I am a photographer for the UAH hockey program. To say that we were stunned by the decision of the CCHA yesterday is an understatement. To read this article and see the words spoken by Mr. Karr has only added to it. While he may have been speaking generally, he makes some very specific claims that has infuriated not only those of us in the Charger nation, but college hockey fans as a whole.
For starters, how much more commitment must a team entering it's 31st season and 25th at the varsity level have to show? UAH has bent over backwards to show it's commitment to the sport and to the CCHA. We've brought every AD in to tour our facility and campus. We've given presentation after presentation showing our school, fans, and community's commitment to the sport. Committed? You'll be hard pressed to find anyone more committed than the Chargers.
Our agreement with the Von Braun Center has never been stronger. And it has never been an issue throughout the 31 years that UAH has played there. Despite our sometimes lousy start times, we get preferential treatment from the facility. Even so far as the semi-pro team that shares the facility has to play second fiddle to our schedule on the VBC's insistence.
Low attendance? According to the USCHO we had 20 fewer butts in the seats than UAF last season. And the really interesting thing there is the Nanooks had twice as many home contests as we did. Similar story with Notre Dame. In fact the only teams that pack them in more than UAH did during the same period are Michigan, Michigan State, UNO (who is leaving the CCHA anyway), Ohio State and Northern Michigan. And that was with twice as many home games.
As to the statement that we are not in a major recruiting market, who is anymore? The sport has grown to a point where kids are coming from all over, not just the traditional locales of before. Players are coming out of Texas, Florida, California, and even Alabama. If the statement by Mr. Karr had any semblance of truth to it then every NCAA D-I school would be based in the provinces of Canada.
And finally the economic/student welfare/long bus trip trifecta. This is probably the greatest red herring of the stated reasons for denial. UAH had already committed to paying for teams to travel to Huntsville just as UAF and UAA do. From what I have been told it is comparable to what your program pays for opponents to come to Fairbanks. Combine this with the fact that Huntsville is only 34 miles farther away from CCHA schools than UNO is and every stated reason for our denial is a wash.
Are we mad? One shouldn't have to ask. Are we mad at Mr. Karr? Not necessarily. While he may bear the brunt of anger, until we know for certain how he voted, any anger towards him is simply venting out of frustration. What we are angry at is those statements which I hope you now understand to be complete and utter garbage. For Mr. Karr's part I hope he did vote to allow us in.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Check out this post
This was in the comments section of the Newsminer.com article about the CCHA not accepting the UAH Chargers. It kind of addresses the CCHA's claims and shoots holes in them. Like I said before I smell bullshit and this stinks to the high heavens. I could throw a bunch of clichés around to but I won't, the glass houses one would really fit though.