Los Angeles City College has suspended most sports programs for at least a year to deal with a multimillion-dollar deficit.
College President Jamillah Moore told trustees Wednesday that the move would save $700,000 and prevent academic programs from being cut.
Women's volleyball was spared because its season is about to start, but six other programs, including men's and women's basketball, are off.
Several former basketball players said the program was a long and storied one that offered a path out of poverty for many inner-city youths.
"I just came back from Croatia, where I spoke to 15 players who told me Los Angeles City changed my life," said Joseph Taylor, 23. JaQay Carlyle said his athletic experience launched him to UC Davis and on to law school.
-- Gale Holland