Hockey: SMU Women's Hockey Saved?

Monty Mosher at the Chronicle-Herald is reporting this evening what was rumoured earlier in the day - that the Saint Mary's women's hockey team that was axed on March 18 has had a reprieve.

No doubt the bad media attention, protests and the like had an effect, but more importantly someone stepped up to fund the program, and that someone is Canadian Tire with commitment of $60,000 for next season.

In a press release Tuesday night, the university acknowledged it made a mistake chopping women’s hockey.
“The decision to cancel the women’s varsity hockey program last week, in response to budget pressures, was wrong and we deeply regret it,” university president Colin Dodds stated in the release. “We are taking several initiatives to earn back the respect lost so as to ensure that our students, alumni and friends continue to be enriched by the tradition and contributions of our female athletes.”
It is great that the a business like Canadian Tire stepped up this time; too bad that couldn't have been the case with the UNB's women's hockey team three years ago.

Women's hockey 'alive and well' at Saint Mary's (Monty Mosher, Chronicle-Herald)
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  1. This goes to show that these decisions can indeed be reversed with enough public support. The SMU decision on March 18th had much, much worse optics than the UNB situation a few years back IMO, because of not only SMU's decision to single out (or should I say sacrifice) one team only, but also by the sudden announcement to the team, giving them very little time to organize themselves. If this was in the works for a while the team could have been notified and would have had more time to fundraise. In any event, an awful decision all-around that would have ended up costing much more in the long run than the money saved in the short term.

    In any event, if the university expected the team to just respond with a shy "oh...OK then" on March 18th, they got a dose of reality. The rally held on March 21st got quickly organized through facebook and twitter and made a difference IMO. Who knows, perhaps that rally (photos linked below) will be an inspiration for future teams who face similar administrative decisions.

  2. It is a crime this ill considered move was even contemplated in the first place.
    How could they have been so stupid to think they could get away with such an egregious decision?...especially in this day and age when women athletes will no longer meekly accept short shift from governing sports bodies.

  3. Women are paying 58% of the SMU varsity sports budget with their tuition- and getting about 20% of the varsity sports dollars back. Football alone takes over $ 500,000 of the $ 3 million budget-well over the total of all women's sports. Laval is spending $2 million on football alone- putting SMU out of the competition.
    Donations are down for SMU football- and the admin is looking at women's sports to make up the dollars.
    As the number of students and the sports dollar continues to shrink-as it will, it will be football and not hockey that must take the hit. Women will not pay to watch the men play. Come on into the new century SMU!