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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

Oct 23, 2020 - Health

How to help save 130,000 lives

People wear face masks outside Grand Central Terminal in New York City. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

Nearly 130,000 fewer people will die of COVID-19 this winter if 95% of Americans wear face masks in public, according to research published Friday.

Why it matters: “Increasing mask use is one of the best strategies that we have right now to delay the imposition of social distancing mandates," Dr. Christopher Murray of the University of Washington told the N.Y. Times.

Oct 24, 2020 - Health

Fauci says if people won't wear masks, maybe it should be mandated

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Graeme Jennings- Pool/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told CNN on Friday evening that if "people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it."

Why it matters: Fauci made the comments the same day the U.S. hit its highest daily COVID-19 case count since the pandemic began.

Updated Oct 19, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Mix-and-matching gains momentum — Boosters overtake first doses in U.S. — Pfizer to vaccinate Brazilian cityPanel endorses J&J booster.
  2. Health: Age is still a huge coronavirus risk factor — Unvaccinated 11x more likely to die from COVID — 5x more police officers died from COVID than guns.
  3. Politics: Over 30 states limited public health powers — Pope Francis calls on companies to release vaccine patents — Melbourne, "world's most locked-down city," to lift stay-at-home orders.
  4. Education: Education secretary reveals limits to Biden’s mask push on states — LA extends deadline for school employee vaccinations — Parent sues Wisconsin school district after child tests positive.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.