Right before the semester started, Chancellor Cathy Sandeen and Director of Athletics Greg Myford announced their financial plans going forward. This included cutting the Women’s and Men’s Skiing, Women’s Gymnastics, and Men’s Hockey. “I got together with the athletics director and I just said Greg I am so sorry but it’s time. We really have to do this.” Chancellor Sadeen said.
Sandeen said that the plans won’t be put into place this year, but will be evaluated and executed for the next fiscal year.
“I need to come up with seven or eight million dollars of reductions for the next fiscal year…” Sandeen said. “So that cut will help account for about a third of what we need to come up with.
The University spends nine million dollars on athletics every year.
“It pains me to be able to have to make it, but that’s where we are. That’s the situation we’re in.” Sandeen said to Alaska Daily News on a podcast episode on 24th August.
Erik Largen has been the head coach for the men’s hockey team at UAF for about three years. He said that he was disappointed about the cuts that they had to make.
Not all students who do men’s hockey have scholarships and says that by taking that sport away you could potentially have students who don’t go to the University anymore he said.
By cutting sports, especially hockey and skiing is very unusual, especially in this state. He said that in order for University to keep the ACAA status it would have to add another sport anyway so it isn’t practical for them to remove those sports he said.
“Sports are part of the culture of the University,” Largen said. “Keep fighting until that next board meeting. It’s not over until it’s over.”
Though the decision was difficult, Chancellor Sandeen hopes that the students that are in the Men’s Hockey can still have a good year.
Though the decision is not final, this budget proposal will be reviewed by the Board of Regions on September 10th.