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In Club Hockey League, Meager Funding Doesn’t Kill Appetite for Competition -

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The biggest difference between the A.C.H.A.’s teams and the 59 N.C.A.A. Division I programs is financing: Most club teams receive no money from their universities’ athletic departments.

Players receive no scholarships other than financial aid, and they typically pay a fee to play. Depending on the level of support they receive from the university and student services, that fee can range from a couple of hundred dollars per player to a few thousand. It is used to pay for coaches, ice time and travel.

Just traveling to the national tournament was an ordeal for many teams. Central Oklahoma spent 26 straight hours on a bus.

“It cost us $13,000 just to get here,” Coach Craig McAlister said.

Asked where the money came from, he mentioned the $1,700 fee each player had to pay, as well as money the team raised by selling advertisements in programs and on the boards at its home rink.

“All the little things,” he said. “Plus, we don’t buy something new every year.”

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