When it announced nearly a year ago that it would be cutting its football program after the 2018 season, Arizona’s largest community college district said it was a business decision, made for financial reasons.
Some of the players are willing to go to court over the decision.
Eleven players have joined to file suit, contending that the Maricopa County Community College District violated their civil rights when it dropped the football programs at campuses in Scottsdale, Mesa, Glendale and Phoenix.
The players, all of them African-Americans, also stated in the lawsuit that the decision has caused a negative impact on their education and their potential to make money in the future.
They are asking to have the football program reinstated in the schools.
One local player from Tempe said he had a football scholarship to the Mesa school, and that without it, he could be “financially unable to pursue a four-year degree.”
Another player said he also is financially impacted and blamed the decision on race.
“When I found out they were shutting down the program, I was like all sports? They were like, no, just football, and I was like 60 percent of the team is African American, and that’s a lot of opportunities being taken away from people who probably need it,” the former Mesa Community College player told AZFamily.com.
He said the loss of the scholarship will hurt.
“Puts me in a tough spot,” he said. “I’ve been really stressed lately because I have to find a place to go.”
The heart of their lawsuit is their contention that the school made a contract with them to provide an education in return for their services to the football team. Any time a contract has been breached, people are within their rights to seek a legal remedy.