Final flight for the Firebirds?


Mike Riley, head coach of the UDC men’s basketball team, watches his team during a home game against Franklin Pierce University on Nov. 10. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

Updated 11 a.m. to include the 2001 basketball championship won by Catholic University.

Little known fact: There have been three NCAA national men’s basketball championships won by universities in the District of Columbia. One, of course, was the Division I title won by Georgetown in 1984. The Catholic University Cardinals won the Division III title in 2001. And the other was won in 1982 by the University of the District of Columbia Firebirds in Division II. Now three decades later, the Post’s Nick Anderson reports, UDC is on the cusp of dropping its basketball squad and the rest of its intercollegiate sports teams for a yearly savings of $4.4 million as it struggles to reconcile its “flagship university” ambitions with lagging enrollments and tenuous finances. That plan, along with another proposal from Interim President James E. Lyons Sr. to cut unpopular degree programs, goes up for a Board of Trustees vote next week. “It isn’t about being anti-athletics,” Lyons tells Anderson. “It’s about choices.”

In other news:

Is it snowing? (Capital Weather Gang)

MedStar says it will cut jobs at Washington Hospital Center (PostWBJ)

CareFirst books $26.3 million operating loss (WBJ)

D.C. jail staff need to take inmates’ trauma histories seriously (Post letter)

Special-ed class action is revived in federal court (Legal Times)

Gray administration takes a first look at “social impact bonds” (Housing Complex)

Before there was an official Orange for Mayor site, there was Orange for Mayor attack site (Orange2014.com)

Status hearing for Gray campaign figure Vernon Hawkins is pushed to Valentine’s Day (@mikedebonisWaTimes)

Gales School is readied for new life as Central Union Mission shelter (WJLA-TV)

Pew examines recession fiscal impacts on D.C. government (City Desk)

Patterson Mansion mostly cleared for redevelopment by HPRB (WBJ)

D.C. startup aims to help crowdfund schools here and elsewhere (Capital Business)

Kojo Nnamdi on Shaw in the ’80s (WAMU-FM)

Washington’s own Tuskegee Airmen honored by D.C. pols on Veterans Day (APWTTG-TV)

D.C. vets face longer-than-average waits for VA benefits (WRC-TV)

AmEx spends $350,000 for new gold for Union Station ceiling (WBJ)

An old D.C. Council license plate is worth $93.58 to someone (eBay)

Fat Trel reportedly flaked on Wilson High homecoming gig (DCist)

Shutdown lawn-mower earns himself a free chainsaw (DCistWaTimes)

The Iron Gate returns next week (GOG)

Mike DeBonis covers Congress and national politics for The Washington Post. He previously covered D.C. politics and government from 2007 to 2015.
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Mike DeBonis · November 11, 2013