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Whittier Will Discontinue Football

November 28, 2022

Whittier College announced that it is discontinuing its football team, men’s lacrosse and men’s and women’s golf.

“According to data from the Aspen Institute and the National Federation of State High School Associations, football is in decline across the United States. From 2008-09 to 2018-19, the total number of youth aged 6 to 18 playing tackle football fell by more than 620,000 participants from about 2.5 million to less than 1.9 million. Over the same decade, attendance at top-level college games declined by almost 10 percent,” said a Whittier statement. “Among higher education, Whittier is not alone in evaluating its football program. Over the past 30 years, 14 California four-year colleges, including [Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference] rivals Occidental and CalTech, have dropped football from their intercollegiate rosters. In addition, there is growing concern around contact sports–lacrosse and football—and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease found in athletes and others with a history of repetitive brain trauma. When it comes to the health of our student-athletes, we must take this concern seriously.”

The announcement noted that “as a Division III school, financial aid awarded to student-athletes is not related to athletic participation. Therefore, this decision will have no impact on students’ financial aid packages.”

Students on the teams feel “tossed aside,” reported the Los Angeles Times.

 

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Scott Jaschik

Scott Jaschik, Editor, is one of the three founders of Inside Higher Ed. With Doug Lederman, he leads the editorial operations of Inside Higher Ed, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs and other features. Scott is a leading voice on higher education issues, quoted regularly in publications nationwide, and publishing articles on colleges in publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Salon, and elsewhere. He has been a judge or screener for the National Magazine Awards, the Online Journalism Awards, the Folio Editorial Excellence Awards, and the Education Writers Association Awards. Scott served as a mentor in the community college fellowship program of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, of Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a member of the board of the Education Writers Association. From 1999-2003, Scott was editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Scott grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and graduated from Cornell University in 1985. He lives in Washington.

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