Former players react to termination of FSCC football program

Fort Scott High School head coach Bo Graham is a former Greyhound football player.

FORT SCOTT, Kan. – Bo Graham got his opportunity to play college football at Fort Scott Community College 20 years ago.

“It meant the world to me,” Graham says of the chance to play at FSCC, “I didn’t have a lot of offers out of high school to go continue my education and my athletic career and that was the one place I feel like wanted me. The coaches there at the time were great.”

Graham – who is now the head football coach at Fort Scott High School, played at FSCC from 2001-2002. He credits his time playing for the Greyhounds as a big reason for where he is today.

“It molded me into who I am today,” Graham says of the FSCC football program, “I’m not sure where I would be today. I might not be coaching today if it wasn’t for Fort Scott Community College.”

Fort Scott CC announced the termination of its football program on Monday evening – about 24 hours after the season ended with a playoff loss to Independence Sunday afternoon.

In a release, the school gave multiple reasons for the termination of the program – including lack of resources, changes in KJCCC eligibility rules in 2016 and the “changing ethos of football in general.”

The release also read “We simply do not have the resources to maintain a football team that would be competitive in the Jayhawk Conference.”

“I had no idea it was coming. It was heartbreaking,” Graham adds, “I still go to every game at home that I can attend. That place is a big piece of who I am today. It’s just shocking and devastating news.”

Another former Fort Scott CC player, Matt Glades, shares the same feelings.

“I was just totally devastated,” Glades says, “Hearing that they’re not able to compete, it’s just sad. Fort Scott Community College has great people. It’s more than just wins and losses. If you can better a man and his family, get him a chance at higher education and see him succeed not just at FSCC but beyond FSCC, I think that means more than just wins and losses.”

Glades played linebacker at Fort Scott Community College from 2006-2007 before finishing his career in the MIAA with Missouri Western.

He returned to Fort Scott CC as an assistant coach from 2012-2014

He is now an assistant coach at Fort Scott High School under Graham.

“Fort Scott gave me my only opportunity. It was my only offer out of Galena High School,” Glades says, “If I didn’t have FSCC football, I wouldn’t have met my wife. I wouldn’t be who I am today without that program.”

With the termination of the program, both Glades and Graham know there will be local players who won’t get the same opportunities that they did at FSCC.

“I’ve coached a lot of guys who have gone there,” Graham says, “To think of the opportunities that will be missed because the program is gone…it’s a sad day.”

“You’re talking about hundreds of opportunities,” Glades says, “Typically a junior college football team has about 100 players, who have a chance to better themselves academically and athletically. We currently have four players in the NFL that came from this program. None of them would have had a shot if they didn’t come to Fort Scott Community College.”

Graham says that while Fort Scott CC gave him an opportunity to get his education and play college football – his biggest takeaway is the relationships he built in his time in the Greyhounds uniform.

“I still see guys who I played with here almost 20 years ago,” Graham says, “We meet up and have dinner and talk on the phone. It’s about those relationships. Those relationships are ones I wouldn’t have built if I didn’t come to Fort Scott Community College.”