Wayne State starts online petition, plans to appeal shutdown of women’s team

Angela Ruggiero has joined a Wayne State hockey online campaign against the abrupt shutdown of its women’s hockey team.

Wayne State senior Ciara Lee started an online petition on May 27 on Change.org, one day after WSU athletic director Rob Fournier announced the school would be discontinuing the women’s hockey program. Administrators cited massive budget cuts, but Lee and other players say their college sports careers are effectively ruined, since they were given no time to seek spots on other teams.

“This has been our whole lives,” Lee said in a press release. “I decided to start a petition with Change.org because I see the power people can have when they recognize a need for social change and want to take action.”

Ciara’s petition on Change.org has taken off as more than 2,500 supporters have signed the petition, including Ruggiero, who also spoke out for the team on Twitter.

The Wayne State team plans to appeal the decision at Wayne State’s Board of Governors meeting on June 22 and is also investigating whether the cancellation violates Title IX funding laws. When the men’s hockey team was shut down in 2007, the players were given a year’s notice so they could seek other spots. However, the late-May notice for the women’s team means that it may be difficult to get a spot on a new team for this fall.