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Penn State to enter Division I ice hockey in 2012


Viper

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With Penn State now set to enter Division I hockey in two years, one-half of the Big Ten schools (actually over half if you don't yet count Nebraska) will have D-I hockey programs. Needless to say, this development has prompted speculation that the Big Ten could soon start up a hockey league, which would presumably touch off a D-I hockey realignment orgy that would make Football Bowl Subdivision programs look like a bunch of sticks in the mud.

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Adding hockey means that all others schools will have to add a women's sport and scholarships as well, so costs instantly double. In addition, the large part of the Penn State donation/endowment is for a proper facility. The remaining schools do not have a proper facility for the sport. Iowa plays in a mall. Illinois has a on campus rink, but it seats about 2,000 and still has a chilling issue. There has been talk for a new community rink in Champaign-Urbana for over a decade, but it is still just talk.

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Adding hockey means that all others schools will have to add a women's sport and scholarships as well, so costs instantly double. In addition, the large part of the Penn State donation/endowment is for a proper facility. The remaining schools do not have a proper facility for the sport. Iowa plays in a mall. Illinois has a on campus rink, but it seats about 2,000 and still has a chilling issue. There has been talk for a new community rink in Champaign-Urbana for over a decade, but it is still just talk.

No one said anything about the other schools adding hockey programs yet. It would just be a six-team league at first, with Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin.

That's right, a six-team league within a twelve-team conference that calls itself the Big Ten. Go figure.

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Adding hockey means that all others schools will have to add a women's sport and scholarships as well, so costs instantly double. In addition, the large part of the Penn State donation/endowment is for a proper facility. The remaining schools do not have a proper facility for the sport. Iowa plays in a mall. Illinois has a on campus rink, but it seats about 2,000 and still has a chilling issue. There has been talk for a new community rink in Champaign-Urbana for over a decade, but it is still just talk.

No one said anything about the other schools adding hockey programs yet. It would just be a six-team league at first, with Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin.

That's right, a six-team league within a twelve-team conference that calls itself the Big Ten. Go figure.

Supposedly Indiana might be thinking about moving their program up as well. But yeah, all you need is six teams, and that's what the Big Ten Hockey Conference would have.

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Well, here's how it could go down...

-Big Ten Hockey is formed with Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin.

-The CCHA loses three members here and would more then likely take in Alabama-Huntsville to reach an even 10.

-The WCHA loses two members, but is pretty safe at 10 teams as well.

-The other three leagues (Atlantic Hockey, ECAC and Hockey East) remain unchanged.

Of course, Penn State starts in a couple years so things can change over time.

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I'd love to see this for a couple reasons. One I've never loved the idea of sports operating in separate conferences than the school as a whole. Two, maybe in the long-run it could pressure Illinois into getting a D-I team. The club team is very good and very popular, but it's still just club level hockey in a subpar (fun and great for what it is, though) arena.

I wonder if they could accommodate Assembly Hall to house hockey during the upcoming renovations.

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I'd love to see this for a couple reasons. One I've never loved the idea of sports operating in separate conferences than the school as a whole. Two, maybe in the long-run it could pressure Illinois into getting a D-I team. The club team is very good and very popular, but it's still just club level hockey in a subpar (fun and great for what it is, though) arena.

I wonder if they could accommodate Assembly Hall to house hockey during the upcoming renovations.

Does the ice arena still smell like wet socks? And are they still popular enough to pack in the drunkards elbow-to-elbow?

God, I remember the time the coach of Bradley was threatening us from the bench because of our incessant heckling. Good times.

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I'd love to see this for a couple reasons. One I've never loved the idea of sports operating in separate conferences than the school as a whole. Two, maybe in the long-run it could pressure Illinois into getting a D-I team. The club team is very good and very popular, but it's still just club level hockey in a subpar (fun and great for what it is, though) arena.

I wonder if they could accommodate Assembly Hall to house hockey during the upcoming renovations.

Does the ice arena still smell like wet socks? And are they still popular enough to pack in the drunkards elbow-to-elbow?

God, I remember the time the coach of Bradley was threatening us from the bench because of our incessant heckling. Good times.

I sadly didn't make it to enough games to really tell you any of those details. But there's always a good buzz around campus about the team.

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One factor that is often not looked at it that, sure Minnesota (and Wisconsin) right now is playing in a "lesser league" (to those not familiar with college hockey) than the Big Ten. They stand to lose the most if they leave. Right now, being in Minneapolis they are kind of the "big dog" of the WCHA (Oof it hurts to say that). They host the tourney every year (Excel), they draw sellout crowds because they play in a league mostly made up of friendly neighbor schools. If they join up in a Big Ten conference, they won't have the same luxory year in and year out. That's money lost.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for more schools like Penn State to get into hockey. I want it to grow, and woud love to see more big schools come aboard.

