Could an HBCU ice hockey ice program be around the corner? It just might happen.
Tennessee State University is considering the possibility of putting together a Division I hockey program, according to a report by the Nashville Post. The report cites “multiple sources with direct knowledge” that say the school will soon announce a feasibility study.
The school has declined to comment so far.
The report also says a partnership between Tennessee State and the Nashville Predators, the NHL franchise in the same city as the HBCU. The two entities have already worked together several times.
Last March the Predators teamed up with TSU for a “$1 million in 1 month” campaign, with the NHL franchise donating the first $100k. The campaign was designed for merit and need-based scholarships and raised nearly $2 million for over 500 scholarships.
TSU and the Predators have also teamed up to reduce social discrimination and bring about social change in Nashville. That initiative was titled the GUIDER (Growth, Understanding, Inclusion, Diversity, Equality and Representation) Group.
There are currently no HBCUs with ice hockey programs, regardless of division. But there has been a push as of late to add non-traditional, non-revenue sports at HBCUs. The SIAC got a grant to start men’s volleyball a few years ago. This summer Grambling will host an event aimed at pushing for HBCUs to add gymnastics programs.
Obviously, the question of how to fund such programs is at the forefront. These programs would require more money in terms of coaches and scholarships, as well as facilities. We’ll have to keep an eye out to see if it actually happens.