Eastern Arizona College ends state’s last junior college football program

Dec 12, 2018, 4:25 AM
(Facebook Photo)...
(Facebook Photo)
(Facebook Photo)

PHOENIX — After Arizona Western College announced it was nixing its football program last week, Eastern Arizona College was the only junior college in the state left with the sport.

But on Tuesday evening, the Thatcher college announced that it, too, has ended its football program, due to its financial burden and the collapse of the rest of the league.

The Western States Football League consisted of eight teams this season, seven in Arizona and one in Utah. Before this announcement, six had already dropped out.

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.

In June, Pima Community College in Tucson said it was also giving up football.

Eastern Arizona College won this year’s championship and was invited to play in the Mississippi Bowl.

“This has been (an) extremely difficult decision we have been forced to make,” Eastern Arizona College President Todd Haynie said in the announcement.

“However, with drastic changes taking place within the league that are outside our control, and as stewards entrusted with public funds, we must conclude that an altered program will not allow EAC to maintain a balance of costs and benefits.”

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Eastern Arizona College ends state’s last junior college football program