By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A petition to save hockey at RMU has already garnered over 11,000 signatures and counting.

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The “SAVE Robert Morris Hockey” is in response to the university’s announcement Wednesday that it’s disbanding its NCAA Division I men’s and women’s ice hockey teams.

“Cancelling the hockey programs 4 months before the start of the season with a tweet and no forewarning to players or coaches is unacceptable,” wrote one of the petition’s signers.

“I play football at RMU, and know as well as anyone that the hockey teams should 1000% be apart of the university. What happened is unfair and should be reversed immediately,” said another.

And another signer: “I have supported RMU since our son attended and played football for 4 years. It is detrimental to future donations as well as attendance. Big mistake.”

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University officials say the move is part of a new strategy as they head into their 100th anniversary year. In a news release, RMU says the moves are “intended to position the university to be amongst the most agile and professionally focused schools in the nation.”

KDKA talked to several RMU ice hockey players who just graduated, and they said it’s a devastating blow for everyone involved in the program and the fans.

RMU says it will honor all scholarships that current student-athletes are on and will help assist those who wish to transfer.

The Robert Morris hockey program has hosted the Frozen Four at PPG Paints Arena twice now, including the 2021 tournament just a few months ago.

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The women’s team also produced goaltender Brianne McLaughlin. She was brought on to Team USA’s women’s ice hockey team for the 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympic Games.