TEMPE, Ariz. - Maricopa County Community College District announced Monday it will eliminate football following the upcoming 2018 season due to financial constraints.
According to a released statement, the slowing of enrollment growth at the colleges and zeroing out of state support led MCCCD to prioritize the resources to meet the educational needs of the community.
Football programs will be eliminated at Mesa Community College, Scottsdale Community College, Glendale Community College, and Phoenix College following the Fall 2018 season. State universities recruit from these football programs.
The football program makes up 20 percent of the total athletic budget and is responsible for more than 50 percent of related insurance costs. Ongoing costs to maintain the football programs could exceed $20 million, MCCCD said.
The decision is not sitting well with at least a few athletes and coaches from the Valley who have benefitted from MCCCD football programs.
“I wouldn’t be where I am without MCC,” said Kamani Mosby, a 2014 graduate of Mesa Community College.
Mosby used his experience at MCC to earn a scholarship at the University of Kansas.
“You’re messing a lot of lives up, as far as guys trying to make a way at their position,” Mosby said.
“Kids go to junior college because of football and they end up realizing they’re really there because of education,” said Desert Ridge High School football coach Jeremy Hathcock.
Hatchcock is a Phoenix Community College graduate and credits his experience there for his career on and off the field. Hathcock is also worried about his current players who don’t make the grades out of high school.
“It’s a sad thing because without the grades, literally our kids are going to go nowhere,” Hathcock said.
"Although this is a disappointment to our student athletes, coaching staff, and football fans, it is ultimately the right decision for the District and the long-term success of students,” said Matt Hasson, MCCCD communications director. “As an essential resource to the community and businesses, MCCCD must be responsible for the financial resources it has been entrusted with.”