Morthland College ends athletic program - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Morthland College ends athletic program

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FRANKLIN CO. -- Morthland College trustees voted Wednesday to end the school's athletic program. Former coaches and others say this could signal some very tough times for the college.

Former Morthland College athletic director Reid Cure once had great hope for the school.

"I thought we were growing and heading in a great direction. We were providing a lot of great kids, really good experiences and opportunities to play collegiate sports," he said.

But he said recent developments at the private college brought him, and at least two others to resign.

"I saw a college going into a different direction that I preferred to see it go," said Cure.

Wednesday night, Morthland explained its new direction. In a statement, spokesperson Leigh Caldwell said, "the Board of Trustees has made the decision to transition our athletic programs to club programs only"

The vote, made behind closed doors, apparently brings an end to the school's intercollegiate sports program.

Others contacted by News 3 said they sensed the school had run into financial problems.

The Morthland board's vote will affect more than 50 athletes, and Cure hopes for the best for them.

"We're just kind of praying for the best and just keeping the students first and we would love to see the college succeed despite my resignation," he said.

The school blamed its troubles on "Delays in receipt of government funding having brought a season of hardship on the college."

Below is the full statement from Morthland:

Staying true to the college's Vision statement that calls us to "forge frontiers in a spirit of innovation," the Morthland College Board of Trustees has announced that it will position the college to offer a quality, faith-based education at a flat rate of $200 per credit hour, roughly $3,000 per semester.

Delays in receipt of government funding have brought a season of hardship on the college, and in an effort to steer the institution into safe harbor, the Board of Trustees has made the decision to transition our athletic programs to club programs only. This move will dramatically reduce our costs, as we work to make the region's only faith-based college accessible to as many Southern Illinois students as possible. Students needing financial assistance may apply for a limited number of need-based and academic scholarships, made possible by the generosity of the Morthland Foundation and other benefactors.

We proceed with caution and excitement in offering a Christ-centered education at a price our students can afford, commensurate with the price point of community colleges in our region. With time, we are hopeful our announcement "to survive" will transition to a proclamation of "to thrive."

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