RMU hockey will not be reinstated for 2021-22, potential return in 2022-23


RMU hockey will not be reinstated for the 2021-22 season. Photo Credit: Nathan Breisinger/Colonial Sports Network

Owen Krepps

NEVILLE TWP., Pa.– After months of deliberation and stagnation, it was announced today RMU men’s and women’s hockey will not be reinstated for the 2021-22 season. However, fundraising efforts are being put in place for a potential return in 2022-23. The announcement once again comes via Robert Morris’ Twitter page with portions of the press release reading as follows.

“Robert Morris University will not reinstate its NCAA Division I ice hockey programs for the 2021-22 season, opting instead to continue to raise money for a return the following year.

Last month, RMU and the newly formed Pittsburgh College Hockey Foundation partnered together to raise sufficient funds to support the reinstatement of the Division I men’s and women’s ice hockey programs. The university had announced in May that it would discontinue both programs, which were no longer financially sustainable. The Pittsburgh College Hockey Foundation was formed by alumni players and other RMU hockey supporters to raise money to revive the programs.

Fundraising has been encouraging but is still short of what is needed to immediately reinstate the program and to position both teams to be financially sustainable for the foreseeable future. To date, $1.34 million in total has been raised with $754,000 in pledges payable in 2021-22 – about half what is needed to fund the teams for one year.

If, however, RMU can raise a total of $1.4 million in immediate contributions and another $1.4 million in pledges, the university will reinstate both programs in time for the 2022-23 season. This goal will likely need to be met by December 15, 2021 – the end of the fall semester — but will ultimately depend on the deadline for reinstatement set by each team’s conference. That goal represents enough money to cover the teams’ operating expenses for two seasons, but fundraising would need to continue after that to ensure the programs remain financially sustainable for the long term.

To facilitate the return of the programs next year, RMU will in the coming weeks hire head coaches for both the men’s and women’s teams. The university also will explore options for playing at an enhanced facility.”

$1.4 million is the new goal for the #SaveRMUHockey movement with December 2021 as the due date. This news is somewhat still shocking despite how much we already know about the situation.

Jeffrey Kessler is still hired to represent the defunct teams as a lawyer, and the Pittsburgh Penguins organization has been silent in this process thus far, and of course, there is still time left before the start of the season.

The remaining athletes in the transfer portal must now abandon ship with this decision. This has been a taxing 78 days and despite all of the effort from the Pittsburgh College Hockey community, the inflexibility from the school was not beat. Attention is now focused on the potential 2022-23 season.