Alabama Huntsville Cuts Hockey

Discussion in 'NCAA, U Sports, and other college' started by mk80, May 22, 2020.

  1. SemireliableSource Liter-a-cola

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    Why Miami? Tons of sidewalk alumni but due to the school's size and it being private, they have a small alumni base which gets even smaller when you consider the members of the alumni base that will actually donate for athletics.

    UNLV has a solid foundation with their club team, but, again, not a huge alumni base to draw funds from.
     
  2. Rob Registered User

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    Would UCLA be a good option?

    Edit: I'm surprised Syracuse doesn't have hockey
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2020
  3. Barclay Donaldson Registered User

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    UCLA would be a welcome addition. Their issue is the one that nearly every school faces when looking to add hockey: lack of a suitable arena, lack of money and Title IX issues. The only suitable facility is Staples Center, 20 minutes away in the impossible event of no traffic. There is no Pegula-like donor Penn State benefited from and no built-in interest like Illinois is expressing. They would also have to add women's sports like Penn State and Arizona State both had to do to add hockey and stay Title IX compliant.

    Syracuse has a NCAA DI women's team and a men's club team that both play in the community-sized rink on campus. A men's program would require a much larger facility, and the Syracuse War Memorial is less than a mile away. It would likely be successful given the region's history of supporting hockey and support the athletics program receives from the school and city. However, it is likely that if they haven't added hockey now and have never expressed an interest in it, they probably haven't done it for a reason, probably money and Title IX related rather than interest.
     
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  4. mk80 Registered User

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    I saw this while scrolling through Twitter, I doubt it will be enough to save the program especially in the long term. At the time of this post the GoFundMe is $34k+ donated so far, so they have a long way to goal to meet the goal.

     
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  5. Barclay Donaldson Registered User

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    Will the independently wealthy members of HF Boards please step forwards
     
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  6. mk80 Registered User

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    Well they've done $107k+ in about 24 hours, so we'll see what happens. I think it's going to fall a bit short in the end unless they get one or two big donors who want to let go of a lot of money right now.

    In other news the players are already starting to transferring out.

     
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  7. Rob Registered User

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    I was wondering about that. Will half the players be transferred to other schools by mid-Summer?
     
  8. Barclay Donaldson Registered User

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    Some might be holding off until the 29th, which is the fundraising deadline set by the school administration. Expect to see the roster and staff out the door well before mid-summer if the conditions aren't met.
     
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  9. mk80 Registered User

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    I think like Barclay said, if the funding doesn't come through at the end of the week, everyone will be out. I think we'll continue seeing some players leave over the course of summer either way, and I think the top players who are already in talks with other schools likely jump for greener pastures.

    Another player gone to BC today:
     
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  10. JMCx4 Gateway to Hockey

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    This well-intentioned but poorly timed fund-raising drive is too-little-too-late to save the Chargers' Div I program. The lifeboats were still tethered but in the water before the UAH board announced: "Abandon ship!" on May 22nd, at which point the players started paddling away without looking back. The vessel's bow is now barely visible through the waves. It's time for the alumni & other supporters to admit that their dream has been swallowed by the unrelenting undertow of big-time college hockey.
     
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  11. mk80 Registered User

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    I hear there's a Hollywood director by the name of James Cameron looking to make a film about something along those lines as well, only it involves an iceberg rather ice hockey.

    Also the program has some NHL names behind the effort to save the program. But I still think it's too little too late, would have been better to organize this effort when some of the hints of the axe possibly dropping on the program were said by the administration before. The GoFundMe is closing in on $193k right now, with 2 days to go.

     
  12. JMCx4 Gateway to Hockey

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    If the program is resurrected, how long will it last? Nothing has changed regarding proximity to competing programs or conference affiliation options or the apparent inclination of the university board to cut future expenditures. Bottom Line: It's a bad investment, no matter whose money it is.
     
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  13. BOS358 Registered User

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    That's the kicker. The funding will probably last a year and then they'll be doing the same song and dance next year. I hate to see any college program fold, but even if I had a meaningful amount of money to donate, I probably wouldn't toss it in this money pit. Even the super-wealthy get tired of losing money after a while.
     
