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Thread: New WCHA is dead

  1. #1
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    New WCHA is dead

    Thought it would happen eventually but not as soon as it did. This league must have been bleeding red ink way more than anyone thought. Doesn't help that the two Alaska schools are on perennial life support.

    Does this kill the UAH arena plans?

    https://bgsufalcons.com/news/2019/6/...filiation.aspx

    Seven prominent NCAA Division I men's hockey playing institutions have announced the exploration of a new Division I men's hockey conference that would begin play with the 2021-2022 season. The seven institutions include: Bemidji State University; Bowling Green State University; Ferris State University; Lake Superior State University; Michigan Technological University; Minnesota State University, Mankato; and Northern Michigan University.

    FULL STATEMENT (PDF)
    The group is comprised of institutions rich in history and tradition with a strong commitment to academic and athletic excellence. They are like-minded in their goals and aspirations for the potential new league with a focus on improving regional alignment and the overall student-athlete experience while building natural rivalries within a more compact geographic footprint.

    The potential new conference is also committed to providing the best possible collegiate hockey experience for its student-athletes, fans, and all stakeholders. Finally, the group would plan to establish itself as an elite hockey conference that would have the highest standards for overall competitiveness and rigorous non-conference scheduling, along with a level of institutional investment that demonstrates significant commitment to their hockey programs and facilities, while also establishing relationships with corporate partners and others that create a high degree of visibility and positive media exposure for the league.

    As current members of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) men's league, the schools have independently submitted formal Letters of Notice to the conference office, initiating the withdrawal process in accordance with WCHA Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws. The institutions will continue to play in the WCHA during the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 seasons.

    The seven institutions have engaged Dr. Morris Kurtz, a long-time athletics administrator and noted athletics and hockey consultant, to serve as spokesperson and to assist them as the group sets out to transform the college hockey landscape.

    During these initial stages of developing the potential new conference there will be no further comment from these institutions, including Presidents, Athletic Directors, and Coaches. Media inquiries should be directed to Dr. Kurtz.

  2. #2
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    Re: New WCHA is dead

    Wow, not sure how I feel about this........
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    Re: New WCHA is dead

    Interested to see if the Alaska teams, ASU, UAH form a new conference of their own with a couple of western schools to make the jump.
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    Re: New WCHA is dead

    As a University of Alaska, Anchorage Alumni, I am very sad to see this happen. I am very sad to see the Governor of Alaska just slash 135M from the UA operating budget. This might kill athletics anyway. This is pretty distressing time.

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    Re: New WCHA is dead

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfman View Post
    As a University of Alaska, Anchorage Alumni, I am very sad to see this happen. I am very sad to see the Governor of Alaska just slash 135M from the UA operating budget. This might kill athletics anyway. This is pretty distressing time.
    As an outsider looking in, when the Seawolves announced the move back on campus, I felt things didn't look good. The press release said financial challenges made it necessary, but then in the next paragraph they announced that they would work to upgrade the on campus rink from 750 to the WCHA standard of 2500. That to me sounds like some serious cash would be needed.
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    Re: New WCHA is dead

    Frankly, it looks to me like the two Alaska schools are cooked. And if this new league doesn't add UAH to round things out to 8 teams, they're likely toast as well.
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    Re: New WCHA is dead

    I always thought that shedding the flights to Alaska and Alabama were on the minds of the more successful schools and going backwards to play in the small on campus arena in Alaska may have been the last straw. I have a hard time thinking that all of those three schools will survive this. I doubt Arizona State wants to form a conference with these three and who would join them to make up 6?

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    Re: New WCHA is dead

    I suppose money is driving this (to some degree as it should) but what are the plans for the remainder? Huntsville & the Alaska teams? Hmmm....geographically this is more sound. How soon for an automatic bid or would the WCHA's transfer? Are Mankato and Bowling Green satisfied with this or is this just a stepping stone?

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    Re: New WCHA is dead

    Quote Originally Posted by Dirty Dream No. 2 View Post
    Thought it would happen eventually but not as soon as it did. This league must have been bleeding red ink way more than anyone thought. Doesn't help that the two Alaska schools are on perennial life support.

    Does this kill the UAH arena plans?

    https://bgsufalcons.com/news/2019/6/...filiation.aspx
    The arena is also for basketball and volleyball and is part of a larger development, so it's hard to say what it means for that just yet.

