Alabama-Hunstville’s interim president Malcolm Portera reportedly will announce today that the men’s hockey program which won two national championships in Division II will be disbanded at the end of the season.
I actually met some of the UAH administration during the 2011 Frozen Four week in St. Paul, and they seemed like a lively bunch committed to college hockey as well as the school’s academics. While the economy is the reason for the move according to the report, the move sadly shouldn’t shock you.
UAH was a Division I independent for a couple of years in the late 1990s before joining College Hockey America for the 1999-2000 season, and were members of that league until it disbanded in the 2009-10 season. The Chargers made NCAA Tournament appearances in 2006-07 and 2009-10, which was their last tournament appearance to date. Other members of the former CHA-Robert Morris, Niagara and Bemidji State-all found homes in other conferences while UAH was the odd man out. Think of it as not having a partner at the homecoming dance and having little reason to actually go to the dance.
A private fund-raising drive was started by fellow hockey alum Nathan Bowen, and according to the Huntsville Times, he raised over $500,000 in pledges over a three-year period. Bowen said he was supposed to meet with Portera on Tuesday, but won’t get a chance now with Monday’s announcement.
“It’s just been amazing that one person (Portera) has this much power to end 33 years of tradition,” Bowen told the Times. “And it really is coming down to just him. It makes no sense to me. … He is completely disregarding the mayor, the people of Huntsville, the student council at UAH and 23 athletes that gave up opportunities to play at other places. He’s completely disregarding those people and going back to his home in Tuscaloosa. To me, it’s astounding.”
There could be other adjectives that describe the move, but those will be saved for another time.
Information gathered from CHN.com.
Geoff Discher is knotmove.com’s National College Hockey Examiner as well as the Minnesota Golden Gophers Hockey Examiner. Leave a comment below, or feel free to reach him at [email protected] with comments, story ideas, or any general talk surrounding college hockey. You can find him on Facebook as well by clicking here and here and joining the conversation from the social media side as well. He’s always chock full of fact and opinion.
Until next time, I’ll see you at the rink!