The University of North Dakota did not tell women’s hockey players that their program would be cut before the news leaked to the media, forcing players to wait hours for a chance to hear from the school after initially finding out via Twitter.
Team member Amy Menke describes the painful experience in a piece for the Players’ Tribune today. “We heard nothing official from our school president or athletic director,” she wrote of hearing the news during a team practice. “Just tweets from random people letting us know there wouldn’t be women’s hockey in Grand Forks anymore.”
North Dakota abruptly cut the team last month, a few weeks after the end of the season, citing budget concerns. The swimming and diving teams were also cut.
Menke writes of seeing the news online while in the weight room before practice. Details about the end of the program continued to leak while practice wore on and everyone—players, trainers, equipment managers—was left in the dark. It was only hours later that the university president and athletic director met with players to officially tell them what had been circulating all day: their program was being cut, effective immediately.
“No meeting, no call, no text,” Menke wrote. “Like I said, I found out that the program that I had given everything for over the last four seasons was gone via Twitter. Having to watch those girls practice while the entire hockey world was talking about how they basically no longer existed … it was horrible.”