Monday, November 19, 2007

La Salle drops football

PHILADELPHIA, PA - La Salle University has announced that it will discontinue its football program effective immediately.

"This was a very difficult decision, and I announce it with a real sense of disappointment," stated Director of Athletics, Dr. Thomas Brennan. "La Salle instituted a non-scholarship football program in 1997 and subsequently joined the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Football League. However, the steady dissolution of the MAAC Football League and the changing landscape of collegiate football have negatively affected our program and led us to this decision."

"It is important to note that this decision was not the result of the performance of our team, nor is it a reflection on the team and the young men who have competed for La Salle," Brennan added. "We admire the dedication and manner with which our football players represented La Salle University. We are proud of the hard work these student athletes have exhibited on the field, in the classroom, and in the community. Their passion and dedication to La Salle football only makes this announcement that much more difficult to make."

In a statement to the University community, La Salle President Br. Michael J. McGinniss, F.S.C. said: "I assure you that we will do everything possible to help the coaches and student-athletes affected by this decision. They are valued members of the La Salle family."

Football was brought back to La Salle in 1997 after a 56-year hiatus. Two years later, La Salle joined the MAAC Football League which consisted of 10 schools with similar academic and athletic profiles. Over the last eight years, Georgetown decided to change conferences, while
Fairfield, Canisius, Siena, St. John's, and St. Peter's dropped their football programs.

Last spring Duquesne announced plans to compete at the limited scholarship level by joining the Northeast Conference effective with the 2008 season. This would leave only three remaining teams for 2008--Iona, Marist and La Salle, not enough for a league.

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