Robert Morris University terminates hockey programs

It is a terrible day for NCAA hockey, as Robert Morris University announced that it will no longer field a Division I men’s or women’s hockey team. The university explained that the decision is part of a “series of strategic initiatives intended to position the university to amongst the most agile and professional focused schools in the nation.”

The school will honor the scholarships for student-athletes affected by the decision or assist those players in transferring to schools with hockey programs. Normally players would need to sit out a year after transferring, but as the release explains, that is not necessary if they are coming from a school that has discontinued its program. Approximately 55 athletes and seven staffers will be affected by the decision.

Though RMU isn’t one of the programs that regularly churns out NHL players, it was an important fixture in the hockey community around Pittsburgh. Just this year the NCAA held the Frozen Four in the area, thanks in part due to the success and stability of the Colonials.

In the release, the university directly answered the question of how it determined hockey would be cut:

The decision to discontinue the men’s and women’s ice hockey programs was made based on an analysis which included scholarships and operating costs, and the necessary investments to maintain and improve the current facility. The university also wanted to align our athletic offerings more closely with other similar nationally-ranked universities of our size.

The school has no plans to discontinue any of the other 15 Division I sports programs.

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