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Jacksonville University drops college football program

Jacksonville University (JU) has decided to discontinue its college football program after 22 years.

The Florida university, which has participated in the Pioneer Football League since 1998, said it has spent more than a year evaluating its athletic department and exploring ways to position itself for long-term growth and success.

“This was a difficult decision,” said JU athletic director Alex Ricker-Gilbert in a statement. “Our student-athletes and coaches in the football program are talented, tenacious and hard working. We respect them immensely. Reinvesting these resources into our other Division I programs better positions us to enhance the experience for all 450 student-athletes.”

He added: “When you consider all that we commit to coaching, recruiting, advising, facilities, conditioning, nutrition, and academic counseling, it’s clear the resources required to support our football program outweigh the benefits to the overall athletics department and the university.”

JU is offering full tuition scholarships to every college football player who chooses to stay at the university until graduation. The university also will honor the contracts of all football coaches and assist in their job searches.