Fort Scott Community College terminates Greyhounds' football program effective immediately

Charles Chaney
Butler County Times Gazette
The Greyhounds

After more than 94 years of playing college football at Fort Scott Community College, the program is no more.

In an announcement that came Monday night, Fort Scott Community College has terminated its football program effective immediately.

The announcement comes to some shock after Athletic Director Tom Havron said in April to the Butler County Times-Gazette there was no plan to shutter the program

"We are not shutting down the football program and do not intent to look into doing so," said Havron in April 2021. "Football is a huge part of FSCC and we fully intend on collectively investing in the program in an effort to positively represent the KJCCC and community of Fort Scott."

Fort Scott finished their final season 2-7. 

While there is a bit of shock, there isn't a lot outside of what Havron said in April. There were murmurs about this all season long within the conference due to the poor play by the Greyhounds over the last two seasons. With the addition of the decline in the number of junior college football programs in the NJCAA, to some it felt as this was coming shortly.

In 2015, there were 65 football playing schools. In 2021, there are 53. 

According to FSCC Board of Trustees, who met on Monday night to discuss the flailing program, said it was a "tough and emotional" decision. 

The board also cites limited resources and the changes to the KJCCC's football eligibility rules in 2016 and the "changing ethos" in football. 

In 2016, the Jayhawk Conference voted unanimously, with Fort Scott's President voting for the rule change, to allow unlimited out of conference scholarships. In 2019, the conference changed ruling to go into effect in 2021, this season, there would be a restriction once again.

Fort Scott has been in the cellar of the conference since the departure head coach of Kale PIck two seasons ago. Before a paperwork issue led to forfeits by Fort Scott, the Greyhounds had won multiple games since 2010 and were on the rise. 

Pick left for greener pastures and Fort Scott's rise stopped and quickly went into a decline.

Under current head coach Carson Hunter, there have been numerous allegations, none confirmed that he created a hostile environment. It did lead to a mass exodus of players last season. The death of a player in August also is another mark on the program. 

Under Hunter, the Greyhounds only truly won one game, and were awarded another by forfeit. Their only win this season was over a prep program. 

In 2020 after the mass exodus of players, which Hunter described as "not team players" and "not the kind of players we want at Fort Scott," Fort Scott cancelled the remainder of the season citing low numbers. 

Over the tenure of the Fort Scott program, while there have been many downs, they've seen their ups. Under former head coach Jeff Sims, the Greyhounds played for a national championship. 

Whether or not the resources the school cites is financial, they're afforded the same opportunity other schools are within the Jayhawk. However, the level of the conference is at an all-time high and the margin between even the middle of the road programs to Fort Scott has reached an impassable gap. 

There's also those within the conference that cite President Alysia Johnston's dislike for athletics and specifically football as one source said "an inevitability of the end of the football program."

Fort Scott already competes at the NJCAA Division II level for all other sports, outside of football. A Division II supplies books and tuition for student-athletes. They do not provide room and board. 

Those in the KJCCC compete at the Division I level, meaning the schools can choose to pay for the room and board if they choose. It's unknown if Fort Scott chose to compete financially at the DI level or stayed at the DII level.

The Fort Scott Board of Trustees met in executive session for more than 40 minutes on Monday night before taking a vote on the "discontinuation" of the program.

In the end, the vote was unanimous to terminate the program.

The Fort Scott football team dates back to at least 1927 and have been a member of the KJCCC since.

In a press release, Fort Scott CC said: "We would especially like to thank the current football players and coaching staff who have represented FSCC with honor, pride, and dignity this season in very trying competitive circumstances."

FSCC will honor scholarships for all football student athletes who choose to stay at FSCC and continue their education.

Charles Chaney has been the Sports Editor for the Butler County Times-Gazette since Aug. 2019. You can reach him at cchaney@butlercountytimesgazette.com or on Twitter at @ChuckChaneyBCTG.