Is the brunt of the recession over? Not for college football programs, some of which are being forced to take tinier charter planes to their bowl games. This is truly upsetting.
And that's not even the worst of it, Inside Higher Ed reports today. The penny-pinchers at Boston College decided not to ship the 180-piece Screaming Eagles — that's the marching band, for those unfamiliar with today's on-campus lingo — across the country to San Francisco for the Emerald Bowl, which just so happens to take place the day after Christmas. Also, Nevada isn't sending its marching band to Honolulu, but the University of Hawaii's marching band is learning the Wolf Pack's fight song to make the lei'd silver and blue feel right at home. Compromises.
There's more, too, believe it or not. Minnesota's players will travel to the Insight Bowl on a slightly smaller charter, and the administrators left off the plane will fly commercial all the way to Arizona. The Golden Gophers' band and cheerleaders have grown in the last year, but by maintaining a traveling troupe of 400, the university will save about $40,000. Still, even after making these dastardly cuts in luxury, Minnesota is spending about $1.2 million of its $1.35 million bowl payout. But hey, that's better than blowing all but $1,460 of the prize, as it did last year.
All this slashing make me shudder to contemplate what's next to go. Actually, on second, thought, I don't even want to think about it. Those Notre Dame players were onto something, after all.