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slowe
02-29-2012, 11:44 AM
I've been curious about something for a while now. Atlantic Hockey limits the amount of scholarships that they offer at 12, correct? It's pretty well known that at least a few schools have tried voting for increased limits, and even potentially wanting to leave the league. Can it be narrowed down who falls into which camp?

Want increased scholarships
Canisius
Mercyhurst
Niagara
Robert Morris

Don't want increased scholarships (speculation)
Air Force
AIC
Army
Bentley
UCONN
Holy Cross
RIT
Sacred Heart

I'm only basing this on the rumors that the four that do explored the possibility of joining with Ferris and Bowling Green during the realignment to form some kind of remodeled CCHA. I heard that maybe airforce was interested, but no one usually mentions them as wanting more scholarships. I heard also that RIT was asked and said no.

Theoretically UCONN is exploring Hockey East so that would of course take a boost to their program.

What about the programs that don't? RIT is playing up. Are they even allowed to grant scholarships, or did they start playing up after the rule, hence no grandfathering in? Holy Cross and Sacred Heart just strapped for cash? What about army?

Mostly just curious as to what the future might hold for this conference. I'd like to see every team improve their program if they want to, but it seems like a philosophy split like this could cause problems at some point...

FlagDUDE08
02-29-2012, 12:03 PM
RIT is not grandfathered, as they went D-I in 2005, and the scholarship rule was put into place around 1991 or so. Army and Air Force already technically offer full scholarships to every student in their respective academies, as it is entirely government subsidized.

However, when there was a recent vote to increase scholarships to 13, 7 were in favor.

CLS
02-29-2012, 12:08 PM
Don't want increased scholarships (?)
Air Force
...
Army
Seems to me that Air Force and Army are unique cases and the question of athletic scholarships doesn't even apply. If they want to complain about their higher admissions standards, or argue that restricting the number of athletic scholarships that the other schools can offer is a quid pro quo for the restrictions they have on admissions standards and/or restrictions on career opportunities that Air Force and Army can offer, I understand, but opposing other schools' offering more athletic scholarships on its own seems rather hypocritical to me.

slowe
02-29-2012, 12:24 PM
OK, so it seems like the vote is pretty close. I really have no idea who voted how, but that's what I'd like to call on everyone else for.

It's just an interesting league to watch. It doesn't get quite the same respect as other leagues and the programs are all very different, many with unique situations. I get the impression they are all more together by circumstance than because they are "like minded institutions." Some are programs trying to move up and improve, you have the two armed forces, and some smaller financially restricted programs.

Given they could still be affected by realignment (directly or by domino of Hockey East picking #12) and an existing desire for change in the league they could have an interesting summer.

AFHockeyFan
02-29-2012, 01:04 PM
I heard that maybe airforce was interested, but no one usually mentions them as wanting more scholarships.

Interesting topic--one that has come up repeatedly with the demise of the CHA and the expansion of the AHA. I think, in general, the eastern schools are committed to a "cost containment" model while the western schools are intent on growing their programs.

For Air Force, which, like Army, grants full scholarships (yet one finished first and one finished last!), I don't think they have a dog in this fight. On the one hand, fewer scholarships means weaker opponents, but it also means an overall weaker league, which doesn't help anyone. The AHA started winning NCAA tournament games on a consistent basis (3 of the last 6 first rounds and two more OT losses) about the same time the league became more competitive internally.

The western "pod" has pretty much taken over the league, (despite the best efforts of the commissioner's office) which doesn't sit well with a lot of the eastern schools. I think we'll have two leagues here before long, once the rest of realignment shakes itself out.

slowe
02-29-2012, 01:36 PM
I think we'll have two leagues here before long, once the rest of realignment shakes itself out.

I'm wondering the same thing, but thinking we'd need to see a few new programs before that really happens. I think that's one reason why it hasn't happened yet. Mercyhurst, Niagara, etc aren't going to split off into a six team league for fear of another College Hockey America situation. I'm sure they'd like a new program or two to help with the numbers. Also the (new) WCHA won't be please if Ferris or Bowling Green look to split off as they won't have that many programs. Plus what happens to the left behind teams like AIC or Sacred Heart? They might have enough schools left to keep an autobid, but it would be a league on the brink.

There is definitely a split in the league, but that's why I'd like to see the Atlantic go full scholarships in the near future. Hopefully the programs that want to could develop, attract stronger recruits, etc. It would certainly be a detriment to a few schools focusing on cost containment, but better than losing those that want to improve to another league.

RSTuthill
02-29-2012, 03:40 PM
Curious as to why Canisius would want more scholarships. They don't draw and they don't have a building.

FlagDUDE08
02-29-2012, 03:41 PM
Curious as to why Canisius would want more scholarships. They don't draw and they don't have a building.

I thought Terry Pegula is building a practice facility for the Sabres that Canisius will be able to use to play their games?

slowe
02-29-2012, 04:14 PM
Curious as to why Canisius would want more scholarships. They don't draw and they don't have a building.

To be fair I don't have any inside info or quotes that Canisius wants more scholarships. I mainly listed them in the column of wanting more scholarships because rumor put those four schools together as exploring creating a new league with Bowling Green and Ferris. So yes, I am re-hashing a few old rumors to some extent.

