View Full Version : Niagara's No Longer In The Game

05-13-2012, 12:09 PM

05-15-2012, 09:06 AM
Here's another article that came out today.

Niagara University Drops The Ball.. and The Women’s Hockey Team
Added by rory on May 15, 2012.
Saved under Sports, Top Stories

Niagara University announced the “restructuring” of its athletic program back on 3/19. This decision has led NU to drop their Division I Women’s Hockey Program. In doing so, NU will be adding a women’s track and field team and investing money in the women’s lacrosse team. According to Niagara’s Department of Athletics this move is to “ensure sustainable future success.”

Of course I am pleased to hear my alma mater is starting a track and field program, and I am always excited when NU decides to invest in an existing program. However sadly, as pleased as I am to hear about some of the new changes, I am even more appalled at the decision to drop the women’s hockey program. Clearly this decision came down to financials and I am sure it was a very difficult decision to make, but I do believe abruptly eliminating a program on the rise is not the answer. Plus the sudden elimination so late in the year of the program will make it increasingly difficult for girls to find teams to play on if they want to continue to play the sport they love.

Dropping the women’s program is not only an embarrassment to NU, but an embarrassment to hockey in Western New York. It really is a shame for the sport because NU had the only division 1 women’s hockey program in the area. Don’t be surprised if girl’s youth hockey numbers drop dramatically, especially in Niagara County.

Every time I go back to NU’s campus, there is a new building or something in the process of being built. There is no way NU doesn’t have the funding or financial strength to keep a program like that. I understand that nearly all of the funding for these new buildings has come from alumni and other generous donors (Tom Golisano). Yet this is what I don’t understand: If NU has the nerve to call me on a regular basis, a recent grad that is buried in loans, and ask me for money to donate to the school… Then why can’t they pick up the phone and ask alumni for help re-vamping or re-financing the women’s hockey program? I’m pretty sure NU has enough affluent alumni who have vested interest in keeping the program afloat. One day I hope to be one of those affluent alumni…

Personally, over the years I’ve never understood why they never invested in the program. Being a business major, I was preached to about competitive advantagefor 4 straight years. Absolutely drilled it in my mind. Did no one at the school see the competitive advantage in having two successful hockey programs? Canada is about a 5 iron away from NU’s campus and last time I checked, that country kind of likes hockey a little bit. Wouldn’t you think the school would not only embrace the men’s program but the women’s also?

I realize that by no means this was an easy decision for the athletic department, but NU dropped the ball on this one. NU has beautiful facilities at Dwyer Arena and the perfect situation to have two successful hockey programs and give the university an identity. I am saddened for the girls on the team, the sport of hockey, and Niagara University.

On a side note, I’d like to wish congratulations to all of the recent graduates. I Hope it was fun because the real world sucks.. just kidding.. but seriously.

Kevin Zola

Class of 2010