The future of several UAA athletic programs depend on fundraising

The Seawolf Sports Complex
The Seawolf Sports Complex(KTUU)
Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 4:04 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - It’s a race to raise millions of dollars for the University of Alaska Anchorage hockey, gymnastics and alpine skiing team after the University of Alaska Board of Regents approved their elimination, effective fiscal year 2021-22. The road to reinstatement hinges on whether the programs can raise two years' worth of expenses by February 2021.

This means hockey will have to raise $3,000,000, gymnastics $888,000, alpine skiing $628,000. The regents specified that the first year of donations need to be in cash, and the second year needs to be firm pledges. In total, it leaves the programs on the chopping block with four months to raise over a total of $4,500,000.

“We are trying to move quickly,” said UAA head ski coach Sparky Anderson. “I’m pressing people to raise all that money in 4 months, should be interesting.”

The UAA athletic department said it will be releasing details soon about how fundraising will be handled. Anderson suspects it will be a balancing act between National Collegiate Athletic Association requirements and donation details.

“It gets complicated because all the funding has to be under institutional control by NCAA bylaws,” he said.

The ski coach felt the silver lining of having to finance their future is the expectation that other UAA athletic programs will have to do the same soon, given Alaska’s economic situation.

“If anything, we got a jump on the other teams who are going to be in the same boat down the road,” said Anderson.

Supporters of these programs are planning fundraising efforts as well. In a written statement to Alaska’s News Source, Steve Stuber with Save the Seawolves Hockey said the predicament UAA hockey finds itself in is frustrating, but he’s confident they can raise the money, hinting at fundraising efforts coming soon.

“The community is coming together in an awesome way! We will be coming out with awesome ways for people to help. Remember a small amount from a bunch of people can really make a difference,” wrote Stuber.

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