Florida Tech cuts football program, announces layoffs due to COVID-19



FLORIDA TODAY’s Rob Landers brings you a few of at this time’s prime tales on the Information in 90 Seconds for Could 11.

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After almost a decade, the Florida Institute of Expertise’s soccer program is coming to an finish.

The transfer was one in every of a number of cost-cutting measures the college introduced Monday on account of the financial fallout of COVID-19.

Beside the termination of the soccer program, faculty officers stated in a information launch a sequence of impending employees reductions and furloughs, together with the closure of the Ruth Funk Heart for Textile Arts, had been essential to “meet the monetary challenges” brought on by the pandemic.

In an electronic mail to FLORIDA TODAY, officers cited a scarcity of certainty relating to fall enrollment numbers as the principle cause for the cuts. 


The Layun household watches the Florida Tech digital commencement ceremony from their house. Dylan Layun graduated together with his mechanical engineering diploma.

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“With income projections for fall in query and enrollment in flux, given the uncertainty of COVID-19 and its final affect on college students making choices to attend fall lessons, this tough determination was essential,” spokesman Wes Sumner stated within the electronic mail.

The soccer program, a part of the Gulf Coast Convention, fields as much as 120 gamers. Pupil-athletes on scholarship will retain their scholarship awards for as much as 4 years, the discharge stated.

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Information from the U.S. Division of Training present this system operated at a internet lack of about $4,500 in 2018, the newest 12 months for which information was obtainable. Complete revenues for the 2018 season had been $3,096,914, in opposition to a complete working price of $3,101,393.

College employees additionally will face layoffs and furloughs later this month as the faculty grapples with falling income because of the virus, the discharge stated.

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Some staff can be provided early retirement as a substitute. Estimates of affected staff will not be recognized till the variety of those that go for the retirement packages is finalized, officers stated.

Furloughs will probably final by means of the summer season, with nearly all of furloughed staff anticipated to be recalled simply earlier than the beginning of the autumn semester on Aug. 17.

Officers didn’t give a agency date for the closure of the Funk Heart, saying solely that it’ll shut its doorways for good “later this 12 months.” The middle has been closed to the general public since March 20 because of the unfold of the brand new coronavirus.

Based in 2009, the Funk Heart was created to protect and showcase a group of worldwide textiles donated by artist and writer Ruth E. Funk. The college will retain the gathering and is making alternate plans for its show.

In a letter to campus, Florida Tech President T. Dwayne McCay stated these had been “tough occasions” for the college.

“The unprecedented uncertainty created by COVID-19 makes these strikes prudent, however no much less painful,” McCay stated within the letter. “We should do what is important to protect assets important to our academic mission and guarantee our means to efficiently serve college students when face-to-face instruction resumes this fall. I recognize every of you, and I’m humbled by your exhausting work and sacrifice.”

Florida Tech launched football-program planning in April 2010 amid an unprecedented wave of campus enlargement and fundraising spearheaded by former president Anthony Catanese. He had beforehand led the launch of Florida Atlantic College’s soccer crew throughout his presidential tenure there.

In June 2011, Indiana State offensive coordinator/quarterbacks and working backs coach Steve Englehart was employed because the Panthers’ inaugural head coach.

After greater than three years of improvement, the Division II Panthers debuted in September 2013, defeating Stetson 20-13 with a fourth-quarter comeback at Palm Bay Excessive’s Pirate Stadium.

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In tandem, the college based the annual Homecoming Fest avenue events in downtown Melbourne, which have hosted free concert events by Wyclef Jean, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Taking Again Sunday, Chilly Conflict Youngsters and Matisyahu, amongst different headliners.

Begin-up prices for Florida Tech’s soccer program included $2.1 million in development, primarily the 12,600-square-foot Varsity Coaching Heart and upgrades at Pirate Stadium, together with synthetic turf.

By fall 2014, college officers estimated soccer start-up operational prices had reached $3.5 million, together with tools purchases and payroll. These figures had been included in a college evaluation that estimated the soccer program had generated $9 million in financial affect throughout the Melbourne space.

In April, Florida Tech officers introduced the pending sale of the Foosaner Artwork Museum and adjoining Renee Foosaner Training Heart in downtown Eau Gallie. The college had listed the Highland Avenue websites for $Three million final month, and museum and training heart operations will proceed by means of July 2021.

A developer, Larry Jarnes of Northboro Builders, hopes to exchange the museum with a multi-story resort of about 200 rooms. He additionally hopes to accomplice with the town of Melbourne to assemble a public parking storage.

Final 12 months, Florida Tech lower the lads’s and girls’s tennis applications and the ladies’s golf program. After the announcement, the ladies’s golf squad gained this system’s first NCAA Division II Nationwide Championship in Could 2019 in Palm Seaside Gardens.

Eric Rogers is the training watchdog reporter and Rick Neale is the South Brevard watchdog reporter with FLORIDA TODAY.

Contact Rogers at 321-242-3717 or esrogers@floridatoday.com. Contact Neale at 321-242-3638 or rneale@floridatoday.com. Proceed to assist native journalism and become a subscriber.

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