Discipline hockey’s loss to top-ranked UNC within the quarterfinals of the NCAA Event is meant to be the final sport for this system on the varsity degree — the final for a 118-year-old program that has been on The Farm practically so long as the time period “The Farm” itself has been in use.
Stanford’s choice to discontinue this system and the preliminary response to that call have been well-documented. Now, practically a yr after the announcement, previous and current members of the staff proceed to push for the reinstatement of their sport on and off the sector.
This yr’s staff, for instance, crossed out “Stanford” on their uniforms with black tape all through the season and playoff run in protest of Stanford.
Off the sector, earlier generations of this system have shaped Save Stanford Discipline Hockey, a corporation made up of alums and supporters of the game. After the preliminary outrage over the choice, members of the group started channeling their anger into motion proper from the start.
Elise Ogle ’14 MA ’15 and Linda de los Reyes ’84, who knew one another from post-collegiate membership subject hockey, shortly obtained in touch and helped type the muse of the group with different alums of this system. They labored to disseminate info to the greater than 400 subject hockey alums, whereas persevering with to achieve out and broaden their pool of connections.
One such alum, Kathy Levinson ’77, was working with the college final yr to create an endowment to honor the reminiscence of a former teammate. She continued to achieve out to potential donors proper up till she discovered on July 8 the game can be discontinued, the identical day as everybody else. She — like so many others — was greatly surprised by the abruptness of the announcement.
“I’ve been a longtime important donor to Stanford subject hockey and wasn’t given any superior discover, or any indication that this was within the works,” she mentioned. “Why would you enable me to proceed to achieve out to potential donors to create this endowment in case you [the university] had been going to chop the game?”
Quickly after, Levinson reached out to Nathalie Weiss ’16 and Alexander Massialas ’16, who’re former members of the lads’s rowing and males’s fencing groups, respectively. The trio created the “Stanford Athletic Response Workforce.” She, together with buddy and ladies’s basketball alum Jennifer Azzi ’90, additionally realized the significance in increasing to incorporate the opposite current 25 sports activities, which led to 36 Sports activities Sturdy, a group of alums and supporters of all 36 Stanford varsity sports activities.
“Kathy was one of many creators of the 36 Sports activities Sturdy group,” Ogle mentioned. “And has actually spearheaded a variety of their efforts to unite the entire groups.”
Ogle known as her and her work for each 36 Sports activities Sturdy and Save Stanford Discipline Hockey, “simply unimaginable.”
“I believe one of the crucial fantastic issues that has come out of this horrible choice is that … we’ve reconnected with all our alums in a method that we hadn’t been a few years,” Levinson mentioned.
“It’s actually fantastic to see this multi-generational, multi-race, multi-sport group come collectively on behalf of an establishment that all of us love,” she continued. “We need to assist proper that improper and assist Stanford regain its ethical compass … as a result of we’ve such an affinity for our college. If we didn’t care in regards to the college, I don’t assume this ever would have occurred.”
When requested in regards to the ongoing response to the college choice, Stanford Athletics spokesperson Brian Risso wrote that Athletics has been “supportive” of the present staff’s choice to cross out Stanford on their uniforms. He additionally pointed again to the rationale specified by the preliminary announcement final summer time, which named “monetary sustainability and aggressive excellence” as driving forces.
Concerning the previous, 36 Sports activities Sturdy has offered the College’s Board of Trustees with a proposal to self-fund not simply the 11 discontinued sports activities, but in addition all non-revenue producing ones.
Of the latter, “the tradition of Stanford is absolutely way more broad primarily based, attracting elite athletes from all walks of life,” Levinson mentioned. “It’s evidenced by the variety of Olympians that we’ve created. Simply go into the, you recognize, the Corridor of Champions.”
This yr alone, wrestling’s Shane Griffith and synchronized swimming every received nationwide championships. Discipline hockey received the America East convention for a fourth time prior to now 5 years.
On Wednesday, members from eight of the 11 sports activities — together with a person on the sector hockey staff — filed lawsuits on Wednesday difficult the College’s choice to chop the packages.
Ogle acknowledged that reinstatement wouldn’t essentially remedy broader points inside subject hockey, however mentioned that slicing the game can be much more detrimental.
“There’s undoubtedly areas of enchancment for range and accessibility for subject hockey as a sport,” she mentioned. “However there’s a lot extra to that. And a variety of it takes time; it goes method past cash. It takes devoted individuals who perceive the significance and need to construct it. And people persons are coming from Stanford.”
“It’s why I work three teaching jobs outdoors of my full-time job,” Ogle mentioned. “It’s as a result of I find it irresistible and I really feel like I’m actually pushed to provide that chance to others in order that there will be extra individuals like me.”
With out Stanford subject hockey main the way in which, de los Reyes doesn’t know what is going to occur to the game all through the West Coast. On a extra private degree, it was her daughter’s dream to play for the Cardinal.
The impression may also ripple past the confines of the sector.
“It’s one other sport for ladies that you simply, simply take it away and it’s simply unhappy,” she mentioned. “It’s a giant gap in creating ladies, and we’ve talked about many instances how enjoying sports activities helps develop leaders and teammates and camaraderie.”
If Stanford had been to reinstate the game, Ogle, Levinson, de los Reyes and others are those who will proceed to assist broaden and develop the game that, in some ways, outlined their experiences at Stanford and past.
Till then, alums and supporters have shaped “slightly military to combat the choice,” as Ogle put it.
“It’s been a curler coaster,” Ogle continued. “On prime of a variety of different issues taking place this yr, you form of query ‘Am I making the best choice in combating for this?’ and it takes a variety of reflection for me, reflecting alone story, or reflecting on tales of my teammates, provides me that degree of understanding.”