Ouch: Huntsville Turned Down

     The Huntsville (Ala.) Times had this story Tuesday on the Central Collegiate Hockey Association deciding not to add Alabama-Huntsville of the dissolving College Hockey America:

By Budd McLaughlin, Huntsville Times
HUNTSVILLE, AL – The University of Alabama-Huntsville’s application to join the Central Collegiate Hockey Association has been denied, the CCHA Council voted Tuesday.

According to a short statement, the council "voted by acclamation to deny the University of Alabama in Huntsville’s application to become a member of the conference."

Alabama-Huntsville officials were stunned by the decision.

"We are certainly disappointed in the decision and feel like our program has a lot to offer to any league," said Huntsville director of athletics Jim Harris. "We are going to look at other options that are available to us and then move forward."

Harris said the decision will not affect the upcoming season, which is the team’s 25th year as a varsity sport. It will also be the final year of College Hockey America, which Huntsville helped found in 1999. Three other remaining members of the CHA — Bemidji State, Niagara and Robert Morris — have been admitted to other conferences.

"Many people have put a lot of work into trying to make this happen; from all of the Chargers past and present through to Dr. Williams and the leaders in the city of Huntsville," said head coach Danton Cole, who is in Slovakia as an assistant coach with the U.S. Under 18 Select Team. "I do not know what the future holds for the program, but we will be looking at our options and move forward in the best interest of the University."

CCHA Commissioner Tom Anastos said the council, comprised of athletic administrators and faculty athletic representatives, discussed "various issues" before voting to "maintain our membership at its current level."

"The CCHA will remain focused on maintaining and strengthening our existing members to ensure the conference’s continued success and long-term viability," Anastos said in the statement.