War on Nonrevenue Sports returns: USOC gearing up

USOC CEO Scott Blackmun isn’t going to give up on Olympic sports in colleges without a fight. He sees the threat of budget cuts and reallocations as athletics departments start paying more for its football and basketball players.

There are so many things that we can do. What we need to do is get together and decide what is our top priority, what are our top three priorities. We have identified a donor who’s willing to support us, subject to us collectively — and by that I mean the athletic directors and the USOC — finding a program that we think is really going to move the needle. … We need to preserve these Olympic sport programs.

College campuses are ideal training grounds for Olympians. They have the facilities, and athletes can live, train and study in one spot. We’ll see if these sports can hang on.

A couple of reports: USA TODAY, Louisville Courier-Journal.

And the previous dispatches from the War on Nonrevenue Sports:

More to come. I hope not, but probably.

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Monday Myriad, Feb. 25: Nordic gold! Nordic gold!

Headlines from myriad sports this week:

– Sarah Hendrickson won the world championship in women’s ski jumping.

– Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins won the world championship in cross-country skiing’s team sprint, the first skiing title for the USA in Nordic World Championship history.

– The USA also won two world titles in the track cycling world championships. Not bad for a one-woman team, Sarah Hammer.

– Slovenia’s Tina Maze clinched the Alpine skiing World Cup title with nine races left.

– The U.S. men’s freestyle wrestling team went to the World Cup in Iran, building up some diplomatic goodwill but also wrestling pretty well.

The videos, features and tweets of the week:

http://storify.com/duresport/monday-myriad-feb-25

Monday Myriad: Anderson Silva, world’s greatest athlete?

Here’s a great idea for a Google Doodle or an ad campaign: Have a floating picture of Anderson Silva’s head, and tell the user to try to “punch” his head with the pointer. No matter where you point, the head floats away, and you miss.

That’s basically what Silva did to Stephan Bonnar on Saturday. Oh, you want to hit me? OK, give it a try. Here, I’ll back up against the cage. Hands down by my side. OK, go.

When Silva got bored of dodging Bonnar’s blows, he simply knocked him out. Now consider this — Bonnar had never been knocked out, excluding fights stopped because of cuts. Never. He and Forrest Griffin hit each other with everything they could throw, and both guys were still standing at the finish. Now Silva has knocked out Griffin and Bonnar in the first round.

So when we’re thinking of the world’s greatest athlete, where does this guy stand?

Also speaking of the world’s greatest, check out Usain Bolt’s second appearance on Saturday Night Live this weekend. (He’s near the end of the clip.)

Other stuff that happened over the weekend:

Soccer: The U.S. men continue their bid to induce panic attacks among the fanbase, getting a 90th-minute goal to beat Antigua and Barbuda. The good news: They just need a draw on Tuesday against Guatemala to advance to the next round.

Cycling (track): No medals for the USA in the World Cup stop in Cali, Colombia. Might be because the USA only sent one cyclist, Cari Higgins, who finished fourth in the omnium.

Not much else happened over the weekend — see the Team USA wrap for more — but everything changes this week: figure skating revs up with Skate America, and the short-track speedskating World Cup starts in Calgary.