Numerous East Texas media outlets are reporting that Lon Morris College in Jacksonville has announced that it is shutting down its athletics department.
That means that more than 300 athletes at the school will not have a team to play for and may be looking to transfer to other colleges.
The oldest private two-year institute of higher learning in Texas, which was founded in 1873 in Kilgore by Dr. Isaac Alexander, reportedly went two months without paying faculty and staff this spring and furloughed almost every employee for the summer last month.
According to a report by KYTX-TV, Lon Morris Athletics Director and 23-year head basketball coach Dale Dotson was notified of his department's closing via email on Tuesday. Dotson won over 400 games during his career at the college which lasted part of three decades.
The school brought back its football program two years ago under head coach Johnny Rickey. The team was scheduled to play in the Southwest Junior College Football Conference this fall.
But KYTX-TV's report stated the chief restructuring officer of the Bridge Point Consulting Company said the school spent too much money and over-extended itself on the athletic programs. Besides football, Lon Morris offers baseball, softball, soccer, volleyball, as well as track and field and cross country.
Lon Morris competed against Panola College in Carthage in baseball, men's and women's basketball and volleyball each year in NJCAA Region XIV athletics. The announcement of the closing will result in some conference schedule changing in the upcoming athlete year at Panola.
Jacksonville city officials are obviously concerned about the situation. The television report stated that the college brings in $10 million annually to the local economy. Lon Morris' enrollment reached an all-time high of 1,000 students in the Fall of 2010.
But Lon Morris administrators say there has been a negative cash flow at the school over the past two years and it is now hoping to partner with an educational institution to solve their financial problems.
- Stephen F. Austin
- Panola College
- Other Schools
- Youth Sports
- Schedules & Results
- Football Stats
- Sports Photo Galleries
- Postseason Accolades
- Write the Editor
- Advertising Options