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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Saint Peter's drops football/leaves Monmouth looking for a game

The decision announced Thursday by Saint Peter's College to drop its non-scholarship Division I-AA football program at least temporarily leaves Monmouth University without a game.

The Hawks were scheduled to play Saint Peter's in Monmouth's home opener Sept. 15. ""We're looking for a game,'' said Monmouth coach Kevin Callahan late Thursday.
""It's a little distressing they waited until the last minute to let everyone know. There are a few scenarios we are looking into at this point. We would prefer to get a home game but I am confident we'll get a game somehow.''
In Saint Peter's statement it cited concern for its athletes and difficulty remaining competitive.

Below is from the Associated Press story:

""You have to feel for the kids,'' athletic director Bill Stein said in a telephone interview from his office at the Jersey City school. ""It was a very tough decision, but it was the right decision.''
Stein informed coach Chris Taylor, the only full-time member on the football staff, of the decision Thursday morning. Stein said the school was in the process of relaying the decision to the 33 returning players and 14 incoming freshmen.
Taylor was not immediately available for comment.
Saint Peter's, 2-8 last season, has played football since 1971, when the program was Division III. The program was suspended in 1984 and '88 for a lack of players. The Peacocks went Division I-AA in 1993 when the NCAA passed legislation prohibiting Division I programs from having sports below Division I. The Peacocks are 38-103 since the move.
Stein cited the demise of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference football league, recruiting problems and scheduling difficulties as the main reasons for deciding to end the program.
""I have a responsibility for the health, safety and well being of our student-athletes,'' Stein said.
The MAAC football league was vibrant in the early '90s, but Fairfield, Siena and Canisius stopped fielding teams and St. John's, Georgetown and Duquesne have either left the league or are leaving next year.
Saint Peter's also had trouble scheduling games because it does not have an on-campus field. It plays its home games at Cochrane Stadium, a facility owned by Jersey City. The city only allowed St. Peter's to play on Thursday and Saturday nights, so it was hard to schedule games, Peacocks spokesman Dan Drutz said.
Stein said it cost about $400,000 to run the football program. The money will now be used to enhance the other 19 sports the college sponsors.

From me: With Duquesne joining the NEC in leaves the MAAC with Iona, LaSalle, and Marist as its only football schools.

I am wondering if MU will have any interest in any Saint Peter's players or vice versa. When a program is dropped players do not have to sit out via the usual one-year transfer rule.

The NEC is supposedly eyeing Marist as a possible future member though..from what I hear...Marist has been ducking playing Monmouth for some time now....

FYI - 2007 MU football reporting dates: Freshmen: Aug 7. Rest of team: Aug. 9


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's bush league of the athletic department (not the football staff) to cancel the season with two months left till start. It hurts the players, the opponents and their fans. I understand their reasons for dropping the program, just do it earlier in the year.

9:09 PM, June 16, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

It's very poor class in that they didn't even hint to their opponents they were consisdering the move.

That leaves, I guess, about 9-10 schools in the same empty boat as MU. Maybe MU can hook up with one of them. I've heard LaSalle mentioned..

9:39 PM, June 16, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wasnt LaSalle supposed ot be on the schedule last year also?

9:33 AM, June 17, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

I believe so...and then backed out...MU is 5-0 lifetime vs. LaSalle and has outscored the Explorers like a zillion to 6..

9:51 AM, June 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Unfortunately this is nothing new for the SPC AD. Remember this is the same team that just three years ago canned a football coach in the middle of august practice. And the new coach was immediately saddled with having to tell some of the players, at that late stage in the summer, that they weren't academically eligible. The new coach was scrambling before the first game of the season trying to get bodies just to play the game! That game was vs. Monmouth.

Let's not forget also that back in 1995 SPC fired basketball coach Ted Fiore after he had just won the MAAC championship “in the best interests of the institution and the men's basketball program."

6:50 PM, June 18, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

I've known Bill Stein off and on for many years. The dismissal of Fiore was a jolt at the time....the error here on Saint Peter's part was the grossly late decision, or even not hinting to its opponents s that it was going to happen this late in the game...

9:14 PM, June 18, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


While the official word came late, there were already signs of the end for the program. Several SPC assistant coaches had just left prior to the announcement, taking high school coaching jobs in Hudson County. There were already several rumors expressed by players trying to scurry about, looking for new schools. And the school itself seemed to be having problems with venue locations. The Monmouth schedule initially had that game as an away game (last year’s game was at Kessler) and later on was changed to a Monmouth home game (usually the sites alternate yearly home and away).

9:35 PM, June 18, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

I'm sure there were signs the end was near. Still I think most were caught by surprised as to how near the end was.

9:51 PM, June 18, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe that Holy Cross (Patriot) and Norfolk State (Mid-Eastern Conf – same last years opponent Morgan State) have open dates on 9/8 and Richmond (Atlantic 10 – CAA) has an opening on 9/15. It would be nice if we could fill in for St. Peters with one of these teams.

12:58 PM, June 19, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

I passed that last blog item along to KC...

1:21 PM, June 19, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

KC got back to us.

He said while those dates you mention are open they are the open dates for those teams included in their full schedules.

KC said MU is still looking...

3:30 PM, June 19, 2007  
Blogger JMG1mON said...


CW Post has an open date on the 15th of September. Dont' know how Callahan feels about playing a team that has been a thorn in our side plus a non-d1 school, but it is someone.

3:47 PM, July 01, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Callahan is aware of that CW Post possibility.

8:37 PM, July 01, 2007  

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