Setback for plans to cut football at St. Cloud State

Officials at St. Cloud State University had floated the idea of cutting the football program as a way to save money, but a ruling by their athletic conference — the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference — complicates that option.

Conference directors voted to affirm its rule that football is a required sport for conference membership. So if St. Cloud drops football, its other teams would be out of the conference, too.

The conference decision means St. Cloud will continue to look at its cost-cutting options — which include still eliminating football, or maybe other sports — Steve Ludwig, vice president for administrative affairs at the school, told the St. Cloud Times

School officials also are looking at fundraising, or raising student fees, as possible ways to meet the budget crunch and keep the sports programs.

A decision on possible athletics cuts is expected to be made by early December, making it tough for football coach Scott Underwood’s recruiting efforts.

“It’s really hard to do much when you don’t know exactly what the final outcome is going to be,” Underwood told the paper. “It’s hard to tell a kid we’re recruiting where we stand currently.”

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