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Football programs at four Maricopa Community Colleges could be cut

The football team at Mesa Community College is on the verge of losing its program at the recommendation of a district task force. (Facebook/Mesa Community College Athletics)

PHOENIX — A task force that reviewed 10 schools’ athletics programs has recommended four Arizona community colleges cut football.

Paul Dale, Maricopa Community College’s interim executive vice chancellor and provost, said the task force recommended Phoenix College, Scottsdale Community College, Mesa Community College and Glendale Community College all cut their football programs.

The district started reviewing programs, both athletic and academic, about five years ago, Dale said, and the task force started reviewing the district’s athletic programs last summer.

As a result from the review, the task force recommended that district officials consider eliminating football at the four community colleges.

Among one of the main issues with continuing the district’s football programs, Dale said, is funding. The district lost $68 million in state aid and is no longer supported by the state at all.

Football in the district costs $770,000 each year to operate, which equates to 20 percent of the district’s total athletics budget.

Dale said the next step will be to pass it on to Chancellor Maria Harper-Marinick, who will then ask the college presidents to review the report and provide any missing information before sending it back to her for a final review.

“Given the magnitude of this decision, this is not something we take lightly,” Dale said, adding that community college leaders want to hear from members of the community as well.

Dale said there is no set timeline for the decision, but added it will likely impact football in the 2018-2019 year and should not impact this upcoming fall season.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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