Minnesota is losing two of its Division-2 football programs

A young fan congratulates St. Cloud State University players as they leave the field after a game in 2014
Photo credit © Dave Schwarz, dschwarz@stcloudti, St. Cloud Times via Imagn Content Services, LLC
By 830 WCCO

Shocking announcements today from both St. Cloud State University and the University of Minnesota Crookston — both schools are eliminating their football programs.

St. Cloud State will eliminate football, and it's men's and women's golf programs.  The school is adding men's soccer. It's part of a cost cutting measure, as well as aligning with the requirements of Title-9, which provides equal opportunities for male and female athletes in college.  

The move will  directly impact about 115 students at St. Cloud State, seven head and assistant coaches, and two graduate assistant coaches, according to a press release. St. Cloud State President Robbyn Wacker described it as an extremely difficult decision.

“Our student-athletes and coaches approach every day with incredible devotion and desire to be their best and represent St. Cloud State in the classroom, on the field, and in our community. We are grateful for their commitment and will assist them as they move forward,” she said. 

The school’s statement said it was  was facing, a “growing athletics deficit of more than $1.6 million over the past four years.” The addition of soccer was made, it said, “ to comply with NCAA sport sponsorship legislation, and acknowledges soccer’s growth and popularity, as well as its lower staffing, scholarship, and operational resource costs.”

 “Although I understand that this action will be disappointing to many in the St. Cloud State community, I endorse this decision, as it strategically positions the University to secure its future and be more effective in promoting student success, and the vitality of the communities and the region it serves.”

At Crookston, the decision to drop football was based solely on a continuing lack of funding for the program - that according to school officials. 

NEWS | UMN Crookston Discontinues Football Programhttps://t.co/bn4GOHLFj4

— University of Minnesota Crookston (@UMNCrookston) December 10, 2019

Both football teams participated in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.