UBC cuts 5 varsity sports team after controversial review, men's hockey left to fundraise on its own

Dec 19 2017, 5:50 pm

The University of British Columbia has announced the final results of its controversial sport review of the 29 Vancouver campus varsity sports teams.

Five teams have lost their varsity sports team designation while another four teams, including men’s hockey, are now required to secure their own funding as a condition of maintaining varsity status.

In total, following a two-stage assessment, 24 of the 29 teams have retained varsity status and fall into three groups: those most ready to excel, ongoing varsity, and teams that need more time to develop new models of community support. The remaining five teams will become UBC competitive clubs and are able to continue with using the Thunderbirds name brand.

“This review has re-energized support for UBC’s teams,” said President Stephen Toope. “Our community has told us they want as many varsity teams as possible, and they want the opportunity to help us achieve our vision. We’ve heard them, and we look forward to seeing this translated into solid action in the months ahead.”

During the course of the review, fans, alumni donors, and community supporters pledged a total of $4.8 million to help strengthen teams.

“We now have a strong new model that sharpens our focus on excellence,” said Louise Cowin, VP Students. “While keeping 24 teams, our approach will concentrate resources where teams are demonstrating success in achieving our vision.”

The review confirmed five groups of criteria by which to evaluate varsity teams. The University is moving forward with a new sport model that will focus enhanced resources – specifically sport science and medicine, management and marketing — on those varsity teams most ready to achieve excellence across all the criteria. (See background)

Four teams emerged from the review with unique funding needs involving a hybrid of community or innovative commercial partnerships. These teams retain their status and have been given more time to confirm their future.

The five teams that will become UBC competitive clubs will receive support that includes honorariums for coaches, access to training facilities and support for skill development. The University has also begun assessing AMS club teams for the competitive club grouping, allowing more students to participate in competitive sport.

UBC will implement the new sport model in September 2015, following a year of transition.

Teams to receive enhanced support (seven)
Basketball: men and women
Football: men
Swimming: men and women
Volleyball: men and women

Teams to receive current support with some limited enhancements (thirteen)
Cross country: men and women
Field hockey: women
Golf: men and women
Ice hockey: women
Rowing: men and women
Rugby: men
Soccer: men and women
Track and field: men and women

Teams, each in unique situations, given more time to pursue hybrid funding (four)
Baseball: men
Field hockey: men
Ice hockey: men
Rugby: women

Teams realigned to competitive club* (five)
Alpine skiing: men and women
Nordic skiing: men and women
Softball: women

*Varsity teams realigned to competitive clubs will have permission to continue to compete with the Thunderbird name. The branding for other clubs joining the competitive club strand will be determined for 2015-16.


Source: UBC | Featured Image: UBC Rowing

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