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Thread: 5 Arizona JCs drop FB

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    Default 5 Arizona JCs drop FB

    My alma mater, Ridgewater College, suspended their football program midway through the year. The future of the program is in doubt. In Arizona, five schools are dropping the sport. Only Eastern Arizona, Arizona Western, and Snow of Utah remain in that conference.

    https://old.reddit.com/r/CFB/comment..._in_arizona_a/

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    Default Re: 5 Arizona JCs drop FB

    Quote Originally Posted by laker View Post
    My alma mater, Ridgewater College, suspended their football program midway through the year. The future of the program is in doubt. In Arizona, five schools are dropping the sport. Only Eastern Arizona, Arizona Western, and Snow of Utah remain in that conference.

    https://old.reddit.com/r/CFB/comment..._in_arizona_a/
    Unbelievably disappointing. Having played high school football in AZ, the biggest negative is opportunity to play in college. The only four year schools with football are FCS Northern Arizona and the two PAC 12 schools. I had a passion to keep playing but knew I wouldn't get a sniff from any of those programs. The JCs were an option but I didn't want to go that route academically. 30 years later, access to continuing to play has now gotten worse.

    There is no reason that a state that big has so little access to the game. If Grand Canyon had actually added D2 football (when they were still a D2 school) they would have had a very short learning curve with the amount of talent dying for D2 access closer than the RMAC. Azusa wasn't D2 yet at the time.

    Even beyond the JCs being a stepping stone like we think of in Last Chance U, playing football is a reason for a lot of guys to simply keep going to school and not just hitting the streets. I played with a ton of guys like that. You now have 500 opportunities gone...all due to financial reasons from horrific levels of state funding.

    Just really really sad.
    Hillsdale ‘94

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    Default Re: 5 Arizona JCs drop FB

    Quote Originally Posted by chargerblue View Post
    Just really really sad.
    I agree. No way I would have made the team at Mankato. I was pretty skinny back then and sometimes took a real pounding at Ridgewater. Plenty of war stories from playing there. I see the changes and I worry about the future of the sport.

  4. Default Re: 5 Arizona JCs drop FB

    Quote Originally Posted by chargerblue View Post
    Unbelievably disappointing. Having played high school football in AZ, the biggest negative is opportunity to play in college. The only four year schools with football are FCS Northern Arizona and the two PAC 12 schools. I had a passion to keep playing but knew I wouldn't get a sniff from any of those programs. The JCs were an option but I didn't want to go that route academically. 30 years later, access to continuing to play has now gotten worse.

    There is no reason that a state that big has so little access to the game. If Grand Canyon had actually added D2 football (when they were still a D2 school) they would have had a very short learning curve with the amount of talent dying for D2 access closer than the RMAC. Azusa wasn't D2 yet at the time.

    Even beyond the JCs being a stepping stone like we think of in Last Chance U, playing football is a reason for a lot of guys to simply keep going to school and not just hitting the streets. I played with a ton of guys like that. You now have 500 opportunities gone...all due to financial reasons from horrific levels of state funding.

    Just really really sad.
    Agree. I live in PA where we have an abundance of D2 and 3 schools for kids to continue playing. Arizona, Cali and really the whole west coast have so few D2 schools that many deserving players go without opportunities.

    Many of the east coast FCS schools are recruiting the west coast like never before. It makes senses traveling across the country for a full ride, but not always the case for a D2 recruit.

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    Default Re: 5 Arizona JCs drop FB

    Quote Originally Posted by laker View Post
    My alma mater, Ridgewater College, suspended their football program midway through the year. The future of the program is in doubt. In Arizona, five schools are dropping the sport. Only Eastern Arizona, Arizona Western, and Snow of Utah remain in that conference.

    https://old.reddit.com/r/CFB/comment..._in_arizona_a/
    I didn't realize RC suspended football. That's a shame. Funding? Some of the State JUCOs are doing really well (LSC comes to mind) while others really seem to be struggling financially.

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    Default Re: 5 Arizona JCs drop FB

    How are these programs mainly funded? Tax dollars?

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    Default Re: 5 Arizona JCs drop FB

    Quote Originally Posted by UNALions View Post
    How are these programs mainly funded? Tax dollars?
    That's the case as far as I'm aware... at least here in MN.

