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Stacey Vanek-Smith: States have slashed their budgets this year, and schools have taken a big hit. Class sizes are up, extracurriculars are down, including sports.
Advocates for youth sports are in Washington this week pushing for more government funding. Mitchell Hartman has more.
Mitchell Hartman: Two local football teams faced off recently as fans cheered and the band played. But there are no cheers from athletics advocates these days.
Paul Caccamo of the group Up2Us says $2 billion dollars were cut from school sports programs last year alone. Meaning, fewer players on the field, more kids with nothing to do and…
PAUL CACCAMO: Forty-six states in the country are charging some kind of fee.
To be on high school sports teams that used to be free. Community groups like the YMCA, meanwhile, have cut their after-school programs. So have cities.
TORI HUTCHENS: They had to lay off two of the coaches that work at our neighborhood rec center.
That’s Tori Hutchens, a Denver graphic designer and soccer mom. She’ll spend a few hundred on a private soccer league now, and may forgo other sports altogether.
Paul Caccamo says let the talent pool dry up now and there’ll be a drought later at the college and pro levels.
CACCAMO: There’s going to be less talent to ultimately be on television on Sunday afternoons entertaining us.
Caccamo’s group wants more corporate support and government funding for youth sports.
I’m Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.
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