The Jacksonville University Dolphins will no longer play football and will discontinue its Division I program, effective immediately, the school announced on Tuesday.
Jacksonville has played in the non-scholarship Pioneer Football League since 1998. The Dolphins finished the 2019 season 3-9 overall and 1-7 in conference action.
“As a University, we are investing and innovating to match our offerings to the 21st century marketplace and to support the diverse demands and interests of our students,” said Jacksonville University President Tim Cost. “This investment profile requires careful analysis, realistic planning and – occasionally – difficult decisions to help drive us forward to excellence.”
“This was a difficult decision,” said Athletic Director Alex Ricker-Gilbert. “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.”
To aid in the transition, the school is offering full tuition scholarships to every football student-athlete who chooses to remain at Jacksonville University through graduation. Additionally, Jacksonville University will honor the employment agreements for all football coaches and is “offering enhanced resources to assist in their job search.”
“We look forward to fully supporting our football student-athletes and coaches as they pursue the next steps in their academic, athletic and professional careers,” said President Cost.
Jacksonville only had one future non-conference opponent on their schedule — a trip to face the Dartmouth Big Green on Sept. 19, 2020. The contest was the second of a home-and-home series that began in Jacksonville this season. Dartmouth won that game 35-6.