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Thread: University of Illinois

  1. #1
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    University of Illinois

    So it looks like the NHL is going to announce tonight the financing of a study targeted at adding D1 hockey at U of Illinois. I wasn't aware of it, but they already have a (admittedly old and only 2000 seat) rink on campus and their ACHA men's club team regularly sells out games. AD is on record as saying that it would take something similar to the $100M Pegula gift at Penn State to get hockey started at UI because they would need a new and better rink. So admittedly a real long shot (NHL is going to sponsor studies at 4 other TBD schools as well).

    All that being said, let's assume somehow it happens (they use the existing rink to start, NHL ponies up some money, donor comes forward, etc.). Presumably this throws Title IX at UI out of whack and they may have to add a women's sport. Would it be women's ice hockey or, after the UND experience, something else? If they added WIH, does the Big Ten conference then form (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Penn State, Illinois) without an autobid?

    Summer is here - discuss.....

  2. #2
    #SOAR TonyTheTiger20's Avatar
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    Re: University of Illinois

    Quote Originally Posted by HockeyEast33 View Post
    So it looks like the NHL is going to announce tonight the financing of a study targeted at adding D1 hockey at U of Illinois. I wasn't aware of it, but they already have a (admittedly old and only 2000 seat) rink on campus and their ACHA men's club team regularly sells out games. AD is on record as saying that it would take something similar to the $100M Pegula gift at Penn State to get hockey started at UI because they would need a new and better rink. So admittedly a real long shot (NHL is going to sponsor studies at 4 other TBD schools as well).

    All that being said, let's assume somehow it happens (they use the existing rink to start, NHL ponies up some money, donor comes forward, etc.). Presumably this throws Title IX at UI out of whack and they may have to add a women's sport. Would it be women's ice hockey or, after the UND experience, something else? If they added WIH, does the Big Ten conference then form (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Penn State, Illinois) without an autobid?

    Summer is here - discuss.....
    The women's Big Ten conference wouldn't form until there are 6 teams... but it's definitely an interesting thought on whether Illinois would start a women's team at the same time.
    Last edited by TonyTheTiger20; 06-23-2017 at 02:03 PM.

  3. #3
    2009 NCAA Champions Sean Pickett's Avatar
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    Re: University of Illinois

    My thoughts are that the women's WCHA is very much a cost containment league and unless forced to the current B1G teams in the league will not leave it. That said, Illinois is closer than OSU, so if they started a program in the near future I think they could get an invite to join the WCHA. Now if that happened I can see Penn State getting upset...

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  4. #4
    #SOAR TonyTheTiger20's Avatar
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    Re: University of Illinois

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Pickett View Post
    My thoughts are that the women's WCHA is very much a cost containment league and unless forced to the current B1G teams in the league will not leave it. That said, Illinois is closer than OSU, so if they started a program in the near future I think they could get an invite to join the WCHA.
    Particularly with UND dropping the sport

  5. #5
    lucky penguin
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    Re: University of Illinois

    Quote Originally Posted by HockeyEast33 View Post

    All that being said, let's assume somehow it happens (they use the existing rink to start, NHL ponies up some money, donor comes forward, etc.). Presumably this throws Title IX at UI out of whack and they may have to add a women's sport. Would it be women's ice hockey or, after the UND experience, something else? If they added WIH, does the Big Ten conference then form (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Penn State, Illinois) without an autobid?

    Summer is here - discuss.....
    They won't use the existing arena at all, and they won't get any financial help from the NHL beyond what they just got. They will have to add another women's sport, but haven't decided if it's hockey or something else. That's likely part of the study in terms of figuring out what it would cost for women's hockey vs. women's lacrosse/water polo/bowling, and then figuring out how much they'll be able to raise in donations.

    The Big Ten would need six teams before they even thought about it. But if they had six, that would be interesting. For most of the schools, travel costs would probably be a wash, if not improved. Minnesota would have to be dragged kicking and screaming, but ultimately they don't have a choice in the matter if the conference wants it to happen.
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