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Friday, April 19, 2013
Hargrave Military Academy announced Friday that it is dropping its postgraduate football program because "the landscape for postgraduate athletes and football programs has changed," the school wrote in a news release.
Hargrave has produced dozens of college football players, many of whom have played professionally, including first-round NFL draft pick Branden Albert and his Kansas City Chiefs teammate, Brandon Flowers, an All-American at Virginia Tech while Albert was at Virginia.
Jermaine Hardy from William Fleming in Roanoke took a postgraduate year at Hargrave and became a four-year letterman at Virginia, where he was a captain of the Cavaliers' 2004 team.
Hargrave said Friday's decision would not affect its postgraduate basketball program. One of the factors in the decision was the reluctance of football players to stay in school if they've met college requirements during the first semester.
Hargrave's statement cited "colleges' desire to have their student-athletes on campus by spring semester, NCAA changes and restrictions on colleges hosting postgraduate football teams on their campuses, and eliminating competitition with the college junior-varsity teams."
John Shuman, the postgraduate coach at Fork Union Military Academy, has been playing Hargrave twice each fall in recent years.
"So, the big Military Bowl is over," Shuman said. "I'm sad. I definitely think the [full] PG year is worthwhile."
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