    Right now, my initial reaction is just anger.
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    Re: New WCHA is dead

    The recent announcements from the Alaska schools were probably the straw that broke the camel's back on this one. I believe that those programs did intend to keep going until something stopped them (funding). And it seems that there is likely reason to believe that the funding just won't be there for those schools.

    I get why Huntsville is being dropped, but I am not a supporter of that move. I believe that they have backed up their commitment to NCAA Hockey in the South and deserve a place. I'm not sure what kind of financial hole that having UAH around was putting other teams in. Obviously that is the likely reason for their inclusion in this as well. It's a way to cut ties, but the manner similar to what the NACHO pulled and that is NOT cool
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    Re: New WCHA is dead

    just.....dammn.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammer View Post
    Frankly, it looks to me like the two Alaska schools are cooked. And if this new league doesn't add UAH to round things out to 8 teams, they're likely toast as well.
    Could also be a "step up, or step out" message to the three schools not involved and the current WCHA adminstration.

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    Re: New WCHA is dead

    I don't see any way forward for the Alaska schools and UAH. It's one thing for a big D1 school like Arizona State to play as an independent. I can't see that being a long term option for these three and with their closest "friends" leaving them, there are no logical candidates to form a conference with them. Unless you think the NCHC could afford to absorb them. Seems like a pipe dream.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.D. View Post
    I don't see any way forward for the Alaska schools and UAH. It's one thing for a big D1 school like Arizona State to play as an independent. I can't see that being a long term option for these three and with their closest "friends" leaving them, there are no logical candidates to form a conference with them. Unless you think the NCHC could afford to absorb them. Seems like a pipe dream.
    Pipe dream. NCHC wanted to get away from having the Alaska schools.

    I think this is pretty much the death notice of the Alaska hockey programs. UAH to the AHA maybe? Be a tough sell but might be only hope to surviving.

    I’d say this is a billboard to Arizona State, you are welcome to join us.

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    Re: New WCHA is dead

    Quote Originally Posted by SiouxFanatic View Post
    Pipe dream. NCHC wanted to get away from having the Alaska schools.

    I think this is pretty much the death notice of the Alaska hockey programs. UAH to the AHA maybe? Be a tough sell but might be only hope to surviving.

    I’d say this is a billboard to Arizona State, you are welcome to join us.
    I'm very disappointed in this announcement. Tech has always done things to support other schools, for them to bail like this is just the worst..
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    Re: New WCHA is dead

    Today has been an interesting day. The Governor announced $130m cut to the UA system (through a veto of the legislature’s operating budget), and both Alaska schools (along with UAH) have been kicked off the WCHA island.

    Even if the legislature overrides the Gov vetos (which I think they will for many reasons), and the breakup of the WCHA is put on hold, we are toast. It’s been tough enough the last few years to recruit. Announcements to move back on campus into very poor facilities with promised plans to upgrade in the near future does not help. What self-respecting recruit would come north now?

    I would kill the program Monday and give coaches and kids their walking papers. I’d tell the WCHA to pound sand if they came looking for penalties.

    That means the end of hockey at both schools, but the end of all sports for UAF. UAA has enough sports to still meet NCAA minimum requirements, but maybe not the budget. But it would be hard to leave one of the nicest DII sports arenas in the country sit idle. This development also fits into the plan to streamline and consolidate the three campuses into one accredited UA system.
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  17. #17
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    Re: New WCHA is dead

    A new CCHA?
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    Re: New WCHA is dead

    Quote Originally Posted by SiouxFanatic View Post

    I’d say this is a billboard to Arizona State, you are welcome to join us.
    This would be the only silver lining in this whole debacle, IMO.

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    Re: New WCHA is dead

    Quote Originally Posted by mmf View Post
    This development also fits into the plan to streamline and consolidate the three campuses into one accredited UA system.
    The only sane solution, it would seem to me. I never understood why UAF wanted to rebrand themselves to disassociate with the UA system.

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    Re: New WCHA is dead

    My first thought is “well f- you too!” Pretty much throwing three schools under the bus. This after both Alaska schools have started making moves to get themselves out of expensive arena situations and start making themselves more competitive. Stable conference membership would help with the budget situation and that just got cut off.

    This ends the programs at UAA and UAF no doubt. Echoing MMF the news today likely means the athletic program itself is gone at UAF. Plus it f-s Huntsville just when things were starting to get stabilized.

    Should’ve just left the schools to die years ago instead of teasing them along.


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