Presbyterian College’s football program will move to non-scholarship for the 2020 season and play in the Pioneer League beginning in 2021, the school has announced.
The Blue Hose will continue to compete in the Big South conference football in 2018 and 2019 and will honor the scholarships of all players who are currently a part of the program, according to president Bob Staton.
Staton said the move is the best financial path for the school’s athletic program and is part of an overall strategic plan the Clinton school is implementing.
Other Presbyterian teams will continue as scholarship programs and remain in the Big South conference even after the football switch.
Big South conference commission Kyle Kallander says conference bylaws have been examined and it is clear that Presbyterian can remain in the conference for its other sports even after changing its football status.
Staton notes that the school plans to add men’s and women’s wrestling teams and a competitive cheer squad as well.
Meanwhile, conversations have occurred between Presbyterian and Newberry College about potentially renewing the schools’ rivalry in football, which became dormant when Presbyterian moved to Division I about a decade ago, according to a source familiar with those talks.