Robert Morris University announced on Friday that they will be reinstating their men’s and women’s hockey programs for the 2023-2024 season.
The programs were cut in May of 2021, not necessarily due to any financial difficulty, but simply because the school didn’t want to pay for the sports anymore. After an aggressive fundraising campaign led by RMU coaches Derek Schooley and Brianne McLaughlin through the Pittsburgh College Hockey Foundation, enough private money was raised that the school had little choice but to let it return.
Both programs will face an uphill challenge after sitting out two full seasons. They’ll have to completely re-stock rosters and do so under the uncertainty of playing for a school with the absolute bare minimum of commitment to hockey.
But regardless, it is great to have Robert Morris back playing Division I and making more scholarships available to players. It’s especially big news on the women’s side, because the Colonials’ return to College Hockey America in ‘23-’24 will bring the conference back to six members, allowing them to keep their automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, which was set to expire if they did not find another member.