After Anchorage decision, Nanooks administration renews commitment to UAF athletics

(Paul H McCarthy/photo: Paul McCarthy)
Erik Largen will start his third season behind the Alaska bench with the 2020-21 season (photo: Paul McCarthy/UAF Athletics).

On Wednesday, Alaska Anchorage announced the elimination of four sports teams, including hockey, after the 2020-21 season.

The recommendation will go to the UA Board of Regents for approval during its meeting Sept. 10-11.

After that announcement, UAF chancellor Dan White issued a statement saying the Nanooks have no plans to follow suit.

“I want to reassure our Alaska Nanooks student-athletes, parents, coaches, and the UAF and Fairbanks community that UAF’s athletics programs are not part of this recommendation,” White said. “UAF has 10 Division I and II sports, the minimum number allowed by the NCAA, and has no plans to reduce them.

“In the coming months there will be many details to work out as we better understand how today’s announcement will affect our athletics teams in the future. I am confident that our Alaska Nanooks athletics program will continue to move forward in a positive direction and will remain an important part of our university and our community.

“I know the decision to recommend discontinuation of these athletics programs must have been very difficult for our colleagues at UAA. Multiple years of budget cuts have forced many difficult decisions to be made across the UA system, and none of these decisions are made lightly.

“I look forward to welcoming our student-athletes back to campus and to resuming competition when it is safe to do so. I am also looking forward to seeing our many fans and community supporters when the time is right. I thank you for your continued support.”