Budget woes end a century of WWU football
After carefully evaluating how best to ensure the future of intercollegiate sports at Western, President Bruce Shepard came to a gut-wrenching decision: to end the football program.
“I have made this decision with a heavy heart as I am well aware of the profound consequences it has on the student-athletes on the football team, their dedicated and hard-working coaches and on our passionate supporters on campus, in the community and region and on our alumni,” Shepard said in announcing the decision.
Amid rising costs of travel to far-away opponents, relatively flat growth in gifts and donations and looming budget cuts in other areas, ending the football program was the only way to ensure Western maintains a strong program of intercollegiate athletics.
All current student-athletes will retain their scholarships if they stay at Western. If they choose to transfer, they will be immediately eligible to play intercollegiate football.
Football began at Western in 1903. The team’s best season was 1996, when the Vikings reached the championship game of the NAIA Division II playoffs.