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Jan 12, 2015 12:07 PM EST

Paine College Announces Suspension of Football Program for 2 years

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Paine College in Georgia announced Saturday that it is suspending its football program for two years.

The self-imposed suspension comes just two years after the school's Board of Trustees voted to revive the football program in 2012 after a 50-year hiatus, Inside Higher Ed reported. The College introduced Club Football with a limited number of games in 2013 and rolled out its full program during the 2014 fall semester.

"We must take this and other steps to reduce overall expenditures by the College and increase our net assets," President Dr. Samuel Sullivan said in a statement.  "After removal of all sanctions imposed upon the college by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), we will conduct a cost benefit analysis and evaluate the return of our football program."

Under the leadership of Coach Greg Ruffin, the Club team ended the season with an impressive 3-1 record in 2013.  In 2014, the Lions ended the season with a 2-8 record.

Although the community has rallied support for the new program that is still in its infant stage, the cost to operate the program has placed an enormous amount of financial strain on the College's operating budget.

"We want our sports programs to remain competitive and in order to do that, we must revisit the cost of maintaining a healthy athletic program," Sullivan said.  "Although the College is witnessing an enormous outpouring of support from the community, the economic climate has caused us to reassess the budgets and the cost of operating the football program. It is imperative that we continue to enhance the College's academic programs and student services."

The Paine College Lion Athletic program falls under the auspices of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletics Conference and NCAA Division II.

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