For Immediate Release : January 10, 2015
Dr. Samuel Sullivan, Paine College Interim President, announced today that the Board of Trustees unanimously voted to suspend the College’s football program for two years.Dr. Sullivan said that the suspension was self-imposed. He commented, “At this critical juncture in the history of Paine College, we have no choice but to firmly reestablish the financial health of our College.” “It is only through achieving this condition that we will have a chance of being removed from probation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and winning reaffirmation of the College’s accreditation.” Dr. Sullivan further stated, “We must take this and other steps to reduce overall expenditures by the College and increase our net assets.” “After removal of all sanctions imposed upon the college by SACSCOC, we will conduct a cost benefit analysis and evaluate the return of our football program.”
“The College will honor scholarships for eligible players during the spring 2015 semester,” said Athletics Director Selina Kohn. “While we regret that the College has suspended the football program, the Lion Athletics Program will continue to support five men’s and five women’s sports.” Kohn further stated that the football coaches will mentor the student athletes to help them make the transition to find new athletic homes for those who wish to transfer.
During the meeting of the Board of Trustees in October 2012, the governing body unanimously voted to revive the football program after a 50-year hiatus. The College introduced Club Football with a limited number of games in 2013 and rolled out its full program during the 2014 fall semester.
Under the leadership of Coach Greg Ruffin, the Club team ended the season with an impressive 3-1 record in 2013. In 2014, the Lions ended the season with a 2-8 record.
Although the community has rallied support for the new program that is still in its infant stage, the cost to operate the program has placed an enormous amount of financial strain on the College’s operating budget.
“We want our sports programs to remain competitive and in order to do that, we must revisit the cost of maintaining a healthy athletic program,” said Dr. Sullivan. “Although the College is witnessing an enormous outpouring of support from the community, the economic climate has caused us to reassess the budgets and the cost of operating the football program.” “It is imperative that we continue to enhance the College’s academic programs and student services.”
The Paine College Lion Athletic program falls under the auspices of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletics Conference and NCAA Division II.
This is a press release issued directly from Paine College.