The Occidental College athletics department announced Tuesday it will cancel its final four football games of the 2017 season and focus on the 2018 campaign due to a shortage of players.
Chip Patterson of CBS Sports provided details Wednesday, noting the Division III school in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference lost its first three games of the season and then forfeited the next two because of the shortage.
The school's full announcement noted the coaches, trainers and "senior leadership" for the team had "daily consultations" and realized the roster wasn't healthy enough to "safely field a team" moving forward.
Despite the decision, the football team's Twitter page shared an optimistic message in the aftermath:
Oxy Football @oxy_football
Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise. #Iotriumphe #Fight4EveryStripe https://t.co/6KONIR9Mka2017-10-18 03:50:53
"A decision of this magnitude was not made lightly," President Jonathan Veitch said in the announcement. "No one wanted or expected the season to end this way. Making this decision now provides needed clarity to players, their parents, coaches, and other SCIAC members. After cancelling two of our first five games because of a depleted roster, including last weekend's Homecoming game, the need to address the viability of the season became unavoidable."
Gabriel Dunatov of the Occidental Weekly reported an anonymous source filed a Title IX complaint against the school on Oct. 4 "alleging that Director of Athletics Jaime Hoffman and the department of athletics hold an anti-male bias that has compromised the football team and its players' reputation."
A report from D3Football.com noted Occidental only had one healthy defensive lineman and a roster "in the low-to-mid 30s" of healthy players in total. The report indicated it is unclear whether players will have the chance to reclaim this year of eligibility.
According to Zach Barnett of FootballScoop.com, this is the first season at Occidental for head coach Rob Cushman. He previously coached at Minnesota-Morris.
🔥 Top Videos from Around B/R 🔥
Heisman Hopefuls: B/R Highlights Finalists Prior to Trophy Ceremony
Who Should Be the 2017 Heisman Finalists?
Miami vs. Clemson: Which Elite Defense Will Prevail in ACC Championship Game
College Football Top 25 Upset Alert for Week 11
College Football Top 25 Upset Alert for Week 10
Which CFB Stars Need More Heisman Hype?
College Football Top 25 Upset Alert for Week 9
Barkley Is Freakiest RB Prospect Since Bo Jackson
From 7th-Grade QB Prodigy to One of CFB's Top WR's
Notre Dame vs. USC: Behind the Historic Rivalry
Bryce Love for Six
Nick Chubb with the Super Hurdle Against Missouri
Justice Hill Takes Off for 79 Yards for the Touchdown
Tennessee Kicker Is Amped Up After Being Bumped in SEC Action vs. South Carolina .mp4
Kenny "Trill" Hill with the Spin Moves
Texas Tech's Fields Runs 97 Yard Pick 6
Punt Goes Wrong
Oklahoma's Abdul Adams Takes It 99 Yards to the House
Rutgers's Washignton Makes Catch Between His Legs
College Football Top 25 Upset Alert for Week 4