What's up, everyone. We're back with the weekly round-up of important news and information for athletes. This week we consider the growing threat of swine flu and other forms of the flu and the continuing negative effect of the economy on athletic departments.

College seasons begin and swine flu threat enters locker room

School has started and fall sports are well under way, but that’s no indication that the flu, swine or other, have dissipated. Flu outbreaks are flaring up in all kinds of locker rooms - Florida Gators and Penn State football locker rooms being recent examples - and need to be heeded seriously. Take all of the precautions mentioned in the news and by your school officials.

The flu can ruin an athlete's chances of playing that week and I'm sure for many, it's a time where coaches and scouts are coming to watch them play. Coaches have hectic schedules and you don't want the only week they can come to see you to be destroyed because you're sitting on the bench with the flu, or worse, you play but are not at your best.

Take the steps and protect your health and your career.

High schools make tough choices on cuts for athletics, bands

The economy is still taking its toll on athletic departments and teams forcing cutbacks. So, if you're looking at colleges or even private high schools, consider the stability of the team you're interested in playing for. Also, look into the eligibility and transfer rules of your state, so you don't lose a year because of a transfer or a lost team.

If your school is looking to cut a team, consider other methods of keeping the program going. Talk to the administration about fundraising or playing a more local schedule to keep your team going. Find alumni of both the school and the team to see if they can contribute and help continue your season. Don't take no for answer and don't be too proud to try everything you can to keep playing.

As always this blog is for you, so any questions or comments email me at tim@accessathletes.com. Enjoy this week's games.