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  14. kij Registered User

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    I would like to point everyone to the Kenai River Brown Bears of the NAHL in 2017. The community rallied around their wildly unsuccessful, financially failing franchise and resurrected them from the dead. They may have had more time but the similarities are there. Travel island, trouble recruiting, non-traditional market. 3 seasons later and they were tops of their division at points in the season. The similarities are there but I still do not see this as being successful.
     
  15. CrazyEddie20 Learn the business, dopes!

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    This isn't the first time they've had to do a "Save The Program" fundraiser after a termination was announced, either.

    What's disappointing, honestly, is that the people who say we need to "grow the game" are generally only about "growing the game" at schools with a big name. If the University of Alabama system's hockey program were in Tuscaloosa instead of Huntsville, every Big 14 and Power 5 AD with a hockey program would be bending over backwards to help them save the program.
     
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  16. mk80 Registered User

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    As of this post they are about to eclipse $354k of a $500k goal on the GoFundMe, plus an additional $9k in T-shirt sales. The deadline is tomorrow so it appears it's going to be too little, too late. Even so as others have said if they hit the goals it likely just kicks the decision down the road a few years.

     
  17. Rob Registered User

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    If the Coid-19 crisis eats into next season (or worst case scenario cancels it) I have to wonder if there are any other vulnerable teams out there?
    In NCAA and Canadian University.
     
  18. BOS358 Registered User

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    The Alaska teams are critically endangered. I thought their days were numbered along with Huntsville once the WCHA split up.

    It wouldn't surprise me if some of the Atlantic Hockey teams, particularly those who are D2 in all other sports, might be in trouble as well.
     
  19. Barclay Donaldson Registered User

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    With how many of the Atlantic Hockey schools use hockey as their flagship sport and have invested heavily in it, like Bentley, AIC and RIT, they will be fine. The only ones that truly push the face of their athletics program as a sport other than hockey is Army, AFA and Holy Cross with football.
     
  20. mk80 Registered User

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    They hit the $500k goal, so the roller coaster ride continues.

     
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  21. Barclay Donaldson Registered User

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    The athletic director said they need a million total to save the program. Any word on where this leaves them for necessary fundraising? Or how they plan on keeping a competitive program together when so many key players have left and have already made plans to leave?
     
  22. gstommylee Registered User

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    They needed half of it from gofundme

    From the description on the gofundme page

    "UAH Athletic Director, Cade Smith, announced last Friday that the University would be eliminating the UAH Hockey program effective immediately. This was a shock to everyone and obviously very disappointing for the current student athletes. The hockey community is known for its grit and the Charger Hockey program has been built on that grit and determination for the last 41 years!! We have been given an opportunity to show our grit as the University has asked us to raise 1 million dollars by COB this Friday, May 29th. We have already had alumni, booster club members, and life-time supporters setup with large individual donations and commit to donating annually to make sure the program is self-sustaining for the long-term. For short term we are looking to raise $500,000 of the 1 million via this Go Fund Me account. If the required funds are raised, UAH has agreed to create an advisory board consisting of hockey alumni, local business leaders and major donors to help turn UAH Hockey into a world class hockey program. Please help us save the great tradition of UAH Charger Hockey program and keep 28 more opportunities for Division l Hockey players alive! NOTE - if the program is not re-instated all donations will be fully refunded. We are confident with your generosity and the grit of Charger Hockey that we will not be sending any refunds. Thank You and Stay Safe!"
     
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  23. mk80 Registered User

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    According to Twitter, they'll play this year, while looking at finding ways to fund the program in the future. Essentially they just kicked the decision down the road.


     
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  24. BOS358 Registered User

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    Fair enough. I was just thinking that small schools have small budgets and, well, you can take the rest from here.
     
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  25. mk80 Registered User

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    If the pandemic starts to affect colleges, and college athletics even more (specifically football) a lot of schools no matter the size will have to start making more extreme cuts to athletics, and for a lot of schools even the big ones hockey I'm sure will take it's hits on financing or team losses.
     
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