The University of North Dakota made the unfortunate decision Wednesday to shut down three of its athletic programs due to budget cuts. While that’s rough enough as it is, how one of those programs learned about the news is truly pathetic on the university’s part.
North Dakota closed the doors on its baseball and men’s golf program last year and will now shut down its women’s hockey and men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs. While we do not know how the swimmers and divers learned about this decision, we do know exactly how the women’s hockey program found out. They found out after they practiced.
For all the tweets about UND getting cut. No they do not know because they are still on the ice preparing for the upcoming season pic.twitter.com/TLEsYtnao1
— Gracen Hirschy (@ghirschy06) March 29, 2017
Making this even a little more awkward was the program had a recruit on campus for a visit. Yikes.
North Dakota certainly didn’t shut the women’s ice hockey program down due to a lack of success and development. The program has sent a handful of players off to the United States hockey team and has been in the NCAA playoffs.
Amy Menke, a player on North Dakota’s women’s hockey team certainly was not pleased with how she found out about the news…
Headline in the Grand Forks Herald, yet we are all still sitting here waiting to be told that it is official. Awesome job @UNDsports https://t.co/URTrb5rHsr
— Amy Menke (@AmyMenke) March 29, 2017
And she was not alone. North Dakota was grilled for how they handled this on Twitter, and deservingly so. Some past and current national team players even chimed in:
Glad to see @UNDsports leaks publicly they are cutting a team before informing the players and staff. #classymove
— Monique Lamoureux-M (@moniquelam7) March 29, 2017
An absolute shame that this beautiful facility will only be utilized half as much as it could be next season. So much for a "hockey school" pic.twitter.com/Kel4Rc3kGI
— Lexie Shaw (@lexie_shaw) March 29, 2017
UND sports shame on you for not having the decency to communicate with the staff and players before anyone else! Can't delete this one!
— Jocelyne Lamoureux-D (@JocelyneUSA17) March 29, 2017
While this week may have seen some positive movement for women’s hockey with the senior national team making strides in their fight for better support from USA Hockey, there still are plenty of challenges for the sport. Budgetary decisions are always tough, but it’s particularly rough to see how UND handled this. It’s especially a shame that the university didn’t inform their players of this decision before it leaked to the press.