On December 3, Hostra University announced it will discontinue its intercollegiate football program because of the significant cost to the institution to compete in the sport. “As we continue to improve our academic programs and reputation, and plan the University’s future, we have to consider the investment we make in all of the University’s programs,” said Hofstra University President Stuart Rabinowitz. “The cost of the football program, now and in the future, far exceeds the return possible from an FCS program, which does not generate significant national interest. Given that, along with the low level of interest, financial support and attendance among our students, our alumni and the community, the choice was painful, but clear.”
According to the university, all current football team members who remain at Hofstra will keep their scholarships, and those who transfer will be eligible to play immediately. The football team had 84 student-athletes from 15 states, and 11 coaches. The net cost of the football program was approximately $4.5 million, including scholarships, and the university plans to direct any savings generated to fund new faculty lines, academic programs and need-based scholarships.
ESPN reported that a lack of interest in the football program impacted the decision by Hofstra administration. An average of only 500 students attended games at the 13,000-seat campus stadium, despite a student body of 12,500, but only 4,200 live on campus. The average attendance this season — students and nonstudents — was 4,260.
The decision by Hofstra was made just two weeks after Northeastern University also decided to discontinue its football program because of financial constraints. Both Hofstra and Northeastern competed in the Colonial Athletic Association, a Division I – Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) conference.