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    Default Re: 5 Arizona JCs drop FB

    Quote Originally Posted by UNALions View Post
    How are these programs mainly funded? Tax dollars?
    Higher-ed educational funding through the state.
    Hillsdale ‘94

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    Default Re: 5 Arizona JCs drop FB

    Quote Originally Posted by SW_Mustang View Post
    I didn't realize RC suspended football. That's a shame. Funding? Some of the State JUCOs are doing really well (LSC comes to mind) while others really seem to be struggling financially.
    I don't think funding was the problem. They started out with something like 53 players and were down to 23 due to suspensions, injuries, and people quitting. I went to New London to watch their opening game vs Fond du Lac, hardly a powerhouse. Due to stupid penalties, stupid execution and the mounting score, I did something that I had never done before- left in the second quarter. The roster had six Minnesota kids on it- I think one from Willmar, one from Belgrade and one from Grove City. When I played we had one kid from Gary, Indiana. These players are now from Georgia and Florida. I see no need to import them. They lack talent, concentration and any loyalty to the area. When the season is over most of them leave to go back south. There are plenty of local players from powerhouse schools like Hutchinson, BOLD, Minneota- the list goes on and on. It wouldn't take a lot to recruit the local talent and get parents, friends and relatives to come to the games. Heck, one of the men's basketball players is from my home town. It is extremely frustrating.

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    Default Re: 5 Arizona JCs drop FB

    Quote Originally Posted by chargerblue View Post
    Unbelievably disappointing. Having played high school football in AZ, the biggest negative is opportunity to play in college. The only four year schools with football are FCS Northern Arizona and the two PAC 12 schools. I had a passion to keep playing but knew I wouldn't get a sniff from any of those programs. The JCs were an option but I didn't want to go that route academically. 30 years later, access to continuing to play has now gotten worse.

    There is no reason that a state that big has so little access to the game. If Grand Canyon had actually added D2 football (when they were still a D2 school) they would have had a very short learning curve with the amount of talent dying for D2 access closer than the RMAC. Azusa wasn't D2 yet at the time.

    Even beyond the JCs being a stepping stone like we think of in Last Chance U, playing football is a reason for a lot of guys to simply keep going to school and not just hitting the streets. I played with a ton of guys like that. You now have 500 opportunities gone...all due to financial reasons from horrific levels of state funding.

    Just really really sad.
    I agree with everything else that has been said, but Arizona Christian and Ottawa University-Arizona have added NAIA programs that play in the Sooner Athletic Conference.
    Go Bronchos!

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    Default Re: 5 Arizona JCs drop FB

    Quote Originally Posted by UCObluejay View Post
    I agree with everything else that has been said, but Arizona Christian and Ottawa University-Arizona have added NAIA programs that play in the Sooner Athletic Conference.
    Didn’t know that. I was always thinking that what AZ needed was to have a handful of the community colleges become four year schools. Yavapai as a four year school in Prescott would have been a blast. Instead NAU started offering satellite classes to round out a bachelors at many CCs but it still isn’t a residential college experience. It speaks to Arizona’s educational priorities more than anything in my opinion.

  12. Default Re: 5 Arizona JCs drop FB

    Quote Originally Posted by laker View Post
    I don't think funding was the problem. They started out with something like 53 players and were down to 23 due to suspensions, injuries, and people quitting. I went to New London to watch their opening game vs Fond du Lac, hardly a powerhouse. Due to stupid penalties, stupid execution and the mounting score, I did something that I had never done before- left in the second quarter. The roster had six Minnesota kids on it- I think one from Willmar, one from Belgrade and one from Grove City. When I played we had one kid from Gary, Indiana. These players are now from Georgia and Florida. I see no need to import them. They lack talent, concentration and any loyalty to the area. When the season is over most of them leave to go back south. There are plenty of local players from powerhouse schools like Hutchinson, BOLD, Minneota- the list goes on and on. It wouldn't take a lot to recruit the local talent and get parents, friends and relatives to come to the games. Heck, one of the men's basketball players is from my home town. It is extremely frustrating.
    I found an article on it. You are correct - the team shrunk by 30-ish players. I remember reading an article in the paper 10+ years ago about RC FB. It seemed like they were a big deal in town. A couple of their guys have ended up at SMSU over the years - so I know they can produce some solid guys. Lots of Class A/AA schools that are football heavy. Lakeview, Minneota, Canby, Hutch, Marshall - I don't know the dynamics of recruiting but I bet they could put together solid teams from those places and many many more.

