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Alaska Hockey Teams Survive Cuts; Await Waiver Decision

UAA

The University of Alaska system announced this afternoon at a media press conference that the University of Alaska-Anchorage will be cutting their skiing and indoor track and field programs, and that Alaska-Fairbanks will also be cutting their skiing program, but that both hockey programs are not on the chopping block.

It’s good news, but the hockey programs are not yet in the clear. NCAA rules state that a Division II program must have 10 athletic programs. The cuts drop UAA to nine varsity programs, and eight for Fairbanks.

The University of Alaska system has applied to the NCAA for a waiver, allowing them to compete at the D-II level(and subsequently at the D-1 level for hockey) with less than the requisite number of programs.

One would assume they would be strong candidates to receive it given the circumstances, but relying on the NCAA for a common sense decision like that is always a spin of the roulette wheel. For the time being, it’s a relief that the University of Alaska system has somehow managed to cobble together the money to keep these programs afloat.