Florida Tech eliminates its football program amid coronavirus pandemic

Florida Tech eliminates its football program amid coronavirus pandemic

Florida Institute of Technology announced Monday that the university will eliminate its football program because of the economic uncertainty of COVID-19.

Florida Tech, a Division II program founded in 2011, competed in the Gulf South Conference. This decision will affect about 120 student-athletes and eight coaches. The student-athletes' scholarships will be honored for up to four years, the school said. They can transfer to be immediately eligible at another program, per NCAA rules.

“The unprecedented uncertainty created by COVID-19 makes these moves prudent, but no less painful,” Florida Tech president Dwayne McCay said in a public letter to the campus community.

“We must do what is necessary to preserve resources critical to our educational mission and ensure our ability to successfully serve students when face-to-face instruction resumes this fall. I appreciate each of you, and I am humbled by your hard work and sacrifice.”

CORONAVIRUS & SPORTS: Get the latest news and information right in your inbox. Sign up here.

According to The Tampa Bay Times, which cited U.S. Department of Education data, Florida Tech spent $3.1 million of the athletic department's $10.7 million on football during the 2018-19 fiscal year.

Florida Tech launched its football program amid an unprecedented wave of campus expansion and fundraising spearheaded by former president Anthony Catanese. He had previously led the launch of Florida Atlantic University’s football team during his presidential tenure there.

After more than three years of development, the Panthers debuted in September 2013. The school had a 44-35 record in seven seasons.

Start-up costs for Florida Tech’s football program included $2.1 million in construction, primarily the 12,600-square-foot Varsity Training Center and upgrades at Pirate Stadium, including artificial turf.

By fall 2014, university officials estimated football start-up operational costs had reached $3.5 million, including equipment purchases and payroll. These figures were included in a university analysis that estimated the football program had generated $9 million in economic impact across the Melbourne, Florida, area.

Last year, Florida Tech cut the men’s and women’s tennis programs and the women’s golf program. After the announcement, the women’s golf squad won the program's first NCAA Division II National Championship in May 2019.

The university also announced the elimination of staff positions and furloughed some employees, as well a closed the Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts.

Contributing: Florida Today, part of the USA TODAY Network

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2020/05/11/florida-tech-eliminates-football-program-amid-coronavirus/3109052001/

News Related


Trump’s ‘mission accomplished’ moment is premature and deadly. We have not defeated COVID.

Desperate for crowds and adoration, Trump has put his most fervent supporters at risk of getting a deadly disease. Future historians will be astonished. Read more »

NFLPA president JC Tretter says NFL is putting season, players at risk with its coronavirus approach

NFL Players Association president JC Tretter said Tuesday the NFL is putting the 2020 season at risk with its coronavirus approach, calling on the league to better “prioritize player safety.” “Like many other... Read more »

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says he tested positive for the coronavirus

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro says he has tested positive for COVID-19 after months of downplaying the virus’ severity. Bolsonaro confirmed the test results while wearing a mask and... Read more »

Venice Film Festival forges ahead amid COVID-19 pandemic with reduced lineup

The show will go on for the Venice Film Festival in September, but with a few modifications due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers said Tuesday that they are pushing forward with plans for... Read more »

Amtrak offers buy-one, get-one promotion on its sleeper trains amid COVID-19 — with a catch

Amtrak wants you to have sweet dreams the next time you travel — so much so that it’s sweetening the deal on its sleeper “roomettes.” The rail service is offering a buy-one-get-one-free discount... Read more »

Florida teen treated with hydroxychloroquine at home before dying of COVID-19, report says

FORT MEYERS, Fla. – The family of a 17-year-old Florida girl who died last month from COVID-19 treated her symptoms at home for nearly a week before taking her to a hospital, a... Read more »

Mookie Betts worried MLB coronavirus testing woes could prevent him from ever playing for Dodgers

During nearly four months away from the game, Mookie Betts said he “stayed away from baseball to keep myself sane.” It’s not hard to understand why. The 2018 American League Most Valuable Player... Read more »

Tom Hanks doesn’t get ‘how common sense has somehow been put into question’ with coronavirus

Read more »

Can Gov. DeSantis force Florida schools to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic? Some school leaders seem doubtful.

PALM BEACH, Fla. — As concern about the state order spread online, some school leaders said: Not so fast. As Florida educators puzzle over how to start the new academic year, Gov. Ron... Read more »

Texas surpasses 200,000 coronavirus cases after 4th of July holiday weekend

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas reached 200,000 total COVID-19 cases Monday, just 17 days after crossing the 100,000 threshold, a figure that took the state nearly four months to hit. The grim milestone came... Read more »