As many of you have undoubtedly heard in recent
news reports, the landscape of college hockey is undergoing some major changes
in the near future. Although there are many questions regarding these changes
that are yet unanswered, be assured that we are very engaged in the process. We
remain solidy committed to provide the opportunity for Seawolf Hockey to
continue to compete in the WCHA and in the NCAA at the highest level.
First of all, you should know that the WCHA will
continue with its current membership of 12 teams (Alaska Anchorage, Bemidji
State, Colorado College, Denver, Michigan Tech, Minnesota, Minnesota Duluth,
Minnesota State, Nebraska-Omaha, North Dakota, St. Cloud State and Wisconsin) for
the next two seasons, 2011-12 and 2012-13.
Commencing with the 2013-14 season, changes will
occur. I will be attending a meeting of WCHA athletic directors this week in
St. Paul, Minn., to evaluate our options and make plans for that eventuality.
As background, here's what's happened over the
past number of months to precipitate where things stand today:
- In September of 2010 Penn State
announced it would be adding hockey as a varsity sport beginning with the
- On March 21 of this year, the Big 10
Conference announced it would commence sponsoring the sport of hockey with
the 2013-14 season. That resulted in a new six-team Big 10 hockey conference
that will consist of current WCHA members Minnesota and Wisconsin, current CCHA members Ohio
State, Michigan and Michigan State, and the newly-formed Penn State team.
- This past week (July 10), the
following teams announced they would be forming a new hockey conference
commencing with the 2013-14 season -
WCHA members Colorado College, Denver, Minnesota-Duluth, North Dakota and Nebraska-Omaha
- along with Miami (Ohio) of the CCHA.
- As of today, that
would leave five remaining WCHA members for the 2013-14 season - Alaska
Anchorage, Bemidji State, Michigan Tech, Minnesota State and St. Cloud State.
As the NCAA requires a minimum of six teams to constitute a conference, our first
order of business, obviously, is to seek additional teams for the WCHA
beginning in that year. We are confident that
can and will happen in the near future.
These new conference
configurations will present challenges and opportunities. If possible, we are
hopeful that any new configuration would give us the opportunity to return to a
four-game, home-and-home series with Alaska Fairbanks as part of our annual
Alaska Airlines Governor's Cup.
As this situation
continues to evolve, we will keep you posted.
And, as always,
thanks for your continued support of the Seawolves.
Steve Cobb, Director of Athletics