter ('18), former captain of the Dartmouth Women's Swimming & Diving team, tells Axios that "the posture of the administration is that this is an irrevocable decision," and that "no amount of fundraising could change their position."

  • But the program was cut once before, in 2002. Winter's predecessors fought and won then, and she's hopeful that the team can be saved a second time.
  • "We are committed to working with the administration to find a creative solution that meets their goals without cutting our programs," said Winter.
  • "The swim team had a tremendous impact on my Dartmouth experience. It instilled in me an unwavering work ethic and allowed me to tap into an expansive and wonderfully supportive alumni network."
  • "I'm genuinely devastated, especially for the existing members of the team. I'm hoping we can turn this around, if for anyone, just for them."

Zoom out:

  • Tennis hit hard: Nearly 20% of all cuts have been tennis programs. That's partly due to steep facility costs, but tennis also has the largest foreign participation of any sport (~60% of rosters are not native to the U.S). "There have been some ADs saying, 'Can't have a program of all international students,'" Tim Russell, CEO of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, told SI.
  • Topping the list: Stanford (11), Brown (8), Dartmouth (5), UConn (4) and East Carolina (4) represent 32 of the 61 shuttered D-I programs.
  • Gender breakdown: There's a near-even split of men's (121) and women's (118) programs, with three co-ed programs also being cut.
  • It's not just the NCAA: They lead the way with 176 cuts, but the NJCAA (38), NAIA (16), CCCAA (8) and NCCAA (4) are also affected.

Go deeper: Donors to eliminated sports find colleges still keep the money (Sportico)

Go deeper

Coronavirus hotspots begin to improve

Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Danielle Alberti, Sara Wise/Axios

Coronavirus infections are falling or holding steady in most of the country, including the hard-hit hotspots of Arizona, California and Florida.

The big picture: A decline in new infections is always good news, but don't be fooled: the U.S. still has a very long way to go to recover from this summer's surge.

5 hours ago - Technology

Ex-U.S. chief data scientist: Social media misinformation is "life or death"

Former U.S. Chief Data Scientist DJ Patil warned at an Axios virtual event Thursday that the "tremendous amount" of misinformation on social media platforms "creates public distrust at a time when we need it the most," stressing: "It's no small statement to say this is life or death."

What he's saying: "One of the areas that will likely, even if we get a vaccine, cause an issue is will people trust a vaccine? And if we don't address those misinformation issues right now, we are going to have a far extended impact of COVID," Patil, who is now head of technology at Devoted Health, told Axios' Kim Hart.

Updated 16 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios VisualsThe

The Philippines' economy sunk into recession as its gross domestic product shrank 16.5% in the second quarter — marking the lowest reading since 1981, official figures show.

The big picture: Millions of Filipinos went on lockdown Tuesday as cases surged past 106,300, with stay-at-home orders in place for two weeks in Manila and nearby provinces on the island of Luzon, per the BBC. The economy's contraction is the "deepest" on record, Bloomberg notes.