Originally written on Goon's World  |  Last updated 10/24/11
Image via WikipediaThe University of Alabama Huntsville’s Interim President Malcolm Portera announced today that following the 2001-12 hockey season, the University of Alabama Huntsville Chargers will cease to exist as a Division I college hockey program.

This announcement means that there will no longer be a Division I college hockey program south of the Mason Dixon line.

This announcement officially ends 33 years of NCAA college hockey history for UAH. No other program that’s ever won an NCAA title has ever disbanded.

According to USCHO, UAH Chargers head coach Chris Luongo informed his team of the president’s decision on Sunday night.

There are many factors that have led to this decision; one the major factor is that UAH doesn’t have a conference to call home. After the 2008-09 season, the College Hockey American Conference disbanded and the UAH Chargers were left without a conference.

The Chargers applied for membership in the CCHA during 2009. On August 11th, 2009 the Chargers were informed that their bid for membership to the CCHA was denied.   Without a conference to call home, the Chargers have had to play as an Division I independent, which put their program in further jeopardy. It’s very hard to get teams to travel to Huntsville to play hockey if they are not in a conference.

The Chargers also have don’t have a building of their own, they share the Von Braun Center with the Huntsville Havoc of the SPHL and are not the primary tenet, meaning the Chargers have had to play their games  at odd times, which further complicates things for the Chargers.

Here is the official announcement from of the UAH interim president Malcolm Portera.
I want to share with you a decision that has been made following months of careful study. As a result of a financial analysis of our athletic program, and numerous conversations I have had with athletic directors, university presidents and commissioners of Division I ice hockey programs, it has become obvious that, for the best interest of this university, our athletic department and the ice hockey program, we move the team from the Division I level back to its original classification as a club sport at the end of the 2011-2012 season.
In conclusion, this is a sad day for college hockey and for the University of Alabama Huntsville Chargers hockey team and their fans. This story makes me physically sick to my stomach that in one swoop of a pen, a college administrator can kill a college hockey program with a rich hockey history.

Finally, I have been told by a source close to the UAH program that there is a businessman from Nashville Tennesee that has stepped forward to bankroll the operating expenses for the Chargers. All we know is that he is a top executive of a large corporation.

Related articles
  • Save UAH Hockey - a program on the "brink" (mvn.com)
  • Save - UAH Hockey (mvn.com)

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