The Pima Community College football program will cease operations after the 2018 season.
The decision was announced at the June 13 Governing Board meeting by Edgar Soto, Dean of Athletics, Fitness & Wellness. Soto's budget recommendation was approved by the Executive Leadership Team and Chancellor Lee Lambert.
Soto recommended moving from a $2.6 million athletics budget to $1.9 million, which would require ending the football program and at least two other sports. The men's and women's golf and tennis teams are currently being evaluated. Budget cuts are occurring across the College.
Through Twitter, Football coach Jim Monaco expressed disappointment with the decision, but concluded: "this SEASON IS OURS FOR THE TAKING. BE PREPARED. GREAT TO BE AN AZTEC." He added, "PROUD TO BE YOUR COACH."
Athletics consider a number of factors in the decision, including programs costs, competition opportunities and conference viability, Title IX implications and other relative liabilities.
Soto added that the College will create scholarships for football, golf and tennis athletes who might have come to the Pima through sports.
"Their ride to college might be academics instead of athletics, but our objective will be the same – to see them through to a college degree."
Details will be announced when they are completed.