Penn State Plays Hockey
Posted By: Aaron Sims
Have you ever participated in a conversation where someone asks you to say the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear a word? For example, I say “chicken”, you’d say, perhaps, “egg”. I wanted to get some thoughts out before the weekend…sort of an initial reaction to big news in college hockey.
The school has had a very successful men’s club team for the last several years and has also dressed a women’s club team since 1996.
With Penn State moving into Division I hockey, six Big Ten schools will have a men’s hockey program (the others: Wisconsin and Minnesota from the WCHA and Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State from the CCHA).
It remains to be seen if the other six teams get on board. The NCAA requires a minimum of six teams to recognize a conference, so it looks like this will happen.
Where does that leave rivals such as Minnesota Duluth, North Dakota, Denver, Colorado College and others? I would guess the remaining teams would continue on as the WCHA with maybe a tweak or two (Fairbanks, Northern Michigan from the CCHA?).
We aren’t growing up in the status quo era anymore, that’s obvious. Nebraska is joining the Big Ten, which had eleven teams and now will have twelve. Schools are maneuvering for monetary reasons all the time, especially in the last twenty years. One can’t blame the institutions for wanting to maximize the dollars, can they?
I would hate to see a rivalry like Wisconsin/North Dakota be taken away, though. A Big Ten conference for hockey would likely do that.
These other schools will survive. Hockey isn’t leaving Grand Forks or Colorado Springs. This isn’t college football where small teams play big teams for a big payday.
Still, I can’t help but think that because of the Big Ten Network, college hockey, for those of us that have been around and supported the game for awhile, will forever be different and, perhaps, not as enjoyable.
By the way, the new GM of the Force and the building they play in is Jon Kram, who was based in Waukesha the last several years as an executive for Target.
Speaking of Waukesha, I was in the Bradley Center audience earlier this week when General Colin Powell told those assembled how wonderful the city of wa-KEE-sha was.