Jacksonville University discontinues football program

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacksonville University has decided to discontinue its football program.

The school made the announcement Tuesday, saying it spent more than a year evaluating its athletic department and exploring ways to position itself for long-term growth and success.

"Ultimately, one option stood out as the best path forward for Jacksonville athletics as a whole," athletic director Alex Ricker-Gilbert said. "... It's clear the resources required to support our football program outweigh the benefits to the overall athletics department and the university."

The Dolphins have participated in the non-scholarship Pioneer Football League since 1998. They finished 3-9 this season, the fourth under coach Ian Shields.

The school is offering full tuition scholarships to every football player who chooses to stay until graduation. The university also will honor the contracts of all football coaches and assist in their job searches.