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UB considers a hockey revival

Photo courtesy of The University at Buffalo

blog by Dan Ludwig  • 

The University at Buffalo has not seen hockey at the varsity level since 1988 but that absence may soon be over.

The school is considering a return to the Central Collegiate Hockey Association, UB athletic director Warde Manuel confirmed on Friday afternoon.  The discussion came amongst much conversation about conference re-alignment in collegiate hockey.

“The University at Buffalo athletic department has been in conversations with established Division I hockey conferences to examine the possibility of returning our hockey program,” said Manuel in an official statement. 

The Bulls weren’t exactly a hockey powerhouse when the team was downgraded from a Division III varsity program to a club team in 1988.  Nonetheless, the return of varsity hockey to UB is a promising thought for hockey-crazed Buffalonians.  That said, the rumors of a revamped hockey program beg one big question: Who would foot the bill?

Any varsity program is an expensive venture, especially when one considers the impact of Title IX on schools’ sports budgets.  On top of this, hockey is one of the more expensive organized sports to play.  Ice time, equipment and scholarship money must be taken into account when starting a varsity program. 

The Bulls are not ignoring this fact.  “While we are flattered to have these discussions,” Manuel noted, “there are several things that would need to occur both fiscally and within conference alignments for this to work for UB at this time.”

It is rumored that Jeremy Jacobs, owner of the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League, may be willing to fund all or part of the Bulls’ hockey program, The Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune reported on Sunday..  He also owns Delaware North, a food service and hospitality company headquartered in the Queen City.  The theory isn’t all that unbelievable, especially when you consider that Jacobs donated $10 million to the school in 2008.

TAGGED: hockey, jeremy jacobs, university at buffalo

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