UAF logo and background
Dec. 11, 2020

Dear UAF community,

Earlier today, I informed the Western Collegiate Hockey Association and Great Northwest Athletic Conference that UAF’s hockey and basketball teams that upon recommendation of Vice Chancellor and Athletics Director Keith Champagne, I feel it necessary that we make the hard decision to opt out of competition for hockey and basketball for the 2020-2021 athletic season.

Earlier in the semester we left to door open to compete in those sports but reserved the right to withdraw at any time during the season. In the last month, pandemic conditions have worsened, creating multiple safety and logistical challenges that would put our student-athletes in these high-contact sports at risk.

The health and safety of our student-athletes is paramount. Participation in indoor contact sports like basketball and hockey creates elevated risk to the athletes and those who train and travel with them.

This decision does not impact the eligibility of our student-athletes. Their scholarships will remain in place so they can continue their studies, and they will still be eligible for four full years of NCAA competition.

We remain optimistic about our non-contact sports, including swimming, rifle, skiing and volleyball. GNAC will hold a special meeting in January to discuss possible scenarios for volleyball. Our rifle team is currently competing, and we will continue to monitor pandemic conditions to ensure that competition is safe for these student-athletes.

Thank you for your patience as we all navigate through the challenges posed by this pandemic. We remain committed to athletics at UAF and to the future of all of our programs, including hockey and basketball.

Thank you for choosing UAF.

— by Dan White, chancellor
facebook instagram pinterest twitter youtube 
The University of Alaska Fairbanks is an AA/EO employer and educational institution and prohibits illegal discrimination against any individual. Learn more about UA's notice of nondiscrimination.
Photos by UAF photographers unless otherwise noted.