An online petition is already garnering significant support after the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) on Friday announced that it was ending its men’s hockey program.
UAH in a release outlined that financial shortfalls caused by the coronavirus pandemic had already resulted in the university implementing “a hiring freeze, a heightened review of spending, cancellations of faculty sabbaticals, and a temporary suspension of the 403(b) voluntary retirement employer match.”
However, the release stated that more reorganization and cuts were necessary, before adding, “After a comprehensive review of UAH’s athletic offerings and the associated long-term budget implications, we have made the difficult decision to discontinue the men’s hockey, men’s tennis, and women’s tennis programs.”
Student athletes in the affected programs will have their existing scholarships honored by UAH for the duration of their academic careers.
The decision to end the hockey program has specifically been met with some backlash, including from the popular “Friends of UAH Hockey” Twitter account.
Additionally, a petition launched on Change.org to “Keep UAH Charger Hockey” already has garnered more than 4,600 signatures as of 11:15 a.m. CT on Monday.
The petition leader outlined that the program is a benefit for the entire community in North Alabama.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn