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MikeAnderson
03-30-2010, 10:03 AM
The NCAA can, however, change these rules so that you may only play Division I competition in any sport if you are a full member of Division I.

Exactly. And NCAA Bylaw 18.2.3 states that a minimum of 40 sponsoring institutions are required for a divisional championship. There are currently 36 full Division I members playing men's ice hockey.

Though, in practice, the Division I championship would likely dissolve and become the "National Collegiate Championship," with all Division I and Division II members being eligible. I think the big difference would be that the Division II members would have to follow Division II rules regarding schedule and financial aid limitations.*

* I am not a compliance director.

joecct
03-30-2010, 11:19 AM
...The NCAA can, however, change these rules so that you may only play Division I competition in any sport if you are a full member of Division I. So this means the following teams would either need to upgrade their programs to Division I, or play Division II or III hockey: St. Cloud, Mankato, Bemidji, Colorado College, Alaska-Anchorage, Michigan Tech, Minnesota-Duluth, Alaska, Nebraska-Omaha, Northern Michigan, Lake Superior, Ferris State, Merrimack, Mass-Lowell, Clarkson, Union, RPI, St. Lawrence, Mercyhurst, AIC, Bentley, RIT and Alabama-Huntsville.

In other words, if such legislation were passed tomorrow, more than 1/3 of the current D-I membership would be gone. The WCHA would be down to 4 teams, and probably have to merge with the 7 team CCHA just to stay viable. The Eastern leagues would be OK.

D-II would be a mess; although there's enough teams for a good sized Western conference, there'd be no anchors like Michigan or Minnesota to gravitate around, and then there's the problem of the Alaskas. Mercyhurst would probably get stuck with the Western group, as the Northeast Ten would probably close ranks around its full membership. And it's still practically unviable by the numbers. There's only like 22 teams that would be there.

In D-III, the ECAC West would at least get its autobid back. But Colorado College would be more of an island than it already is (where it at least currently has 2 friends out west, and UNO is a long but doable bus ride). They'd be my #1 choice to apply for a full upgrade.

So, yeah, a cluster-*******.With D-I hockey effectively closed to new members as all conferences are at (or close to) the max of 12 teams, something has to give if we want to expand the number of colleges playing NCAA ice hockey. There are only 2 solutions, form another conference or get rid of some of your current members in favor of higher profile (more $$) members.

D-II needs 50 sponsoring schools to hold a national championship. If D-I kicks the D-II's out, there is still not enough to form a strictly D-II NCAA championship, so I don't know what happens save having all the D-III's play up @ D-II (can they do that??).

D-III, on the other hand, would be in fine shape. However, the ECAC-West would NOT get the autobid as we have the Liberty League already in place:
Clarkson
St. Lawrence
RPI
Union
Skidmore
Hobart
RIT (coming soon)

That's 7 teams from an existing conference and an instant (after the cleansing period for the play-ups is over) AQ!

kingdobbs
03-30-2010, 12:02 PM
With D-I hockey effectively closed to new members as all conferences are at (or close to) the max of 12 teams, something has to give if we want to expand the number of colleges playing NCAA ice hockey. There are only 2 solutions, form another conference or get rid of some of your current members in favor of higher profile (more $$) members.

Well, bear in mind that this would be a decision made by the NCAA and imposed upon ice hockey (who would be, with only a few exceptions, the most adversely affected; PR wise it'd be a disaster for the NCAA), not something the hockey schools would do to themselves. Splitting the divisions would benefit no one, and it would make it not a whit easier to address the issue of sponsorship numbers.


D-II needs 50 sponsoring schools to hold a national championship. If D-I kicks the D-II's out, there is still not enough to form a strictly D-II NCAA championship, so I don't know what happens save having all the D-III's play up @ D-II (can they do that??).

Mike posted the likely scenario. The three divisions agree to conduct two championships, one as the "National Collegiate Championship" (which would include the 53 current D-I and D-II playups, and the six D-II playdowns, and would make CC, CCT, SLU, RPI and Union play in D-III), and then a separate Division III (nothing says, according to my reading of the appropriate by-laws, that D-III has to agree to join the NCC for it to start, just that it has to be involved in the decision). Women's hockey already uses this structure, although they obviously do not force playdowns yet (the hypothetical change in legislation would do that for them, though).


