$f Football players at Haskell Indian Nations University in Kansas. Photo: Haskell Athletics Education | National | Sports

Haskell University announces cuts to troubled athletics program

Haskell Indian Nations University in Kansas is suspending its football program for the upcoming season and plans to eliminate other sports due to a lack of funds.

A press release from President Venida Chenault cited increasing costs as the primary reason for cuts in the troubled athletics program. The school depends entirely on funding from the federal government and, unlike other educational institutions, lacks an active endowment association

"Conference changes, the cost of maintaining ten athletic programs, the lack of coaching staff to recruit and develop players and programs, and the dependency of Intercollegiate Athletics on university funding contributed to the decision to reduce the sports offered at the university," the press release stated.

According to the press release, four sports will be eliminated. They will be identified after an ongoing review is complete.

Chenault said donations can be made to the newly-reformed Haskell Foundation in order to help athletics and other programs at the school. The group so far has raised $250,000, The Lawrence Journal-World reported earlier this month, and has set a goal of $70 million over 10 years.

Haskell opened its doors in 1884. Throughout its 130-year plus history, it has produced a slew of strong athletes, including Billy Mills, a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe who won the gold medal for the 10,000 meter run at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

"Unless those of us who appreciate the opportunity and life lessons Haskell has given us, their athletic program could possibly be either scaled down or termination of their athletic programs," Jay Daniels wrote on Round House Talk last week. "So many Native American lives have been jumpstarted to successful careers and contributions to Indian Country because of the education received at Haskell."

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