Arizona Western joins parade of state junior colleges giving up football
PHOENIX – Arizona Western College announced this week it was discontinuing football, leaving only one junior college in the state yet to eliminate the sport.
The Yuma school participated in the Western States Football League, which in the just-completed season included seven Arizona teams plus one from Utah.
In February, the Maricopa County Community College District announced that its four schools with football programs — Mesa Community College, Scottsdale Community College, Glendale Community College and Phoenix College – would play their final seasons in 2018.
The move came almost three years after the state removed $68 million in funding from the district.
Football in the district cost $770,000 each year to operate, which equated to 20 percent of the district’s total athletics budget, and was responsible for more than 50 percent of related insurance costs.
The district said costs to maintain the schools’ football programs could exceed $20 million in “needed capital improvements and associated expenses.”
In June, Pima Community College in Tucson said it, too, was giving up football.
Arizona Western’s announcement leaves Eastern Arizona College in Thatcher as the state’s only football-playing junior college, although the sport’s future is uncertain there, too.