Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Florida Institute of Technology is shutting down their Division II football program.
The Melbourne, Florida based school announced that they needed to cut back on various things in order to “reduce costs and ensure the university can achieve its core mission of STEM higher education.”
Florida Tech will be eliminating some positions and furloughing others in this time, and that apparently includes coaches from the football program, which started in 2013. For students on the football team who are under scholarship, Florida Tech will honor those scholarships “for up to four years.”
Division II sports programs, and especially football programs, are definitely in a tight spot right now. It’s unknown whether there will even be a season and while many top Division I football programs bring in lots of money, that isn’t necessarily the case for lower division schools. And given football is an expensive sport to run compared to other collegiate sports, it can be a sport that could go on the chopping block if the school feels it isn’t effective in recruiting students and/or bringing in a high amount of revenue in comparison to other sports.
The school recently shut down their women’s golf program after they won a national championship last year and instead of dropping men’s golf, Florida Tech went with football in order to remain Title IX compliant and having the same number of sports for men and women. It remains to be seen whether or not players will transfer to play elsewhere or remain and finish out their degree but Florida Tech is valuing education over sport to provide their students an education.
[Florida Tech Sports/Photo: Florida Tech]