“It’s official! We’re back!”
It’s nice to hear a success story when so many schools are cutting programs.
Ski Racing reports:
University of Alaska ski team reinstated after successful $628K fundraising campaign
The University of Alaska Board of Regents has reinstated the university alpine ski team after the program raised enough money to save itself from elimination.
“It’s official! We’re back!” head coach Sparky Anderson messaged the team on Friday.
The board unanimously voted to reinstate the program after the team reached its fundraising goal of $628,000 in December. The University of Alaska Foundation certified the donations before the vote.
Part of the overall campaign, Ski Racing Media, in conjunction with the Team America Foundation, launched its own matching campaign totaling more than $100,000 in cash, which will be delivered upon reinstatement of the program.
The board had previously voted in September to eliminate three sports, including alpine skiing, hockey and gymnastics because of budget cuts. The cuts would have saved $2.5 million a year from the athletic budget, or more than $9 million in the 2019 academic year, university officials said.
The board also said it would consider reinstatement for any program that could raise two years of operating costs before the next meeting in February. It is unclear if the hockey or gymnastics programs reached their goals.
Upon raising the necessary funds, Anderson asked the athletic director and interim chancellor to expedite the reinstatement process.
“I need to get back to recruiting, to having honest conversations with families about sending their kids to UAA, and knowing that we have a bright future,” he told Ski Racing Media. “We’ve demonstrated that our program is innovative, motivated, committed to serving the mission of the university. … Without alpine, there would be no more NCAA racing of any kind in Alaska.”
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