North Texas Daily

Club ice hockey team making most of remaining season after suspension

Club ice hockey team making most of remaining season after suspension

February 02
12:29 2016

Clay Massey | Staff Writer

@Clay_FC

The UNT club ice hockey team has returned to the ice earlier after being suspended until Jan. 1, 2016 by UNT Rec Sports. The initial suspension was for the entire season, but the club won an appeal process to UNT Rec Sports in October, which reduced the ban from an entire year to 18 games through the fall semester.

That left the club with 10 games remaining on its schedule, with six of them being played in January. Most recently, the team finished up a weekend road trip to College Station, where they faced Texas A&M University’s club hockey team.

Although the team dropped both weekend games by scores of 8-5 and 9-5, the team is glad to be back on the ice and not watching the season go by without them.

“It’s great. Things are starting to feel back to normal,” said junior kinesiology major Garrett Nall, the former club president now secretary. “I know all the guys were pretty excited to get the season back up and running. It’s unfortunate we’re only getting to play about 10 games or so, but games are games and ice time is ice time.”

While the club is happy to be skating again, there still remains a question as to if players who paid their dues in full before the team was suspended will get their money back. One of Nall’s greatest concerns with the suspension was getting the club’s dues refunded to players who fully paid up front.

Nall, who was president when the club was suspended and filed for the appeal, stepped down as president shortly after the appeal was won. The team came together and elected senior BCIS major Chris Fournier as acting president for the remainder of the season.

Fournier said he has been in steady contact with UNT Rec Sports about getting players dues refunded, and has worked a plan with them to do so. Coordinator of intramural and sport clubs Hillary Wells confirmed Fournier has been working to make sure all members pay the same amount in dues, and get refunds if needed.

The team lowered their due amount, since it missed an entire semester, to pay for the rest of the ice time bills and for funding trips and equipment.

“We’ve just kind of been going on how to plan the rest of the semester,” Wells said. “We’re working with him because we want to get everything taken care of first, like ice bills and purchasing new uniforms here in a little bit. Once everything is taken care of there, we’ll look into the ones that paid the full amount at the beginning of the semester and try to equal it out to make sure everyone paid the same amount for the club.”

The club lowered their dues to $1,300 per team member who wants to play in games for the remainder of the season. The fee for players who just want to practice is lower.

As soon as all dues are paid, players who paid the original dues up front will be refunded the difference of the original dues and the new dues amount, according to Wells. Fournier said it’s an acceptable compromise.

“I’m under the impression that, yes, we are being treated fairly,” he said. “It’s been a mutual thing. We’ve come to a decision. I’ve stated by my points, and then I would talk with them. We met in the middle about what we needed to do.”

With the team playing just the second half of the season, the chances of the team making postseason play is slim to none. Regardless, the club is still taking the remaining four games seriously, seeing it as a chance to grow as a squad.

“We’re obviously not really focused on that as that ship sailed a long time ago. We’re still playing like we’ve got something to play for, mostly just pride,” Nall said. “We know the league and the rest of the state wants to take us down after the good year we had last year. We approach every game with the same intensity. We’re just trying to keep up our image of being a top-notch competitive team.”

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