Nihon University Decides to Scrap American Football Club for Now

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
A Nihon University building is seen in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Nihon University decided to scrap its scandal-hit American football club for the time being, at an extraordinary meeting of the university’s board of trustees on Friday.

The university intends to create a new club from scratch in the future. It plans to support current club members and incoming students who wished to join the club next year by creating other opportunities for them.

The university’s sports management committee last month proposed disbanding the club in the wake of a drug scandal involving club members. The board discussed the matter at its Dec. 1 meeting but failed to reach a conclusion.

Some club members have submitted a petition asking for the club’s continuation.

On Friday, two people including the club captain attended the closed-door board meeting on behalf of club members and presented proposals developed by club members to rebuild the club, according to the university.

The board then voted 11-9 to abolish the American football club, informed sources said.

The American football club, nicknamed the Phoenix, was founded in 1940 and won the Koshien Bowl national collegiate championship 21 times. After a dangerous tackle by a member of the club drew criticism in 2018, the club underwent organizational reform to make a fresh start.

A Nihon University spokesperson said that the decision to abolish the club, which has many fans, was a difficult one.

The university plans to organize an opportunity to explain the decision to club members and their parents soon.