The University of North Dakota has ended three sports: men's and women's swimming and women's ice hockey. According to espn.com, Bryan Faison, North Dakota's Athletic Director, lamented the development and said it was difficult to raise funds.
"We've had records every year in fundraising, we've had records in ticket sales, we've had records in sponsorships, but we still can't get there," Faison said.
Since its inception in 2002, North Dakota's women's ice hockey program has gotten to the NCAA quarterfinals twice in a row, and eight North Dakota players played in the 2014 Olympics.
According to USCO News, North Dakota released a statement, explaining that the cuts were so that it could raise the money it needed to provide the scholarships necessary to participate in the Summit League.
“UND expects that the current changes will enable it to meet those additional scholarship expenses without having to make further cuts next year. UND’s athletics department expects to reinvest any additional savings back into its women’s and men’s teams, with a primary focus on gender equity, internal equity, and championship competitiveness,” the statement read.
Katie Mallon, Women's Commissioner for the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, released a statement expressing displeasure with the cuts.
”Today’s developments are excruciatingly sad for the University of North Dakota, the WCHA and the sport of women’s hockey,” Mallon said. “While we understand the significant, state-mandated budget cuts faced by the entire University and respect the decision-making process of the UND administration, there is no denying the impact of losing a program that has produced Olympians, advanced to NCAA tournaments and is a perennial fixture in the national rankings. Our collective hearts ache for North Dakota’s current and incoming student-athletes, for the school’s alumnae and fans, for head coach Brian Idalski and his entire staff, and all involved with the program.”