Maricopa Community Colleges Eliminating Football Programs
The Maricopa County Community College District announced Monday that it will eliminate its football program.
The district is eliminating football at the four colleges that play: Glendale, Mesa, Phoenix and Scottsdale. The announcement comes as a surprise after officials said in October they’d wait until 2019 to decide whether to continue the program.
Spokesman Matt Hasson said the district’s goal was to let the athletes know as soon as possible.
“We just wanted to be transparent and make sure they had all the information as they made a decision," he said.
The sport will be eliminated after the 2018 season. Hasson says a shrinking budget and reduced enrollment growth led to the decision.
“When you look at the costs associated with this particular program and the lack of capital investments from the state, we needed to make some really tough decisions, and this was one of the decisions we had to make," Hasson said.
The football program made up a fifth of the total athletic budget and more than half of related insurance costs. This move is expected to save the district about $20 million over the next five years.
Hasson said it was a difficult decision, but one with unanimous support from all college presidents.
“We’ve got a lot of buildings that need repair, we have infrastructure, technology, some education programs that need some new purchases to be made for those programs that are really focused on the core of our mission, which is to educate all of our students," he said.
EDITOR'S NOTE: KJZZ is licensed to Maricopa Community Colleges.