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Icebreaker

The Florida Gulf Coast University Hockey Club was the first national championship club at FGCU. But at the Student Government Senate meeting Tuesday, the club was denied its funding request for ice time at Germain Arena due to finance code violations. The bill was denied in a 12-18 vote.

The bill requesting $50,000 — decreased from an original $69,374.45 — is not in violation of the finance code, but the club’s tryout fees are. The tryout fees that the club had in place were $50 for returning players and $175 for new player evaluation, and equipment such as jerseys. Members of the hockey club are not required to tryout for the travel team, and other clubs on campus also have tryout fees and member dues.

Coach Bob Brinkworth said that the fee is in place for insurance purposes. “Players can get hurt. It’s a competitive sport. We’ve had women and people just learning how to skate tryout. Players are risking injury to themselves more when they tryout and if they’re put in a game,” Brinkworth said. It is also a test of seriousness and ability for the travel team.

Many senators were not in favor of supporting the bill because of the club’s finance code violations. Sen. Robert Garcia compared the situation to jaywalking.

“While there was no malicious intent, the analogy I wanna use is if an individual jaywalks across the street without knowing that it breaks the law, and they were to be stopped by the police and get a ticket, they still have to pay the ticket,” Garcia said.

Sen. Nathan Joyner didn’t agree with Garcia. “If that cop were talking to a lady that was pregnant with a broken foot, things might be a little different,” Joyner argued. “They’re on the way to another national championship season. I personally would like to see it tabled because I don’t want to see it just die.”

The hockey club is at risk of shutting down now that SG did not pass the bill. Brinkworth is unsure of exactly what their next step will be.

“It’s very disappointing for the school with what we built,” Brinkworth said. “It’s interesting that we have been the sport of choice for Family Weekend for three years, which is coming up soon. But we will not be influenced by the decision and start charging students for attendance. Our attendance is 80 percent students.”

In response to the lack of funding from SG, members of the team have taken matters into their own hands. Colton Bailey, a senior on the D2 team, created a Go Fund Me page for supporters of the hockey team to fundraise the $50,000 themselves in hopes that this won’t be the end of the FGCU Club Hockey Team.

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3 Comments

  1. Alec Steven Austin

    This is absolutely obsured. This program and this team have been the only national winning team sport from your university and you are refusing to fund them because of this mediocre violation???? This school loves these kids and you are an absolute disgrace if you do not save this program. It is the one thing that everyone on the campus talks about and does more than enough to pay it’s weight to cover the bills especially when each kid pays 2k a year to be part of this team.

  2. Tony Reichl

    An Urgent and Open Letter to FGCU President Dr. Wilson Bradshaw

    It is with great concern that I write to you as on October 21st the FGCU Hockey Club learned that their request of funds for this school years season, were denied by Student Government Senators. See http://jumpanzee.wpengine.com/news/icebreaker/. The club is compromised of 2 teams (Division 2 & Division 3) playing in the highly competitive American Collegiate Hockey Association. The club was recently notified that they had made a “minor violation” when it collected a tryout fee from its prospective members. However, this same process has been in place for more than a decade, with never a mention of violation to the club or the members. As explained by Head Coach Bob Brinkworth, this fee covers the cost of insurance liability not only to the club, but more importantly the university.

    The FGCU Hockey Club is comprised of student players from all around the world, but first and foremost consider themselves FGCU students and the FGCU Hockey program is not only known locally, but regionally and nationally for its past successes and responsibility to good sportsmanship and moreover respectful players and staff. The costs associated to sustain this club sport reach levels above and beyond what the club members (players) are capable of supplying, even though every player is required to assist with offsetting fees at the rate of more than $2000 per season, as well as supplying their own protective gear for this fast paced contact sport. Due to the nature of this sport, the club obviously requires “ice time” to increase their skill level and ultimately play their games against other top colleges. This required “ice time” is the major portion of costs associated with this club sport. It’s unfortunate that they can’t just bounce a ball off the court of a beautiful university supplied arena, or roll a ball out onto a university supplied soccer field, or swing a bat at the university supplied baseball or softball fields. And, now told of the denial of this funding! OUCH!!!

    Many may not know, but this club sport has represented FGCU in the hockey arena with top 5 finishes nationally for many years at both the D2 & D3 levels, including a D2 National Championship in 2012. At the date of this letter, both teams sit undefeated at their respective levels! To lose this funding could be catastrophic to this club sport, a club that arguably is supported every Friday and Saturday evening by more FGCU students than any other FGCU club.
    Dr. Bradshaw I strongly urge you, your staff and the faculty at FGCU to step in quickly and assist in discussing and overturning this denial of funds for this club sport of which is enjoyed and supported by so many students at YOUR university!

    I urge ALL FGCU students, alumni, and local supporters to contact any/all listed below and show your support for this club and the need for this funding to be re-applied for the continued existence of this club.

    Staff – Division of Office of the President
    Dr. Wilson Bradshaw – President (239) 590-1051 President@fgcu.edu
    Barbara Krell – Executive Assistant to the President (239) 590-1051 bkrell@fgcu.edu
    Mary Reed – Business Manager (239) 590-1050 mreed@fgcu.edu
    Veronica (Roni) Forsyth – Sr. Administrative Assistant (239) 590-1049 vforsyth@fgcu.edu
    Samantha Williams – Senior Secretary (239) 590-1054 sswillia@fgcu.edu
    Susan Evans – Vice President and Chief of Staff (239) 590-1057 sevans@fgcu.edu
    Lillian Pagan – Director of Media Relations (239) 590-1086 lpagan@fgcu.edu
    Amber Pacheco – Dir. of Board Operations, and Special Projects (239) 590-1065 apacheco@fgcu.edu
    Ken Kavanagh – Athletic Director (239) 590-7007 kavanagh@fgcu.edu
    Jimmy Myers – Dir. of Equity and Diversity (239) 590-7406 jmyers@fgcu.edu
    Curtis Bullock Executive Director (239) 590-1120 cbullock@fgcu.edu
    Jennifer Goen Dir of Govern Relations (239) 590-1020 goen@fgcu.edu
    Carol Slade Director of Internal Audit (239) 590-1117 cslade@fgcu.edu
    Dr. Helen Mamarchev Univ. Ombuds/Asst to the President (239) 590-1022 hmamarchev@fgcu.edu
    Dr. Michelle Yovanovich Dean of Students (239)590-7900 myovanovich@fgcu.edu
    Dr. J Michael Rollo Vice President Student Affairs (239) 590-7910 jmrollo@fgcu.edu

    Lastly, if you’d like to financially support this club in its efforts to exist, please visit http://www.gofundme.com/g4hqrg
    Please share this link with as many people as possible.

    Best Regards,

    Tony Reichl A PROUD Parent of an FGCU Student and Hockey Player

  3. Robbie Spencer

    This is extremely disheartening. The Ice Hockey Club is a staple of the FGCU sports scene. Not only is it the best sport to watch in person, it’s also one of our most competitive sports clubs/teams.

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