SPC ANNOUNCES IT WILL NO LONGER SPONSOR FOOTBALL
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Saint Peter's College Director of Athletics Bill Stein has announced that Saint Peter's College will no longer sponsor football as an intercollegiate sport as of July 1, 2007. The announcement comes after months of deliberation.
“We feel that at this time with the demise of the MAAC Football League and recruiting difficulties that we are having, that it is time to no longer sponsor a football program,” said Stein. “I have a responsibility for the health, safety and well being of our student-athletes.”
Saint Peter's has sponsored football as an intercollegiate sport since 1971 when the program was Division III. The Peacocks
had no option but to become Division IAA in 1993 when the NCAA passed legislation prohibiting Division I programs from having sports below Division I. Since becoming IAA in 1993 the football team has a 38-103 record. The program was also suspended twice before (1984 and 1988) for having an insufficient numbers of players.
The MAACFL was a successful football league in the early 90's, but with three teams leaving (St. John's, Georgetown and Duquesne) and three other teams (Fairfield, Siena and Canisius) no longer sponsoring football, the league no longer can provide a viable schedule. Saint Peter's has considered joining another league, but decided it was not feasible.
“It is too difficult for Saint Peter's College to become competitive in football. Recruiting in the area is nearly impossible without giving athletic scholarships due to the very strong NJAC schools and other Division II schools in the area,” remarked Stein. “In addition, we have no on campus facility and its becoming tougher to schedule opponents that are at our level of competition.”
The Saint Peter's College Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees formed an ad hoc committee, which consisted of members of the Board of Trustees, Board of Regents and college administrators to review the data regarding the football program. The committee recommended to the administration that discontinuing the football program would be prudent at this time. The College intends to use some of the monies previously used for football to enhance the other 19 intercollegiate sports that Saint Peter's currently sponsors.
All student-athletes presently on the football roster or who had committed to be on the team in the fall will be released immediately. The college hopes that a number of the players will decide to complete their education at Saint Peter's.
“I personally feel for the returning student-athletes, the incoming freshman and the coaching staff about this decision,” said Stein, “No athletic director ever wants to eliminate a sport from its program. We also want to apologize to our 2007 opponents.”