LEWISTON, N.Y.-A bombshell from Niagara University Monday afternoon. The Purple Eagles dropped their women's hockey program.
Niagara will add track and field and will put more money into women's lacrosse. Niagara was the only area Division One school with a women's hockey program.
Athletic Director Ed McLaughlin told Two On Your Side's Stu Boyar the change takes place immediately and Niagara hockey players will be given immediate releases to transfer to other programs. He said the change will make Niagara stronger overall. "We decided to make this change it would really strengthen everything else around it. Its unfortunate for the women in the program but it gives us the chance to create more opportunities for other women's programs and really make everyone better."
McLaughlin also told Stu finances were just one factor in the decision. "Certainly we look at tuition as a revenue driver as well and we're going to provide a lot more students here. Tuition numbers as well so you can look at it as revenue vs. Non revenue but the reality is the women's hockey at the division one level is not a big revenue number for us or any division one institution."
In its 11 year history the women's team had just one winning season. This year they finished with a record of 10-16-8.
Adding track and field will add between 35 and 40 student athletes next year.