After years of discussion, it appears that Tennessee State University, with the assistance of the Nashville Predators, will move forward with creating the first ice hockey team at a historically black college or university.
A press conference was set for Wednesday June 28th to announce the collaboration, which also includes the National Hockey League (NHL), National Hockey League Players Association (NHLPA). The news was first reported by Ryan S. Clark of ESPN.
This move has been in the works for some time.
In March 2020, the Nashville Predators teamed up with Tennessee State University 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 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.
College Hockey Inc., in conjunction with the NHL and the NHLPA conducted the feasibility study. The organization offers prospective schools a feasibility study to see if they are in a position to potentially add either a men’s or women’s program or in some cases, both.
There are currently 62 active D-I men’s programs, none of which are HBCUs.
This news comes on the heels of Nashville’s other HBCU, Fisk University, starting the first-ever HBCU gymnastics squad.