Oakland University will become the second American collegiate institution to receive funding for NCAA feasibility study, as announced by the National Hockey League, National Hockey League Players’ Association and Detroit Red Wings.
‘The sport of hockey offers values that last long after the game has ended’
Back in June, the University of Illinois had been the first of five schools who were to take place within the NCAA Feasibility Study, in case you were wondering who the first school was! Oakland University had previously established club hockey programs in 1999.
The NCAA Feasibility Study concerns the various factors NCAA schools use to start and maintain a hockey program, such as annual expenses, funding opportunities, facility needs and Oakland student and community support. Funded by the Industry Growth Fund, any decisions on possible additions to the school will come out at the end of the feasibility study. However, at this time, no deadline has been set for the study. More information on the NCAA Feasibility Study should be released as it becomes available.
“Today’s exciting announcement in Detroit is part of the effort to maximize the number of families who have access to the game of hockey,” said Pat LaFontaine, NHL Vice President of Hockey Development & Community Affairs, in a released statement, according to the NCAA.
“The Declaration of Principles highlights the greater value of participating in sports and this initiative is a piece in the bigger puzzle of maximizing access to our sport. Whether it’s at the men’s and women’s college level or the grass roots level, the sport of hockey offers values that last long after the game has ended.”
“We have witnessed first-hand what Penn State‘s Division I hockey program has done for hockey in Pennsylvania and we see an opportunity to replicate that in other states, including Michigan which is already a strong hockey market,” added Mathieu Schneider, NHLPA Special Assistant to the Executive Director.
“The work we are doing with Oakland University is the second feasibility study being completed, joining the University of Illinois, and this funding is the direct result of the Industry Growth Fund, which the players and the league established in the current CBA.”
‘Exciting news for hockey players and fans in the Metro Detroit area.’
“We, at Oakland University, are very appreciative of being selected to take part in a feasibility study for the sport of intercollegiate hockey,” said Jeff Konya, Oakland University Director of Athletics.
“We want to extend our gratitude to the organizations that made this possible, namely the NHL, the NHLPA, College Hockey Inc., and of course, the Detroit Red Wings who will be an invaluable resource as we review this potential opportunity.”
“This is exciting news for hockey players and fans in the Metro Detroit area,” explained Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill.
“As someone who played and coached college hockey in Michigan I know all about the positive impact the sport has on the student-athletes, the communities they play in and the young fans who attend games.”
“Personally, with my daughter playing youth hockey, I’m really excited about the potential of adding the first Division-I women’s program in the state. It’s an important step to continuing the growth of the college game.”