MCCCD to eliminate Junior College Football Programs after 2018 Season
According to multiple sources, the Maricopa County Community Colleges District has reached a decision to eliminate the football programs at Glendale, Mesa, Phoenix and Scottsdale Community Colleges following the 2018 season.
Per sources, the colleges plan to honor he scholarships of student athletes that are currently signed, as well as the ones who sign on February 7th through 2019.
The plan to eliminate Junior College football at the four Maricopa County schools was first recommended by the Maricopa Priorities Athletic Task Force. In 2012 a series of "Task Forces" were commissioned by then-chancellor Rufus Glasper, with each and every department of the Maricopa County Community College District set to undergo an examination to see how students might be better served. The Maricopa Priorities Athletics Task Force was formed as part of the original 2012 plan, and the result of the research done into how students within the MCCCD system might best be served in the future ultimately recommended that football at the four (of ten) MCCCD schools be phased out.
The research found that football was responsible for 20% of MCCCD's athletics budget, and over 50% of its insurance costs. The study also cited that football players were not keeping an acceptable pace as far as GPA, course completion, and remaining in good standing with loan repayment.
When MCCCD's recommendation to eliminate football was originally reported on last spring, myself and others were told that the elimination of football would not come out of a loss of state funding, but would instead be attributed to rising insurance costs. However, multiple sources have stated that the state's decision to eliminate funding at the junior college level is being given as a partial reason for the decision. Among the additional justifications for the elimination of football are the maintenance and potential upgrade costs for the fields and stadiums the teams play in.
Whille there is no current plan to eliminate football at Arizona Western, Eastern Arizona and Pima Community College, their membership in the Western States Football League along with the soon to be eliminated MCCCD programs means that those schools will be faced with tough questions as far as scheduling and league affiliation.
At this time, none of the other MCCCD sports are to be affected by the cuts.