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Thread: Project 70

  1. #1
    Rodent of Unusual Size Patman's Avatar
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    Project 70

    I'm taking a riff on the "should college hockey grow" thread. I started thinking... well, with all this talk shouldn't there be a "next threshold" goal... loosely, within college hockey. College hockey held at about 42-44 teams or so until the abandonment of the D-II championship AND the implementation of a rule that required D-I schools to field only D-I teams in their sponsored sports. In between now and then most of the expansion (or contraction for that matter) has been occasional with varying degrees of success. This is to say that college hockey hasn't had much of an explicit expansion period and that which did occur was brought about through other circumstances.

    So... say one were to put their feelers out. What kind of information would you want to gather on schools to judge which ones would be apt to make the jump? Could we get some form of inside look either from club athletes or others who know the place/school/region better? Which schools really aren't in Title IX trouble?

    I'm just throwing this out there. I figure there's enough club hockey players and former players that if one really wanted a large national assessment on the cheap it could be done.
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    Re: Project 70

    IMO, it's more about conferences than Title IX.

    Bear with me here. Title IX dictates (IIRC) that equal opportunities are for both sexes. So if one fields a college hockey team for men, one could satisfy the Title IX requirement by fielding a women's softball team, for example. Please correct me if I am wrong on this, as it is a main component for the rest of my post.

    So, let's say Penn St decides to go D1 in hockey. Where do they go for a conference? If you follow the dollar (a big belief of mine and many others in the sports world), that would be the start of the cliched/forboden/etc BTHC. That is one team closer to that formation, and resulting in some mid-level teams (SCSU, MSU-M, etc) possibly eventually folding.

    In other words, the threshold isn't how many more teams, it's how many more teams, where they ended up, and would added teams eventually result in the shrinking of the college hockey world. We would have subtraction by addition in the west, whch is about 50% of the college hockey world (in money/fame) as we know it.

    If one could get the club teams (from what I have learned through here is mostly midwest) to have their own conference, than I'd say the total team threshold resides around 70, yes. If those teams result in a push for conference realignment........I think that threshold DROPS to 50 or so. Best case, in a few years, to allow for dwindling attendance/$$$ until schools finally give up on their programs.
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    Re: Project 70

    If there was a period of expansion where schools had the money and everything else needed to start programs other "major" college's in MN start D1 programs, Moorhead, morris, SW state, Crookston, Winona and Rochester. With those you can add in NDSU and then that could be a halfway decent conference with SCSU, UND, UMD, BSU and MSU-Mankato. It would be twelve teams all with-in busing distance and there would be natural rivalries between most of them.This is what it could look like

    While it would never realistically happen it would be cool to see and there are enough schools where up to four of them (probably Rochester, sw state, Morris and Winona if i had to pick the least likely) there would still be a decent conference with a large enough talent pool to choose from.
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    Re: Project 70

    It's interesting to note that with the addition of Auburn, the entire SEC now has club hockey. There are many markets within that conference that have had success at the minor pro level with teams that have actually outdrawn many of the D-I programs. Kentucky, LSU, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Tennessee, Auburn and Alabama all would be very good draws in their markets and would garner tremendous sponsor and alumni support. No to the BTHC, Bring on the SECHC!!! Roll Tide!!!
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    Re: Project 70

    If I recall correctly, there are three ways that you can comply with Title IX. You can have representation that is proportional to the percentage of each gender at the school; you can be making “satisfactory progress”; or you can show that you’ve satisfied all the demand for the underrepresented gender. The third is very difficult to establish. I’m guessing that any big time football school isn’t in compliance with the first, so they have to establish “satisfactory progress”. I doubt that even a gender neutral addition of sports (for example, starting mirror-image men’s and women’s hockey) is “satisfactory progress”.

    One reason I’m not optimistic about SEC hockey is that it might have a negative effect on football (for example, donations that might go to building a new weight training facility instead going to construction of an ice rink or purchase of ice time), and that’s just never going to happen in the SEC. Club hockey, fine. That probably doesn’t even have to be gender neutral as long as you treat requests for support of men’s club hockey and women’s club hockey equally. But starting a D1 program is a different undertaking entirely.

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    Re: Project 70

    There are a lot of pie-in-the-sky suggestions out there, some are feasible, most really aren't. The idea of an SEC hockey league at any time in the next 15-20 years is an example of the latter.

