JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. -- East Tennessee State will get rid of its football program after the 2003 season for financial reasons.
University president Paul Stanton announced the decision Thursday.
ETSU, a member of the Division I-AA Southern Conference, last won a league championship in 1969. The Buccaneers were 4-8 last season.
Stanton has to cut more than $7.5 million from the university's $139 million budget by July 1. The reduction is part of 9 percent cuts throughout most of the state to eliminate a $629 million budget deficit next year.
The football program is losing $1.1 million annually. The school also plans to reduce or eliminate some academic departments, lay off employees and increase tuition.
So far, faculty, alumni and donors have supported Stanton's decision.
"It's gone better than I anticipated. It was a tough decision with a lot of emotions abound," Stanton said.
The football team begins its final season Aug. 28 at Eastern Michigan.
The Associated Press News Service
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