    IMO, I think JUCOs get a bad rap all around and aren't ever really taken seriously because they're percieved as "not real colleges." It's a shame the southern players leave after the season. Unless they have a good reason, they are throwing away an amazing academic opportunity. I think making it community based would drive it much farther.

    Are they trying to recruit locally and it's just not working, or are they deliberately going after these out of state guys?

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    Default Re: 5 Arizona JCs drop FB

    Quote Originally Posted by SW_Mustang View Post
    Are they trying to recruit locally and it's just not working, or are they deliberately going after these out of state guys?
    This is the reason why I volunteered to be on a committee to look into this. After an initial thank you for your interest, I haven't heard anything more.

    Let's see if I can remember our starting offense. Left end- Madison, left tackle- Granite Falls, left guard- Kerkhoven, center- Sauk Centre (actually Elrosa), right guard- Hutchinson, right tackle- Norwood, right end- Clara City. QB- Minneapolis, FB- Dawson, TB- Danube, WB- Eden Valley Watkins (Watkins).

    Can I remember the defense? Sacred Heart, Litchfield, Cold Spring, Gary, IN, was the front four. Linebackers- Willmar, Willmar, Murdock

    D-backs- Hutchinson, Raymond, Willmar, Minneapolis.

    Let's get back to recruiting locally! We lost two games in two years!

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    Default Re: 5 Arizona JCs drop FB

    One thing that works in favor of Eastern Arizona and Arizona Western are them being the only things in town (the five dropping the sport are all in major metro areas).

    Dixie State (a former JUCO that is now in D2) has a roster full of California kids (more kids from CA than from UT).

  15. Default Re: 5 Arizona JCs drop FB

    Quote Originally Posted by laker View Post
    This is the reason why I volunteered to be on a committee to look into this. After an initial thank you for your interest, I haven't heard anything more.

    Let's see if I can remember our starting offense. Left end- Madison, left tackle- Granite Falls, left guard- Kerkhoven, center- Sauk Centre (actually Elrosa), right guard- Hutchinson, right tackle- Norwood, right end- Clara City. QB- Minneapolis, FB- Dawson, TB- Danube, WB- Eden Valley Watkins (Watkins).

    Can I remember the defense? Sacred Heart, Litchfield, Cold Spring, Gary, IN, was the front four. Linebackers- Willmar, Willmar, Murdock

    D-backs- Hutchinson, Raymond, Willmar, Minneapolis.

    Let's get back to recruiting locally! We lost two games in two years!
    I was without a computer for a few days, so I apologize for the delayed response.

    I remember being in Willmar... maybe 9-10 years ago, and reading a huge feature in the WC Trib about the team. Made me think there was a lot of pride in the community. Hopefully they can figure something out going forward.

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    Default Re: 5 Arizona JCs drop FB

    I spent an hour today visiting with the Ridgewater president in person. I was extremely impressed with his openness, his vision and his honesty. He laid it out for myself and my brother of the different options that they have dealing with football. Next week they have a meeting with representatives of the other schools in the conference that have football.

    I found out that the coaches are part time, the money comes not from the general fund but student affairs, and that lack of housing is a huge problem for many of the players. PE courses are no longer taught there, nor are there any intramural programs. The school has lost a quarter of their enrollment and locally there is no great concern about dropping football. The future of the sport is not optimistic.

    We told him that no matter what his final decision was that we would support him 100%. This is why you meet with people face to face- a phone call or emails would not have been as informative.

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    Default Re: 5 Arizona JCs drop FB

    Doesn’t the University of Phoenix have a team?

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    Default Re: 5 Arizona JCs drop FB

    Quote Originally Posted by Herb Street View Post
    Doesn’t the University of Phoenix have a team?
    No team, just a stadium. Kind of like the Vermont Catamounts.

  19. #19

    Default Re: 5 Arizona JCs drop FB

    I don't think they could lose football forever, but was their a demand for it? Did they have the fan support behind it? I know JC's often struggle with the fan support and low attendance numbers. They probably really use that gate revenue.

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    Default Re: 5 Arizona JCs drop FB

    As an aside, I watched the national junior college football championship on TV last night. East Mississippi beat Garden City KS 10-9. Some states have very successful JC programs, others not so much.

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