MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KDKA) — An attorney is representing Robert Morris University student-athletes and their families who are hoping to challenge the university’s decision to eliminate its NCAA Division I men’s and women’s ice hockey teams.
The decision was announced late in May of this year, with the university saying the disbanding of the programs was meant “to position the university to be amongst the most agile and professionally focused schools in the nation.”READ MORE: Robert Morris University Cutting Its NCAA Division I Men’s And Women’s Ice Hockey Teams
At the time, RMU said around 55 student-athletes and seven staff positions would be impacted.
However, some students are not giving up without a challenge.
On Monday morning, attorney Jeffrey Kessler, who defended Tom Brady in the Deflategate scandal, sent a letter to university president Dr. Chris Howard warning of possible legal action if the university does not reinstate its varsity hockey programs.READ MORE: Group Launches GoFundMe Page To Save RMU Hockey Programs
Kessler alleges senior leaders concealed their plans to cut the programs and did so without a proper vote from the board of trustees. He’s also claiming the university continued recruiting and admitting student-athletes to their hockey teams even though they knew the team would eventually be disbanded.
Kessler hopes senior leadership will reconsider their decision before his clients suit up.
“The objective is to work this out. The objective is to raise money from others and do whatever is necessary to make this a win for Pittsburgh, for the community, for the schools, their families. And that’s what they hope happens. If that doesn’t happen, then they have their legal rights to assert,” said Kessler.MORE NEWS: Robert Morris President Chris Howard Says There Are No Plans To Bring Back Men’s And Women’s Ice Hockey Teams
Kessler has not laid down a hard deadline for RMU to respond but he says discussions need to happen soon or else further legal action will be taken. KDKA’s Royce Jones reached out to the university. A representative says they have received a copy of the letter and it’s under review.