Campus: CSU Northridge -- November 16, 2001
Northridge Decides to Discontinue Football
Closing a seven-week period of public comment and campus
deliberation, Cal State Northridge President Jolene Koester announced
today she has accepted an Athletics Department recommendation that the
university discontinue its football program.
In a statement announcing the decision, President Koester said discontinuing
football is the best way for the university's Athletics Department to
avoid looming budget deficits that were headed toward $1 million a year.
By ensuring the fiscal health of the entire athletics program, the president
said Northridge will be better able to support its remaining 20 sports
and ensure their success.
"I know that this decision will cause some disappointment and difficulty,"
Koester said. "However, I am confident that it is the best one for
the athletics program and the University. Some will undoubtedly disagree,
but I hope we can move forward in support of our student athletes as we
compete successfully in the future." The president personally informed
the coaches and players of the decision during an afternoon meeting, thanking
them for their hard work and dedication.
This fall, Northridge Athletics Director Dick Dull recommended the university
discontinue football because of the athletics program's budget deficits
and football generating little revenue to offset its $1.3 million-a-year
cost as the university's most expensive sport. A university advisory board
on athletics, the Faculty Senate and two outside athletics experts later
endorsed Dull's report.
Even without football next season, Northridge will continue to offer one
of the broadest intercollegiate athletic programs among comparable universities.
Northridge will continue to spend about $7 million a year on its athletics
program, sponsoring 10 men's and 10 women's teams with more than 400 student-athletes
competing at the NCAA Division I level.
Under the university's decision, current members of the football team
who have athletic scholarships will have those continued for the duration
of their NCAA eligibility, provided they remain in good academic standing
at the university. For team members who may wish to transfer elsewhere,
the university will offer placement assistance.
Cal State Northridge closed its 2001 football season last Saturday with
a loss on the road to Portland State. This season's final 3-7 record means
Northridge's ending football record overall will be 182-231-4.
Looking ahead, Koester said Northridge must work to strengthen its fundraising
support for athletics, particularly for facilities. "This University
can have a strong and successful athletics program as we move forward,"
she said. "Today's decision will better enable us to dedicate financial
resources to the remaining sports at levels at which they can achieve
the greatest measure of success."