OPINION: Silence is all that Howard, RMU want with hockey cancellation

Photo+Credit%3A+Tyler+Gallo

Photo Credit: Tyler Gallo

By Owen Krepps, Copy Editor / Podcast GM

The outcry to #SaveRMUHockey has seemed to die down as of late. Surprisingly, it has already been nearly a month since the initial shocking and disappointing news reveal. We have seen countless amounts of support for the resurrection of these programs but despite it all, President Howard and the University have not budged at all.

The more and more this goes on, the more this plays into Howard’s favor. It has almost been a month since RMU abruptly cut the men’s and women’s hockey teams and nothing has changed, but we need to keep fighting to restore these programs or at least help these athletes.

“As painful as this is to discontinue the NCAA D1 men’s and women’s ice hockey programs here at RMU, we have had little choice. I know this decision came as a painful surprise to the student-athletes and many other members of our community. We don’t have any specific plans to bring the programs back. You have seen the numbers, and they are not insignificant,” said President Chris Howard in early June.

We saw a brief glimmer of hope when Murry Gunty, CEO and owner of Black Bear Sports tried to buy the RMU Island Sports Center, but in the weeks following, the only things that Gunty and Black Bear received were a non-disclosure agreement and a handful of crickets.

Only four former athletes have found homes since the decision was made. Lexi Templeman, Emily Curlett, and Raygan Kirk have moved on to Ohio State and Maggy Burbidge announced her transfer to Saint Francis Xavier (Nova Scotia) this afternoon, but 51 student-athletes, as well as coaches, media, and arena staff are still left homeless.

Despite passing college psychology with only a C-, I see a lot of similarities between the cancellation of RMU hockey and the Kübler-Ross stages of grief. The initial reaction obviously caused a lot of shock and denial, the first stage of grief.

Anger was perhaps the most fruitful stage with many people calling for Howard and athletic director Chris King’s resignations. Just hop on Twitter and look at the quote tweets from the initial “update on D1 men’s and women’s hockey programs.”

I have yet to meet someone that supports this decision.

Right now it seems like we are in the depression stage of this process. Many athletes still have no idea what they will do for this upcoming season and some may even be forced to quit playing division one hockey as a whole. A little bit of bargaining has been visible as well with some asking for just one more year for the programs.

 

The last stage of the Kübler-Ross model is acceptance, which I hope we never get around to. The main reason why I am writing this piece is more to motivate people to be resurgent and not give up on this rather than updating people on the story.

People know the story; a group of corrupt and greedy people in power made a heartless and awful decision for the sake of money, but the story needs to continue.

So what now? What do we have to try that we have not already done? Continue to donate and continue to pledge and support these athletes. The GoFundMe page is still open and needs all the support it can get. Let us not give up hope on two of the most successful programs Robert Morris has ever seen!