Games are cancelled as Franklin Pierce leaves the Sprint Football League

by Tyler Comeau

edited by Eric Hammet

Franklin Pierce’s department of athletics has decided to withdraw from the Collegiate Sprint Football League in order to start the football team’s transition into NCAA Division II a couple weeks into the Fall season.

Director of Athletics Rachel Burleson said that the departure was not a disqualification. “We were not disqualified from the league. It was a mutual agreement of what’s best for the league and what’s best for sprint football and what is best for our transition,” she said in an in-person interview. “Again, we’ve been very forthright with what this is. We made the announcement in February of last year, the league got notified in February of last year and it was a mutual agreement. The word ‘disqualification’ never had been brought up, never was brought up.”

Instead of five games, Franklin Pierce will only be playing three games this season. Even this number is subject to change. The move was announced on the CFSL website that Franklin Pierce will only be playing three more games this semester. Colleges started cancelling their games with Pierce after it was announced that future games and games already played this semester will not have any effect on this season, according to the Daily Pennsylvanian.

The announcement of the school’s departure from the CSFL comes after claims that the school has been enlisting heavyweight players in the past year.

According to Big Red Sports Network, a student-run sports site at Cornell University, “After two straight games that featured egregious violations of the league’s 178-pound weight limit, the league office had no choice but to cancel the remainder of FPU’s schedule, removing the Ravens from playoff contention, deeming them ineligible for all weekly and postseason awards.”

(Source: Big Red Sports Network)

This picture (right) was sent to the Collegiate Sprint Football League by a Navy student, according to Big Red Sports Network. The photo shows a Navy athlete  that weighs the official Sprint Football limit of 178-pounds with a Franklin Pierce student.

Bruce Kirsh, former Athletics Director for Franklin Pierce University, said in a comment on the Daily Pennsylvanian article, “I want to express my position on this embarrassing move by the university I worked for over 45 years before retiring in June 2017. I want all to know that I never recommended to the FPU Administration to use the CSFL as a stepping stone to move the university to NE-10 Division 2 football. During my tenure we always adhered and respected the rules of the CSFL.”

When asked if he would like to make further comment for this article, Kirsh said in an email, “Even though I have much to say, I will respectfully decline your request.  I believe that will be in everyone’s best interest.”

While a statement was issued by the Athletic Department on the change from CSFL to Division II, there has been no official statement on the weight limit issue or why it happened.

Multiple attempts were made to interview Head Coach Rashad Watson with no response.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.