Life certainly isn’t fair. We all know that. Bad things happen to good people all of the time.

But, this is ridiculous.

Once again, the dysfunctionality of the City of Atlantic City has affected a great institution and a great man.

Stockton University has been very good to and for Atlantic City.

In return, the City of Atlantic City keeps messing around with Stockton.

First, the City pulled the plug on Stockton University’s use of the boat house for its rowing programs.

Now, the City has hurt the men’s ice hockey program.

Alan Rhoads was a former Stockton University men’s ice hockey player, who became the head coach and took the program to new heights.

The Ospreys were off to a great 5-2 start this season, when without warning Rhoads was unjustly banned from entering the Atlantic City Skate Zone ice rink facility.

Suddenly, the head coach could not attend practice or home games, which essentially took the head coach away from the Stockton program.

It’s not a coincidence that Stockton has gone 2-5 since Rhoads was basically forced to leave the program.

Rhoads banishment was the result of participating in a meeting at the Atlantic City Skate Zone. The meeting took place in an open space area … that the ice rink management considered forbidden space … that was not a part of Stockton’s contract for ice rink rental time.

Rhoads explained to me last week that no one else who attended this meeting faced facility banishment.

If you missed our earlier coverage about Rhoads’ banishment, here is a link below to catch-up.

Read More: Atlantic City Ice Rink Bans Stockton University Head Hockey Coach

In this exclusive report, we can now confirm that Stockton University has fired Rhoads as men’s ice hockey team head coach, advising him that “your services are no longer required."

It’s an unjust ending for a former team player, who grew to become head coach of the program.

I have directly heard from a number of parents and others within the Stockton University ice hockey team community.

They are outraged about Rhoads’ banishment and very supportive of Coach Rhoads.

I can’t imagine how they will feel after learning here about Rhoads’ termination?

Here are the first exclusive comments from Rhoads since his termination.

”It is with great sadness, after years of pouring my heart into Stockton's Ice Hockey program, as a player and then as a coach, that I will no longer be leading our team,” said Rhoads.

“It is also deeply unfortunate that our student-athletes and their dedicated families, ultimately bare the consequences of this wrongdoing,” said Rhoads.

“Growing up just a few streets away from the Skatezone, on Dover Avenue, I remember the first time I stepped on the ice in 2001. I'm incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of so many throughout my tenure; just as so many have made a difference in mine,” said Rhoads.

“The Stockton University Men's Ice Hockey team, as well as our incredible ice rink community, simply deserve better,” said Rhoads.

Rhoads also addressed the following topics, saying that “at the very least, it deserves to be told the truth.”

  • What are the long term plans for our ice rink community?
  • Will the $15 million dollar Civic Center that DEEM has promised to build include an ice rink? If so, who will own it and who will operate it? Where will it be located?
  • Are these plans optimal for our ice rink community and our local economy?

“That I have the courage to ask these questions is the real reason for my ban,” said Rhoads.

The move to ban Rhoads from the Atlantic City Skate Zone facility left Stockton University in an untenable position. I wish they would have stood firm and supported their head coach.

However, how could they move forward with a head coach who is banned from the facility where their team practices and plays its home games?

Always a statesman and a gentleman … Rhoads, the consummate professional told me … “In fairness, if their coach can't coach, what are their options?”

It’s a brutally unfair situation for Stockton University and Rhoads to contend with.

“I've spent years building up this program and fighting to protect it, both as a player and as a coach. To suggest that this is what is best for our students, I think, is absurd. Nevertheless, the choice has been made, said Rhoads.

However, understandably, Rhoads is leaving all of his options ooen moving forward.

“My family and I are still digesting all of this, but I now have the unfortunate obligation to consult with attorneys and determine the best course of action moving forward,” concluded Rhoads.

Here are photos of Rhoads as a Stockton player in 2011 and as head coach more than a decade later:

Alan Rhoads photo.
Alan Rhoads photo.
Alan Rhoads photo.
Alan Rhoads photo.

Atlantic City Area: Readers Share Favorite Childhood Memories

Gallery Credit: Harry Hurley

Steel Pier

Gallery Credit: Harry Hurley

Do You Remember Adventure Village in EHT?

Gallery Credit: Harry Hurley


More From WPG Talk Radio 95.5 FM