    Last week Without a Peer (the RPI blog I maintain), broke down one Buffalo sportswriter's attempt to create a superleague of Buffalo-centric teams. We shot him down pretty good.
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    Re: Project 70

    Quote Originally Posted by CLS View Post
    If I recall correctly, there are three ways that you can comply with Title IX. You can have representation that is proportional to the percentage of each gender at the school...
    Isn't the female/male ratio in college growing? Those goalposts will be moving further out over time.

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    Re: Project 70

    Quote Originally Posted by RedFreak View Post
    Isn't the female/male ratio in college growing? Those goalposts will be moving further out over time.
    Good point. DU is now 56% Female/ 44% Male, despite obvious attempts by Admissions to "even things up."

    The Big Ten Expansion being discussed right now is only going to amp up the Football Arms race even more. Nebraska, Missouri and whomever else they add are joining because of Football. The inevitable shake-up throughout the major conferences will be based solely on Football marketability.

    No way would any AD at a major school consider adding hockey in this turbulent environment.
    Last edited by dggoddard; 05-17-2010 at 11:30 AM.

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    Re: Project 70

    Quote Originally Posted by dggoddard View Post
    No way would any AD at a major school consider adding hockey in this turbulent environment.
    In this economic environment, any state-school AD who added a D1 hockey program should be fired.
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    Re: Project 70

    I dont think you will see anyone add D1 hockey, unless it is a Big 10 school...and they would need to be pushed into by the others. College hockey is as big as it is going to be--- given Title IX and the finances of nearly all athletic depts

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    Re: Project 70

    Quote Originally Posted by CLS View Post
    If I recall correctly, there are three ways that you can comply with Title IX. You can have representation that is proportional to the percentage of each gender at the school; you can be making “satisfactory progress”; or you can show that you’ve satisfied all the demand for the underrepresented gender. The third is very difficult to establish. I’m guessing that any big time football school isn’t in compliance with the first, so they have to establish “satisfactory progress”. I doubt that even a gender neutral addition of sports (for example, starting mirror-image men’s and women’s hockey) is “satisfactory progress”.

    One reason I’m not optimistic about SEC hockey is that it might have a negative effect on football (for example, donations that might go to building a new weight training facility instead going to construction of an ice rink or purchase of ice time), and that’s just never going to happen in the SEC. Club hockey, fine. That probably doesn’t even have to be gender neutral as long as you treat requests for support of men’s club hockey and women’s club hockey equally. But starting a D1 program is a different undertaking entirely.
    We pretty much realize that any one of these expansion proposals is pretty much pie in the sky. But I can say that if the application to join the CCHA had been sent from Tuscaloosa instead of Huntsville, it would have carried alot greater weight.
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    Re: Project 70

    Quote Originally Posted by CLS View Post
    One reason I’m not optimistic about SEC hockey is that it might have a negative effect on football (for example, donations that might go to building a new weight training facility instead going to construction of an ice rink or purchase of ice time), and that’s just never going to happen in the SEC. Club hockey, fine. That probably doesn’t even have to be gender neutral as long as you treat requests for support of men’s club hockey and women’s club hockey equally. But starting a D1 program is a different undertaking entirely.
    What if they got support from the local hockey teams? In the discussions about the possibility of hockey in California Paul Kelly mentioned the 3 teams in the state had expressed interest in helping to create new teams there. What if the Southern NHL teams did the same? This money would only be going toward hockey, it wouldn't be at the expense of any other program at these schools.

    The other problem is of course that the SEC league is ACHA D3, so moving up to full NCAA D1 status would take some time I'd imagine (though I am not too familiar with those rules).

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    Re: Project 70

    Quote Originally Posted by GoNU5 View Post
    What if they got support from the local hockey teams? In the discussions about the possibility of hockey in California Paul Kelly mentioned the 3 teams in the state had expressed interest in helping to create new teams there. What if the Southern NHL teams did the same? This money would only be going toward hockey, it wouldn't be at the expense of any other program at these schools.

    The other problem is of course that the SEC league is ACHA D3, so moving up to full NCAA D1 status would take some time I'd imagine (though I am not too familiar with those rules).
    I wouldn't think that there would be any difference among ACHA D1, D2, or D3 teams moving into NCAA D1. In any case, it is unlikely that the current players would make a significant difference.

  14. #14
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    Re: Project 70

    Quote Originally Posted by Patman View Post
    I'm taking a riff on the "should college hockey grow" thread. I started thinking... well, with all this talk shouldn't there be a "next threshold" goal... loosely, within college hockey. College hockey held at about 42-44 teams or so until the abandonment of the D-II championship AND the implementation of a rule that required D-I schools to field only D-I teams in their sponsored sports. In between now and then most of the expansion (or contraction for that matter) has been occasional with varying degrees of success. This is to say that college hockey hasn't had much of an explicit expansion period and that which did occur was brought about through other circumstances.

