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UAH Men’s Hockey waiting for new conference

Chargers Hockey
Chargers Hockey(WAFF)
Updated: May. 5, 2021 at 2:53 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - As of April 25, 2022, the Univesity of Alabama Huntsville still faces just one thing in order to make a return to competition.

In an article on NHL.com, the team says that it has the funding and is ready to play, but does not currently have a conference. UAH official Sheldon Wolitski says that if a new conference were to form, the team would submit an application immediately.

The team was formerly in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association but in July of 2021, that conference morphed into the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

The University of Alabama in Huntsville announced they will discontinue the men’s ice hockey program in 2020 due to financial uncertainties associated with COVID-19.

Keeping the program has been an ongoing battle for the Chargers for the past year.

UAH Hockey received $750,000 in private philanthropic support to extend the program for the 2020-2021 season as UAH worked to secure membership in an NCAA Division I hockey conference, according to the university. UAH said conference membership is a vital component of a sustainable funding model, making it a requirement for the continuation of the UAH hockey program.

UAH officials and former UAH Hockey All-Americans Taso Sofikitis and Sheldon Wolitski, provided private funds to support the 2020-2021 season, agreed that the university would discontinue its hockey program if unable to secure a conference home by this spring.

Watch a press conference from UAH Athletics regarding the suspension:

As of May 5, 2021, UAH has not secured a conference home for the upcoming season, and therefore must suspend its hockey operations, effective immediately, according to university officials.

WAFF is told, UAH will not be eligible for conference play for at least one year upon receiving a conference invitation.

“We have been inspired by the unwavering support we have received from our UAH alumni and our community, and that inspiration has driven our tenacious efforts to secure a conference home, which is the foundational element of a successful and sustainable hockey program,” said UAH President Darren Dawson. “Despite our hard work, UAH has not received an invitation for conference membership, and thus we must unfortunately suspend our hockey program. This is in the best interest of our student-athletes and staff.”

Find more information on the conference suspension at uahchargers.com

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