Task force recommends eliminating football at 4 MCCCD schools

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A new recommendation to eliminate the football program entirely at Maricopa Community Colleges is not going over well. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) A new recommendation to eliminate the football program entirely at Maricopa Community Colleges is not going over well. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
There are concerns about the cost to keep the football programs and its impact on student success. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) There are concerns about the cost to keep the football programs and its impact on student success. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Next up, MCCCD says the recommendation will be studied and its impact reviewed and they're asking for patience and understanding while that plays out. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Next up, MCCCD says the recommendation will be studied and its impact reviewed and they're asking for patience and understanding while that plays out. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

A new recommendation to eliminate the football program entirely at Maricopa Community Colleges is not going over well.

On Thursday MCCCD issued a press release addressing the response saying they understand this has caused concern among, "our student-athletes, coaching staffs and college communities."

Right now, four schools have football teams. Those are Phoenix College, Scottsdale Community College, Mesa Community College and Glendale Community College.

This recommendation stems from a final report by a task force, charged with reviewing all 16 athletic programs across the 10 schools. The group focused on three areas. According to MCCCD, those were "student academic success, program compliance and resource utilization".

"Football is about 20 percent of the entire athletics budget across the entire district," Interim Executive Vice Chancellor Paul Dale said. "It represents about 55 percent of our total insurance costs."

There were also concerns about student success.

"I think that in the football program, the student success metrics were in the top bottom three in most all student success metrics and that's probably a relatively close approximation within the football program," said Dale.

This is not a done deal. Next up, MCCCD says the recommendation will be studied and its impact reviewed and they're asking for patience and understanding while that plays out.

Players, coaches and parents will tell you that community colleges are the only way some football players can pursue their academic and athletic dreams.

"Some guys get a late start in school. Some guys that just didn't have the grades in high school and wind up going to a junior college to get their grades up. Some guys were just looked over. They went to small schools and weren't highly recruited," said Retired NFL Player Simeon Rice.

Rice did not go to a junior college but he played with and against a lot of people in the league who did.

Rice is worried that eliminating these established football programs from MCCCD schools would eliminate the athletes' ability to better themselves and further their playing careers as often times a lot of guys will go on to Division I programs.

"Some kids are only motivated by playing sports and you take that away then where's their motivation?" Rice asked. "Especially coming out of some of these urban areas they need this as a platform to continue their playing career and continue being inspired."

MCCCD says it just wants to ensure it's offering the best possible student experience while being good stewards of the public funds in the process. 

"We don't take these decisions lightly. You know we're here to educate students and we don't want to do anything that would impact students' success," said. Dr. Dale.

Rice and others feel football can only add to a students potential and help them well beyond the field.

"Being inspired in athletics, it can ultimately lead you to being inspired in education, inspired in your career in the rest of your life. It's too big of a springboard to take away," Rice said.

At this point, there is no time frame for when a final decision will be made but MCCCD says the upcoming 2017-2018 season will not be impacted and teams will be operating as normal.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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