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A fantastic depiction of spreading unemployment. A better version is here.

If de-emphasizing intercollegiate athletics is one of the ancillary effects of the economic crisis gripping college campuses around the country, my sense is that would very likely be a good thing. And I don’t just mean at the highest level, at those places like my first employer, the University of Oklahoma, where the athletic department provides de facto minor league teams for NFL and NBA franchises, but also at institutions like UC Davis, where the school’s move to Division I seems like an unmitigated disaster. And so, as we’re being asked to make budget cuts deep enough that we’re going to see the glint of bone now and again, we should insist that fielding teams capable of competing for national championships, at least in so-called revenue sports, shouldn’t be part of a university’s core mission.

For some reason I feel like I should note that I rowed crew — I stunk — at the University of Wisconsin for two years and that I remain a somewhat passionate fan of college sports. This caveat, I suppose, is the equivalent of foregrounding my Judaism before criticizing Israel. Don’t hate me, jocks, I’m one of you!

The Times has an interactive graphic up that breaks out the unemployment numbers for different groups of people. It turns out that only 3.9% of college-educated white men between the ages of 25 and 44 are unemployed. Compare that to nearly 50% for young black men who haven’t graduated from high school (I think that’s the group with the highest rate). Nothing here is especially surprising, and I wish The Times had included more variables, but it’s fascinating nevertheless.

This is officially an award-winning blog

HNN, Best group blog: "Witty and insightful, the Edge of the American West puts the group in group blog, with frequent contributions from an irreverent band.... Always entertaining, often enlightening, the blog features snazzy visuals—graphs, photos, videos—and zippy writing...."