Soaring energy prices forcing new travel plans on college athletic directors

R.C. Johnson has a foolproof plan for dealing with the rising costs associated with intercollegiate athletic travel.
“My solution is very simple,” the University of Memphis athletic director said. “I’ve decided that all of our athletic contests next year will be home games.”
Johnson was kidding.
Sort of.
With fuel prices soaring, the costs of charter buses and flights rising apace and the specter of baggage surcharges now an expensive reality for those flying commercial, athletic departments large and small are facing up to new financial realities.
“Everybody’s going to be affected,” Ole Miss athletic director Pete Boone said. “We have a $45 million budget this year and we’re trying to do everything we can to save on fuel. … We’re trying to be more prudent.”
In an ominous sign of the times, Arizona State recently cut funding for three men’s programs — swimming, tennis and wrestling — due to what athletic director Lisa Love described as “economic realities.”

commercialappeal.com
6/29/08