UM Crookston, St. Cloud State drop football

UM Crookston, St. Cloud State drop football Click to Enlarge

The University of Minnesota Crookston and St. Cloud State University are dropping their football programs, effective immediately, for financial reasons.

The announcement came Tuesday afternoon. Both schools are members of the Northern Sun Conference.

In the last four seasons, Minnesota Crookston’s football team had 1 win and 43 losses. And in the last six seasons, the Golden Eagles were 2-and-64.

UMC says it will honor scholarships for any student-athlete who wishes to continue academically at the school.

St. Cloud State’s football team was coached by former UND assistant Scott Underwood. And former UND head coach Chris Mussman was the Huskies’ co-offensive coordinator.

St. Cloud State is also dropping men’s and women’s golf, but adding men’s soccer.

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Minnesota Crookston release:

The University of Minnesota Crookston today announced it will discontinue its football program. The recently completed 2019 season is the last as a varsity sport.

“As an institution, the decision to discontinue any program is extremely difficult,” says Mary Holz-Clause, chancellor at UMN Crookston. "Ensuring a balanced, financially stable profile across our athletics department demands careful analysis, planning, and thoughtful consideration, all of which played a role in making this challenging decision and will continue to play a role in how we approach this work every day. Going forward, we will invest more in other programs to support the diverse demands and interests of our students, taking into account facility needs, departmental balance, budget and competitive opportunities.

“We deeply value the hard work of our student-athletes, coaches, athletic administration and everyone associated with this program. They dedicated themselves to representing our campus community in a positive way and I want to thank them for that,” noted the Chancellor.

The University will honor scholarships for any student-athlete who wishes to continue academically at UMN Crookston. “Assistance will be provided to students as they navigate their future collegiate career. Staff members from athletic compliance, financial aid, student life, and Center for Student Success are available to assist football student-athletes through this transition,” says John Hoffman, vice chancellor for academic and student affairs.

The program has historically faced serious challenges from lack of available funding, challenges that have grown in recent years. Without substantial and ongoing financial investment in facilities, student-athlete development, scholarships and staffing, the football program cannot be maintained, let alone improve competitively.

Lacking the ability to make these investments, either now or in the future, Crookston will reallocate football-related expenditures into other areas of its athletics department to enhance and strengthen its other 12 NCAA Division II athletic programs, 11 of which compete in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (NSIC). These resources will provide more flexibility in roster sizes, scholarship offerings and staffing across all Golden Eagle programs, while also creating new opportunities to invest in maintaining and improving athletic facilities.

“Discontinuing the football program was not an option we wanted to pursue, but as we worked through the process, it became evident that it was the right decision for the long-term health of our athletics department,” said Stephanie Helgeson, director of athletics. “This will move Golden Eagle Athletics into its strongest possible future, one in which we can better support all of our athletics programs and provide an outstanding collegiate experience to each of our student-athletes.”


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