D-III, on the other hand, would be in fine shape. However, the ECAC-West would NOT get the autobid as we have the Liberty League already in place:
Clarkson
St. Lawrence
RPI
Union
Skidmore
Hobart
RIT (coming soon)

That's 7 teams from an existing conference and an instant (after the cleansing period for the play-ups is over) AQ!

You're right, I forgot about the LL as a possibility, but I question whether it'd be more beneficial to the members as assembled. A 10 team ECAC West including the old playups would be pretty powerful on its own.

bigmrg74
03-31-2010, 11:37 AM
All CC would have to do is move up to D2 and join the RMAC for their other D2 sports. They dropped football a while back because they were blowing a lot of cash shipping them to Texas and back to play some D3's there. In the greater Colorado area, there's the D2 RMAC League, of which, Colorado College was an orginal member of that league, back before the NCAA really had given much thought to the whole idea of divisions. If Push ever really came to Shove, CC would be totally stupid to keep its one big money maker from being able to play with Denver.

I would also think that the New York area D3's that play up would likely give D2 a long hard look as well to keep their Hockey programs skating with the big boys as well.

Freddie
03-31-2010, 11:53 AM
16 team field.
58 eligible D1 schools.
5044 average attend. at this year's regional championship games.
14,526 average capacity for the four regional venues.
1,346,806 threads suggesting expansion of tournament field.

Priceless!:eek:

kingdobbs
03-31-2010, 12:39 PM
All CC would have to do is move up to D2 and join the RMAC for their other D2 sports. They dropped football a while back because they were blowing a lot of cash shipping them to Texas and back to play some D3's there. In the greater Colorado area, there's the D2 RMAC League, of which, Colorado College was an orginal member of that league, back before the NCAA really had given much thought to the whole idea of divisions. If Push ever really came to Shove, CC would be totally stupid to keep its one big money maker from being able to play with Denver.

That's why I say they're the likeliest candidate.


I would also think that the New York area D3's that play up would likely give D2 a long hard look as well to keep their Hockey programs skating with the big boys as well.

D-I might actually be the better option, though, assuming they get a chance to make the move. D-2 has something of a gap in coverage in upstate New York, and no real viable options for conference membership short of convincing the two upstate members (St. Rose and LeMoyne, in Albany and Syracuse respectively), and maybe St. Michael's in Vermont, to hop from the NE-10 (which is actually a nicely compact "Adirondack square" conference, plus RIT). They'll have to force most of their Olympic sports to travel to schools in the PSAC, Northeast-Ten or East Coast Conference (which is very NYC-centric); not a huge stretch for RPI or Union, but definitely will put the hurt on Clarkson and SLU.

For the upstate schools, D-I has slightly better non-conference options (and slightly richer, as well, because they can score money games with Big East opponents), assuming they can get a chance to make that move; just off the top of my head, there's Colgate, Cornell, Syracuse, Siena, Buffalo, Binghamton, UAlbany, Canisius, Niagara, UVM, UMass, and St. Bonaventure within a day's bus trip for the North Country guys. It'd still suck mightily for SLU football, though. And conference membership would be, of course, very thorny. There might be room for all the teams, but not together.

redhawkman10
03-31-2010, 12:56 PM
No tournament expansion (or reduction) until there are more teams playing D-1 hockey.

College hockey growth is moving along at a good pace. The main event is a sell out no matter who's playing (and if Detroit does well - it'll also be no matter where its held). Give the 4 regionals some time and the attendence will follow. In particular they need to work out where those are held (Ft. Wayne?). However, things are looking good with one exception. With little or no openings in existing conferences, I do wonder how easy it'll be for a new program to get up and running.

Really, really against cutting the tournament back. Every year some team is going to make it that maybe shouldn't have, but that's not a major problem. I like the no first round byes so every team has to win 4 games for the title. Also with a 12 team tournament if there's a couple of upsets in conference championships (think ECAC and Atlantic Hockey) a really good team on the cusp of the top 10 gets royally screwed. I don't think the sport benefits from that happening.

Whats wrong with Ft. Wayne? Having Miami and Michigan there was perfectly fine, both schools within 2 hr driving distances so that location was perfect and it really is a nice venue to watch a game, I thought. The attendance there for the regional final would of doubled had the game time not been at 8 PM on a sunday night....:rolleyes: