Last Monday, Princeton announced that it was discontinuing its long-beleaguered sprint football team, effective immediately.
The decision follows over two decades of immense struggles from the program, which has not won a single game since 1999; the program has been forced to forfeit four games over the last five seasons, including its 2014 game against Penn.
With Princeton’s decision to leave, Cornell and Penn are now the only Ivy League schools with a sprint program. The Collegiate Sprint Football League has expanded in recent years to include Post (2010), Franklin Pierce (2012), Chestnut Hill (2015) and Caldwell (joining 2017).
The two primary reasons Princeton cited for its decision to leave are troubles with filling out its roster — hence the history of forfeits — and injury concerns among its largely inexperienced roster.
“The risk of concussion and catastrophic injury is a major concern of ours and the medical staff advising us, and it is directly related to both the team’s inadequate roster size and the fact that too many of our players have much less football experience or athletic training than players from other schools in the league,” Princeton president Christopher L. Eisgruber wrote in a letter to program alumni.
As a result of Princeton’s decision, Penn will play one fewer game this fall before returning a full slate of games with Caldwell’s arrival in 2017.
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