UAF will not compete in hockey, basketball seasons this year
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The University of Alaska Fairbanks hockey and basketball teams won’t play this winter after the school announced on Friday that it’s opting out of both winter seasons.
The Friday announcement came as administrators wanted to give student-athletes notice before they headed home for the holidays if any other accommodations needed to be made. Both the Div. I hockey team and the Div. II men’s and women’s basketball teams were to have either postponed or abbreviated seasons.
It didn’t take long before UAF head hockey coach Erik Largen fired back on Twitter sharing his disappointment and surprise regarding the university’s decision. He also posted a link to a petition asking for signatures urging UAF administrators to let them play.
“Disappointed by this decision without consultation from coaches, players and trainers. We have mitigation plans in place. We want to play! Let us compete!”
Athletes affected by this decision will not lose scholarships or their eligibility. During a media availability shortly after the announcement Friday afternoon, UAF Chancellor Dan White and UAF Athletic Director Keith Champagne said they are committed to the school’s hockey and basketball programs long term.
They added that lower-risk, non-contact sports like riflery, swimming and cross-country skiing would be able to complete their seasons. Earlier this year the University of Alaska Anchorage announced it would not compete in any indoor sports, but outdoor sports like skiing would be able to compete.
White said the Great Northwest Athletic Conference will meet in January to discuss the upcoming volleyball season slated for this spring.
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