University of Alaska Anchorage Cuts Ski Program
Sad news Thursday as University of Alaska Anchorage Athletics Director Keith Hackett announced in a press release that it would seek to eliminate Skiing and Indoor Track and Field programs in an effort to reduce costs.
In a petition to the NCAA, the UAA has requested a waiver to the requirement that Division II schools field a minimum of 10 teams. UAA seeks to eliminate 4 teams to bring their total to 9. If the petition is denied the university will “carefully consider” which program to keep but no clues were given as to which program might escape the chopping block.
As you might have guessed, the decision is financially motivated as the University has been hit with budget cuts forcing the athletic department to reduce its budget by 20%, or $1.9m.
Changes will be implemented at the end of the 2016/2017 school year and scholarship students can choose to remain on scholarship through the Spring of 2018 and will be eligible to compete if they change schools and meet eligibility requirements.
Athletic director Keith Hackett is obviously gutted by the decision, stating: “This is the most difficult decision I have had to make as a professional and a person who is passionate about College Athletics and the Student-Athletes we work with.”
The University of Alaska Fairbanks is also affected by budget cuts and announced the elimination of it’s Cross Country Ski Team.