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Does the ice arena still smell like wet socks? And are they still popular enough to pack in the drunkards elbow-to-elbow?

God, I remember the time the coach of Bradley was threatening us from the bench because of our incessant heckling. Good times.

Does it smell? Yes, horribly. But don't all rinks smell like that?

Do they pack them in? As of my last game 5 years ago, yes. I imagine them playing in AssHall would be less embarrassingly empty than when the women's basketball team plays there, but I don't think they could even fill it up halfway.

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Well, here's how it could go down...

-Big Ten Hockey is formed with Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin.

-The CCHA loses three members here and would more then likely take in Alabama-Huntsville to reach an even 10.

-The WCHA loses two members, but is pretty safe at 10 teams as well.

-The other three leagues (Atlantic Hockey, ECAC and Hockey East) remain unchanged.

Of course, Penn State starts in a couple years so things can change over time.

I also wonder whether the WCHA and CCHA, while they're at it, might not swap a member or two (Northern Michigan and Alaska-Fairbanks, I'm looking at you) to bring them more in line geographically with the other schools, and create some more in-state rivalries.

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I'd love to see this for a couple reasons. One I've never loved the idea of sports operating in separate conferences than the school as a whole. Two, maybe in the long-run it could pressure Illinois into getting a D-I team. The club team is very good and very popular, but it's still just club level hockey in a subpar (fun and great for what it is, though) arena.

I wonder if they could accommodate Assembly Hall to house hockey during the upcoming renovations.

Does the ice arena still smell like wet socks? And are they still popular enough to pack in the drunkards elbow-to-elbow?

God, I remember the time the coach of Bradley was threatening us from the bench because of our incessant heckling. Good times.

I hope they're still poopular enought to pack the ice arena. But I think if we could "Stuff Huff" for volleyball games, the crowd will be just as good for hockey.

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Well, here's how it could go down...

-Big Ten Hockey is formed with Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin.

-The CCHA loses three members here and would more then likely take in Alabama-Huntsville to reach an even 10.

-The WCHA loses two members, but is pretty safe at 10 teams as well.

-The other three leagues (Atlantic Hockey, ECAC and Hockey East) remain unchanged.

Of course, Penn State starts in a couple years so things can change over time.

I also wonder whether the WCHA and CCHA, while they're at it, might not swap a member or two (Northern Michigan and Alaska-Fairbanks, I'm looking at you) to bring them more in line geographically with the other schools, and create some more in-state rivalries.

You do realize that there's a pretty big reason Alaska is in the CCHA (and Alaska-Anchorage is in the WCHA), right? It's called the Alaska Exemption (called the Hawaii Exemption on that link because Alaska is irrelevant for the purpose of football). Basically, your favorite school (let's pick NMU since you brought them up) travels to Fairbanks as part of their CCHA schedule. Rather than schedule 34 games (the NCAA max), they are allowes an extra 2 non-conference games as compensation for traveling to Alaska. Since they are likely to schedule 2 home non-conference games, the added revenue from selling ~ 3000 tickets on 2 dates, selling how many extra hot dogs, sodas, popcorn, etc. really adds up. See how that works? Still want to kick Alaska-Fairbanks out of the conference? Especially when UAF kicks in money to subsidize travel to the 49th state? Didn't think so.

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I'd love to see this for a couple reasons. One I've never loved the idea of sports operating in separate conferences than the school as a whole. Two, maybe in the long-run it could pressure Illinois into getting a D-I team. The club team is very good and very popular, but it's still just club level hockey in a subpar (fun and great for what it is, though) arena.

I wonder if they could accommodate Assembly Hall to house hockey during the upcoming renovations.

Does the ice arena still smell like wet socks? And are they still popular enough to pack in the drunkards elbow-to-elbow?

God, I remember the time the coach of Bradley was threatening us from the bench because of our incessant heckling. Good times.

I hope they're still popular enough to pack the ice arena. But I think if we could "Stuff Huff" for volleyball games, the crowd will be just as good for hockey.

Illini Hockey is still popular, but still keep in mind the scale and ticket prices.

As for the U of I Ice Arena, it is not a DIA (Dept. of Intercollegiate Athletics) facility, it is a university facility run by Campus Recreation. Student recreation fees assist in its operations, along with public skates and rentals.

