The University of Alberta announced this week that it will be dropping men’s and women’s hockey, as well as basketball and volleyball for the 2020-21 season in cost-cutting measures due to coronavirus.
“This scenario has brought most of our diverse revenue streams to a complete halt, and the athletics budget is no longer able to support participation for the 2020-2021 season,” athletic director Ian Reade said in a statement Wednesday.
“While this is an extremely hard decision for us, it is in the best interest of the student-athletes that we make this decision now so their future is somewhat more clear.”
Reade said the University of Alberta will “remain committed” to student-athletes receiving athletic financial assistance.
Alberta has the most men’s national championships in history, with 16 titles.
“Canada West (Alberta’s conference affiliate) was disheartened to learn of the University of Alberta’s decision not to compete in the sports of basketball, volleyball, and hockey during the upcoming 2020-21 season,” the conference said in a statement.
“At the same time, Canada West fully understands the difficult financial position many of our members currently find themselves in.
“University sport continues to be negatively impacted financially as a result of COVID-19, which has reduced or eliminated athletic and recreation fees, cut into fundraising efforts and has been compounded by overall budget cuts to many post-secondary institutions.”
The Alberta news comes on the heels of April’s announcement that the University of Lethbridge was cutting hockey permanently. In addition, U Sports cancelled fall national championships earlier this month because of the virus.