Hargrave Postgraduate Football Program Comes to an End

Chatham, VA - Hargrave Military Academy recruits young men from around the country, but they are losing one recruiting tool with the decision to end their postgraduate football program.

Officials say changes to certain NCAA regulations made it difficult for the postgraduate teams to compete.

Despite the popularity of the program and its history of launching stellar football careers, officials want to go in a different direction.

"The NCAA has changed the way they do business in regard to postgraduate football programs, " said Athletic Director Tim Oditt.

For the past three years, the association has been pushing a new policy that prohibits postgraduate teams from competing against junior varsity teams at NCAA institutions.

For the postgraduate students - who have finished high school but are not quite ready for a four-year university - the program offered the opportunity to play without losing a year of eligibility, and to get a glimpse of what their collegiate future may hold.

"We could also go to their campuses and play on their campuses, and then see the campus while our young men are there as well. We can no longer do that, " Oditt said.

The program was popular and has seen 30 alumni go on to NFL careers.

"Every year, we'd have a full program. We'd have between 55 and 60 young men on campus for PG football, " said Oditt.

Now that the decision has been made, officials hope to continue strengthening the varsity football team, and building the futures of all their students.

"The postgraduate program has a very distinguished place in our history, but what this allows us to do is focus on our core mission: academic, spiritual and character development, " Oditt said.

The athletic director says the ending of the football program will have no effect on the academic postgraduate program, and they plan to continue varsity football and postgraduate basketball, as well.