The director of athletics at St. Francis Xavier University says the school’s football program will not be cut, despite an internal review that determined the program is economically unsustainable.

The report says the program may need to be cut, but Leo MacPherson says the report is in its early stages, and information will be gathered from more stakeholders, including his office, before a decision is made.

“It will clearly demonstrate, without a doubt, the value of football. In fact, it’s the most financially-sound program we have on campus,” says MacPherson. “I think there’s zero per cent chance that our football gets cut.”

Atlantic University Sport officials say these types of reviews are standard at all schools in the region and, after speaking with MacPherson, the organization’s executive director Phil Currie says he isn’t worried about the X-Men program.

“The initial comments are very preliminary and probably not indicative of where things are actually going to go,” says Currie. “I think that it’s certainly, it’s a flag maybe that’s going up, but I don’t think there’s any issues there."

St FX is known for its strong alumni support and there are always a large number of fans in attendance for homecoming and regular season games.

Students say they can’t imagine campus life without the football team.

“There’s a lot of people on that team and I mean, they really enjoy the sport and we enjoy watching it,” says student Abbie Beaton.

“Anything that would keep it here would obviously be better than if it was to be taken away,” says student Oliver Kuehm.

All the talk of the program’s future comes as the St FX football team gets set to host a playoff game for the first time in many years. The X-Men take on the Acadia Axemen on Saturday.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Dan MacIntosh