The University of Alabama-Huntsville announced on Wednesday that the school has decided to suspend operation of their hockey program after failing to secure a long-term conference affiliation.
A group led by alumni raised $750,000 to keep the Chargers afloat last season after the school announced plans to cut the program. But the long-term sustainability was always going to be dependent on the ability for the Chargers to find a new conference home that gave them guaranteed home games. With the WCHA men’s league dissolving after seven members left to form the CCHA, the Chargers were facing being an independent program again.
Alabama-Huntsville applied to join the CCHA but was denied. The Chargers were unlikely to gain admittance to the conference regardless, but the league’s additon of University of St. Thomas as an eighth member made it even less likely for the Chargers. Huntsville also applied to Atlantic Hockey, but has not formally heard back.
According to the school’s release, the timing on this decision was to allow free release to any current members on the roster to find a new home. The school still intends to honor scholarships for all players that stay at UAH.
The Chargers will for sure sit out the 2021-2022 season without a hockey program. They did leave the door slightly open for the school to bring back the program if UAH is able to find a conference home at some point in the future.