    So... say one were to put their feelers out. What kind of information would you want to gather on schools to judge which ones would be apt to make the jump? Could we get some form of inside look either from club athletes or others who know the place/school/region better? Which schools really aren't in Title IX trouble?

    I'm just throwing this out there. I figure there's enough club hockey players and former players that if one really wanted a large national assessment on the cheap it could be done.
    If you're really serious about this, you would be focusing on schools that could help anchor a newer league by themselves, with some of the smaller local schools more than happy to play that bigger name school. Syracuse, Penn State and Kentucky are 3 schools that could easily help to establish a new conference right between the CCHA and the ECAC. You get 2 of those 3 to start up a program along with say Ohio State, Miami, and BGSU to join, thats five good decent programs right there to build a league around. Alabama-Huntsville wouldn't mind being in that league, especially if Kentucky is in the mix. Niagara and Robert Morris wouldn't mind home games with a name like Syracuse and Penn State coming to town. Mercyhurst would be hard pressed to not want to jump to a league that would have OSU and PSU in it, same probably goes for Canisius as well.

    Either way you slice it, a league like that would be far more stable than what the CHA ever was, and it would probably take it a while for the league as a whole to be thought of as a major player in College Hockey, it would go a long ways to at least opening up College Hockey to fielding 60 programs. the 3 Ohio schools would leave the current CCHA with only 8 teams; ND, Alaska, and all of the Michigan Schools except for Michigan Tech. Makes it a nice little bus league for the most part, and could easily handle an addition of another two programs, say Grand Valley State, and another Michigan school, or heck, even a Southern Ontario school wants into the NCAA. University of Windsor is right across from Detroit, and well, I'm pretty sure most Hockey players already have a passport.
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    Re: Project 70

    All it takes is a few dominoes in one direction to get a fairly significant number of new programs.

    Like others have noted: get some of the Pac-10, SEC or Big-12 schools involved, and I'm sure we'd be impressed to find out what other schools would do to become affiliated with them.

    But, the hurdles that need to be cleared for that to happen are significant.

    I'm going back and forth over what would be more likely:

    - Several programs outside the typical geographic footprint start up and form their own conference. (The PTHC or SECHC scenario). We go from 58 to 66-70 programs overnight. Or,

    - Schools more or less within our geographic footprint and with the means to have an arena available find a way to give hockey a try. (The Penn State/Syracuse/Navy scenario) In this case, getting to even 64 or 65 schools would be a major accomplishment.

    All this assuming we don't lose some smaller schools along the way.
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    Re: Project 70

    Quote Originally Posted by ExileOnDaytonStreet View Post
    All this assuming we don't lose some smaller schools along the way.
    This a very big piece of the puzzle IMHO. Bringing in more programs sounds great on the surface, but what about the smaller programs whose budgets may not be adequate to handle increased travel costs and the like?

    Also, Title IX lurks in the shadows regardless of what happens.
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    Re: Project 70

    Another issue, Why would a big school in the sunbelt start a program when only a handful of athletes play ice hockey in any particular state? The University of Texas doesn't have a mens soccer team and yet almost 1 million children are registered to play youth soccer in Texas.
    Last edited by dggoddard; 05-17-2010 at 03:45 PM.

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    Re: Project 70

    Quote Originally Posted by dggoddard View Post
    The University of Texas doesn't have a mens soccer team and yet almost 1 million children play youth soccer in Texas.
    Really? Huh.
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    Re: Project 70

    Quote Originally Posted by ExileOnDaytonStreet View Post
    Really? Huh.
    UT has womens soccer. The UT Athletic Department makes almost $120 million in revenue and they only field 19 varsity teams. Just over the 16 team minimum. A bunch of the sports are low cost, scholarship intensive sports such was womens rowing, track & field & cross country.
    Last edited by dggoddard; 05-17-2010 at 02:11 PM.

  20. #20
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    Re: Project 70

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Cloud View Post
    Last week Without a Peer (the RPI blog I maintain), broke down one Buffalo sportswriter's attempt to create a superleague of Buffalo-centric teams. We shot him down pretty good.
    You'd rather never make the Frozen Four than make it get beat badly? I mean, fine with me -- more for the rest of us -- but winning a regional is winning a regional, man.

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