We're a little more than a month away from college football season, so this news stinks even more. Division II Humboldt State is disbanding its football program.
The school announced the news this afternoon. The 2018 season will be the final one for the Lumberjacks.
In the last few months, the program had undertaken a significant fund drive aimed at keeping the program afloat. A goal was set for $500,000 by January, but even with the deadline extended through June, the total amount money raised only equaled $329,000.
"Our football team has been an important source of pride for our students, staff, and alumni, as well as our regional community," President Lisa Rossbacher said in a press release. "Sadly, and despite a tremendous fund drive effort, we found that football cannot be sustained through student fees and community giving. At the same time, the University cannot continue to subsidize budget deficits in Athletics without threatening our academic programs."
What makes this news even more cruel is the fact that HSU has been very successful on the field. The Lumberjacks went 8-2 last fall and had a player, offensive lineman Alex Cappa, selected in the third round of April's NFL Draft.
The Humboldt State program has been around since 1924. The Lumberjacks have won 11 conference titles in their history, most recently the Great Northwest Athletic Conference in 2011 and 2015.
It can be financially tough to manage a football program, athletic department or university these days. That doesn't make this news sting any less for those involved.
Our hearts go out to all the current Humboldt State players and coaches.