Occidental Cancels Homecoming Football Game

LOS ANGELES — Occidental has cancelled its Oct. 14 homecoming football game against La Verne on Saturday, Occidental President Jonathan Veitch announced on Friday morning.

"I write to inform you that this morning, on the recommendation of coaches, trainers, athletic administrators and senior administrators, I have made the difficult decision to cancel Saturday's game versus La Verne. As you know, our roster has been thin all season," President Veitch wrote in a message sent to players and families after coaches notified players directly. "Since Wednesday when we communicated that the game was on, additional player injuries have depleted our roster to the point where we believe that we cannot safely field a team."

"I know that this cancellation renews questions that have been raised about the state of the program," Veitch wrote. "Our immediate focus is on the health and well-being of the team."

"This is not an announcement any of us wanted to make. The competitive spirit of our coaches and players burns as fiercely as ever, and the College's commitment to athletics remains as strong. That makes this decision all the more disappointing. I want to acknowledge Coach Cushman, our players and coaching staff for their character and resolve in pressing ahead."

Veitch had a first meeting with a new alumni football subcommittee earlier this week to consider what's needed to sustain a competitive football program and has announced plans to form a broader multi-constituent task force.