Previous Discussion (http://board.uscho.com/showthread.php?96921-Buffalo-Bulls-varsity-men-s-ice-hockey)

At the time there was a lot of talk on these boards as to it being "well known" those four schools are upset with the 12 scholarship limit. I think that's what lent a little credibility to the hypothetical situation of these four breaking away. From my point of view, if Canisius did get a new rink and they were in a stronger league, they could definitely be seen as a school on the rise. They also have a rivalry with Niagara so I'm sure they would want to follow them.

Again, the main reason for re-hashing is just looking for help to sort through fact and fiction to predict where Atlantic may go.

FlagDUDE08
02-29-2012, 04:19 PM
To be fair I don't have any inside info or quotes that Canisius wants more scholarships. I mainly listed them in the column of wanting more scholarships because rumor put those four schools together as exploring creating a new league with Bowling Green and Ferris. So yes, I am re-hashing a few old rumors to some extent.

Previous Discussion (http://board.uscho.com/showthread.php?96921-Buffalo-Bulls-varsity-men-s-ice-hockey)

At the time there was a lot of talk on these boards as to it being "well known" those four schools are upset with the 12 scholarship limit. I think that's what lent a little credibility to the hypothetical situation of these four breaking away. From my point of view, if Canisius did get a new rink and they were in a stronger league, they could definitely be seen as a school on the rise. They also have a rivalry with Niagara so I'm sure they would want to follow them.

Again, the main reason for re-hashing is just looking for help to sort through fact and fiction to predict where Atlantic may go.

Given the western hoopla is pretty much over, I'd say not much will change unless a team gets poached from either AHA or the ECAC to join Hockey East. If it's from the ECAC, look for RIT to try to assume the 12th position there, as they'd be with at least 3 and possibly 4 Liberty League rivals (depending on who gets poached, as RPI has been a possibility).

slowe
02-29-2012, 04:33 PM
Slightly off topic, but I became curious about the Canisius rink situation. Found a good article from the school paper dated 12/8/11.

No progress on rink discussions this semester
(http://www.thegriffincanisius.com/sports/no-progress-on-rink-discussions-this-semester-1.2732053)

AD Bill Maher:

"There's not much to report there," he says. "The Sabres continue to look at a number of options. We've continued to have discussions with them, but at this time, there's really been no change and no meetings with the Sabres organization."

C-Block (Student fan section) Vice President James Millard

I think it would be good for the school to have our own rink on campus for two reasons," Millard said. "One, fan attendance would skyrocket. Driving 5-10 minutes to Buff State may not seem like a big deal, [but] people would walk over just for the fun."

Secondly, and more importantly: "You would attract a much larger audience when scouting. I ate lunch with head coach Dave Smith a couple weeks ago and he said that's one of the main reasons people turn Canisius down when they're looking at schools, because we don't have our own rink."

kingdobbs
02-29-2012, 05:41 PM
Mercyhurst, Niagara and Robert Morris are definitely in favor of an increase.

Canisius is viewed as similarly in favor, and to my knowledge offers scholarships, but it's my estimation that:
1) They do not offer up to the current limit;
2) They aren't really in favor of increasing the limit, but they'd do so if it meant staying in league with their western partners.

RIT does not offer scholarships, and could not until they move to a division which allows scholarships, but they are in favor AFAIK because they do not perceive themselves having trouble competing without them. They would also like to maintain a league with solid regional partners, but could live or die without it.

Air Force and Army are a special case with regards to scholarships; they both do, and can't, give athletic scholarships, since all students there are on scholarship from their respective branch of service (repaid by a post-graduate term of service). They recruit student-athletes, to be sure, but all candidates must meet the academy's stringent terms of entry, so they can't precisely recruit people at-will. Any vote on scholarships won't affect them in any way, so they would vote based on the strength of the teams in league. Air Force definitely wants as competitive a grouping as possible, and would vote yes. Army would be content in any grouping, but would prefer to be with Air Force.

Sacred Heart, is, as I understand it, probably isn't in favor of the limits, but more out of self-interest. They're on a tight budget, but are willing to put as much money as they can into the program. They jumped at the chance to apply for the ECAC during the UVM move, for instance, even though their candidacy was IMO a long shot. I think they play with as close to a full load as possible, and would continue to do so if they had the money.

Holy Cross is the first school I see as leaning "no". The school does offer hockey scholarships as of 2009 (and are phasing them in over a four year period; next year would be the first year of play at the maximum league limit), but I think they'd be just as comfortable not doing so (they cited staying competitive as the primary reason they did). They are a founding member of the Patriot League, but as that league's philosophy has become more and more relaxed on athletic scholarships, so has the school's. I don't think they'd go to 18 right away, but might phase them in.

UConn is, at current, a definite no. They offer no scholarships, and would probably oppose an increase on competitive grounds. However, the school is known to be evaluating the possibility of fully funding hockey and/or pursuing an invite to Hockey East, so their attitude may change in the near future.

AIC and Bentley offer scholarships, but would probably oppose an increase on financial and competitive grounds.

If I had to speculate on the 7-5 vote taken last year: Mercyhurst, Robert Morris, RIT, Niagara, Air Force, Army and Canisius voted yes, Sacred Heart, Holy Cross, UConn, AIC and Bentley voted no.

TigerFan86-87
03-01-2012, 01:38 PM
I thought Terry Pegula is building a practice facility for the Sabres that Canisius will be able to use to play their games?
...If CC was able to come up with half the cost (rumor had it being around $15 million)

ADK11
03-01-2012, 01:48 PM
AIC and Bentley offer scholarships, but would probably oppose an increase on financial and competitive grounds.
Does AIC actually offer scholarships? It sure doesn't look like they do..