A desiccant dehumidifier was placed in the early 200s, but the still is a larger issue with the refrigeration system. It's at the center of campus, so parking is a hassle, a potential ADA issue with any large scale renovation, and asbestos abatement which would also have to be done. DIA does not want it, except for a space to rent out for summer camps.

As I stated before, both Campaign and Urbana have looked in to building another rink(s), but nothing has come about in the last 15 years.

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I'd love to see this for a couple reasons. One I've never loved the idea of sports operating in separate conferences than the school as a whole. Two, maybe in the long-run it could pressure Illinois into getting a D-I team. The club team is very good and very popular, but it's still just club level hockey in a subpar (fun and great for what it is, though) arena.

I wonder if they could accommodate Assembly Hall to house hockey during the upcoming renovations.

Does the ice arena still smell like wet socks? And are they still popular enough to pack in the drunkards elbow-to-elbow?

God, I remember the time the coach of Bradley was threatening us from the bench because of our incessant heckling. Good times.

I hope they're still popular enough to pack the ice arena. But I think if we could "Stuff Huff" for volleyball games, the crowd will be just as good for hockey.

Illini Hockey is still popular, but still keep in mind the scale and ticket prices.

As for the U of I Ice Arena, it is not a DIA (Dept. of Intercollegiate Athletics) facility, it is a university facility run by Campus Recreation. Student recreation fees assist in its operations, along with public skates and rentals.

A desiccant dehumidifier was placed in the early 200s, but the still is a larger issue with the refrigeration system. It's at the center of campus, so parking is a hassle, a potential ADA issue with any large scale renovation, and asbestos abatement which would also have to be done. DIA does not want it, except for a space to rent out for summer camps.

As I stated before, both Campaign and Urbana have looked in to building another rink(s), but nothing has come about in the last 15 years.

The two Big 10 schools I hear the most rumors about starting up post-Penn State are Indiana and Illinois. I wonder if that's because both schools are activly looking at replacing their Assembly Halls? You would think that if one or both did, the cost of adding ice to the new arena would be a drop in the bucket of the overall budget...

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I'd love to see this for a couple reasons. One I've never loved the idea of sports operating in separate conferences than the school as a whole. Two, maybe in the long-run it could pressure Illinois into getting a D-I team. The club team is very good and very popular, but it's still just club level hockey in a subpar (fun and great for what it is, though) arena.

I wonder if they could accommodate Assembly Hall to house hockey during the upcoming renovations.

Does the ice arena still smell like wet socks? And are they still popular enough to pack in the drunkards elbow-to-elbow?

God, I remember the time the coach of Bradley was threatening us from the bench because of our incessant heckling. Good times.

I hope they're still popular enough to pack the ice arena. But I think if we could "Stuff Huff" for volleyball games, the crowd will be just as good for hockey.

Illini Hockey is still popular, but still keep in mind the scale and ticket prices.

As for the U of I Ice Arena, it is not a DIA (Dept. of Intercollegiate Athletics) facility, it is a university facility run by Campus Recreation. Student recreation fees assist in its operations, along with public skates and rentals.

A desiccant dehumidifier was placed in the early 200s, but the still is a larger issue with the refrigeration system. It's at the center of campus, so parking is a hassle, a potential ADA issue with any large scale renovation, and asbestos abatement which would also have to be done. DIA does not want it, except for a space to rent out for summer camps.

As I stated before, both Campaign and Urbana have looked in to building another rink(s), but nothing has come about in the last 15 years.

The two Big 10 schools I hear the most rumors about starting up post-Penn State are Indiana and Illinois. I wonder if that's because both schools are activly looking at replacing their Assembly Halls? You would think that if one or both did, the cost of adding ice to the new arena would be a drop in the bucket of the overall budget...

As someone who have known those who work for Illinois Campus Recreation for over a decade and some other executives, I can say on their side, the answer is "no".

They do not have to replace Assembly Hall as an event center and will not replace it until there is a person who will supply the money to build it. Honestly, C-U is not a great destination which it was form as many major entertainment tours 15 years ago. Memorial Stadium was just under a major overhaul too. There is really no money to pay for a new specific ice facility with state/university dollars or from city funds. If a town(s) had money, they would have voted for it before 2000. Remember, a ice rink is generally a 20-24 hour operation, so one has to always pay for specific labor, facility management, and risk management. You cannot just hire the famous running back and expect him to give CPR if a kid passes out, take ice measurements, or to use a Zamboni/Olympia correctly all the time.

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