LAWRENCE, KANSAS — In a move to reduce operating expenses, Haskell Indian Nations University announced Thursday it is suspending the upcoming Haskell football season and other intercollegiate athletic programs.
The measure was taken by the National Haskell Board of Regents on the recommendation of Haskell President Venida Chenault who notes the rising cost of intercollegiate athletic programs and other factors makes it difficult for Haskell to compete.
The move allows the university to prioritize funding for existing, new unidentified academic programs and essential student services at the university.
According to today’s news release, the suspension of the football season will not negatively impact football players who came to Haskell to play football.
“Student athletes will not lose eligibility but will have a strong developmental year for academic and physical conditioning over the coming year. Releases are being provided to student athletes who made a commitment prior to the decision,” reads the news release in part.
The university cites escalating costs of equipment, facilities and travel, as well as additional research about the long term impact of concussions on players in sports factored into its decision to drop the football program.
Review of remaining sports programs is also underway with an anticipated reduction to six additional sports now offered by Haskell.
Long-term external funding and donations can be made through the Haskell Foundation at give@HaskellFoundation.com.
Remaining programs will operate in an independent conference for the 2015/16 academic year.
Haskell enjoys a 117-year history of serving American Indian students from various parts of Indian Country at various age levels at different times during its history. Haskell football teams in the early 1900’s to the 1930’s are legendary. And even after the 1930’s, when the emphasis on football began to decrease, athletics remained a high priority to Haskell students and alumni. Today, Haskell continues to pay tribute to great athletes by serving as the home of the American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame.