Minnesota college cancels football season after losing too many players

The future of football at Ridgewater College is being evaluated.
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A Minnesota college has canceled the rest of its football season with four games to go. 

Ridgewater College, with campuses in Willmar and Hutchinson, announced Thursday that it's ending the season after watching the roster go from 54 to just 22 players.

"The safety of our students, including our student-athletes, is our top concern,” Craig Johnson, president of Ridgewater said in a release. "Given the reduced size of our roster, we are concerned about players being in unfamiliar positions as this could increase the risk of injury."

Johnson said the roster was cut by more than 50 percent due to players with personal reasons, team suspensions and players simply withdrawing from the program. 

"We did not make this decision lightly, but feel that it is in the best interests of our student-athletes," Johnson added. 

Ridgewater has not decided if it will have a football team going forward. 

Current players will be able to file hardship requests to the NJCAA after the football season, which could grant them another year of playing eligibility at Ridgewater or another college. 

“I know that our players and coaches are all disappointed, and we are working with the coaches, conference officials and college administrators to work through this transition as efficiently as possible," said Johnson. 

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