Cloquet Native Dylan Lauer Talks Shutdown of St. Cloud State Football Program
Lauer was one of over 80 student-athletes impacted by the folding of the football team.
CLOQUET, Minn. – Three weeks ago, St. Cloud State sent shockwaves through the Division II college sports world as they folded multiple sports programs due to budget cuts and compliance with a Title IX ruling back in August. Among those cut was the Huskies football team, a decision that impacted over 80 student athletes, including Cloquet native Dylan Lauer.
“Some guys were talking about it but I didn’t think much about it. I was just kind of joking around about it,” said Lauer.
The former Lumberjacks football standout says he didn’t hear about the rumors until the night before he received a text from head coach Scott Underwood asking all players to show up for a meeting to address those rumors. But 20 minutes after that text was sent, Underwood sent another one saying the school president would also be attending the meeting.
“And that was kind of when it hit us that the president of the university would just meet with us to talk about rumors. The meeting was at 3 p.m., but by 10 o’clock in the morning, everyone knew that we were done,” said Lauer.
Lauer says emotions were obviously very high during the meeting, with many asking what they should do with the lease agreements they already signed for next year.
“They did end up giving us the money from our scholarships next semester to pay for our rent this upcoming spring semester if you’re transferring. For next year, it’s still being worked on so we’ll see about that,” Lauer said.
Lauer added that the decision may have impacted the coaches much more than the players.
“They have families that live in St. Cloud. All our coaches have been there for ten-plus years. It just kind of blindsided them. They were as shocked as we were,” said Lauer.
After the meeting, Lauer and other players began scrambling, trying to message as many coaches as they could to try and find a new place to play college football.
“I never thought I’d ever have to transfer. I was planning on spending my last two years at St. Cloud and playing there. There was a thought that I could be done and I might have to be done,” Lauer said.
But then Lauer received a call from a school that recruited him out of high school: Southwest Minnesota State.
“At least one place is talking to me that I want to go to. It wasn’t like I was forced to go somewhere across the country that I didn’t want to go to. When they reached out to me, it was really nice,” said Lauer.
Lauer committed to the Mustangs exactly one week after the announcement. But he says that through the entire ordeal, he learned an important life lesson: nothing is guaranteed.
“It kind of just goes to show that life happens. Our coaches lost their jobs. Once it happens, there’s nothing you can do about stuff like that. You just got to work to find something to keep your life moving. The world keeps going so you just got to keep going with it,” Lauer said.