Occidental College will discontinue its football program, President Harry J. Elam Jr. announced Tuesday, ending three years of deliberations about its future that ultimately was affected by the substantial financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Football was approximately 20% of the athletics budget at Occidental, which notified the campus via email of the decision. Part of the reason to announce the decision now was for the sake of high school seniors and transfers considering Occidental as a place to play football.
The college cancelled the last four games of the 2017 football season because of safety concerns with an injury-depleted roster and managed to play two more seasons through increased donations and funding by the school.
Occidental, which is a founding member of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, now has 20 men’s and women’s sports that compete at the NCAA Division III level.
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