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  1. Well, this certainly isn't good. Hockey in Alaska may not happen this year, let alone in 2 years. https://www.webcenter11.com/content/news/University-of-Alaska-Considers-Declaring-Financial-Exigency-512618201.html
  2. This is a question that has been batted around for years. I won't say it's impossible, but it's very unlikely that Mankato would go FCS in near future. And probably not in the long-term either. From a financial perspective, it's just not a good idea. There is too much Gopher loyalty in the area to expect that any of our teams would draw nearly well enough to make it financially viable. It's been difficult enough to pull hockey fans away from the Gophers when we were competing at the highest level let alone if we aren't in FBS. Add that to the way that the state budgets work just doesn't lend itself to and MnSCU school going D1 in all sports. The way it's set up is that MnSCU is the governing body of the the state colleges and universities (so Mankato and St. Cloud have nothing to do with the U of M) and the U of M system controls Duluth, Crookston, Morris and Rochester. The entire MnSCU budget is $2.0 billion (in 2019) for 30 state colleges and 7 state universities. Mankato's budget was $241 million in 2017. Meanwhile the U of M budget was $3.8 billion in 2017. Admittedly, I know there is a lot more that goes into the U of M like the hospital and research facilities, but their athletic department's budget was $114 million. That's 47% of the total budget or Mankato's entire university. The state government just isn't set up to allow for anyone else to jump up to D1. I suspect that St. Cloud is in the same boat and Duluth is always going to be having to get the blessing of the Twin Cities campus.
  3. Not that it really matters at this point and, frankly, it's splitting hairs, but the NCHC schools were never really dragged down by others. There was a fear that they would be, but they never played in a conference that didn't have MN and WI in their voting bloc. By all means, all indications are that it was headed that way though. I'm not sure that there is anyone outside of Penn State and, maybe, Michigan and Michigan State would say that things are better off now than they were 10 years ago. Personally, I think if everyone would have just taken a few deep breaths and taken their time in making decisions, things would be much better off for everyone right now. Maybe we would have ended up in the same place, but there would have been a lot less scrambling. Maybe this newest round of changes has been talked about a lot more than we know, but this seems to be more of the same. Hastily made decisions that seem to be driven out of panic rarely turn into good things.
  4. You're right, Alaska is subsidizing travel, but not like they used to. Now, they subsidize travel so that it's the same amount as the next most expensive trip in the conference. I agree that the Alaska teams have it worse, but that's not a reason to not take action. As for the extra games for Alaska travel, that all sounds great, but with having both the Alaska schools in conference, it doesn't do a whole lot of good. On one hand, if you're taking two trips to Alaska, you need to fit in some extra rest for your players. While it is possible to do (as the Alaska schools prove), it's not real helpful to keeping your players healthy. Secondly, it's proven to be almost impossible for schools to schedule another home series with a non-conference opponent. In general, you need to schedule a return trip to the extra school you're playing. At some point, that catches up to your team and you have to have a more away non-conference games in a given season. Essentially, you end up with a really unbalanced schedule after a while and you're not gaining the extra revenue from those extra home games. Many of the schools in the WCHA are now forgoing those extra games that they can schedule because there is little to no advantage for them to do that. They end up scheduling an extra bye weekend instead.
  5. Is that really relevant? If it were so easy and not such a big deal, why didn't the NCHC schools just stop complaining and live with what they had? Again, the one thing that was made readily apparent during the last conference shuffle is that every school has the right and, maybe, obligation to think of themselves first and every other school be damned. By the way, I'm not even saying the NCHC schools should have just been satisfied, but I'm not sure it's wise to have an expectation of other schools when not everyone is held to those same standards. Besides, I'm not sure that the travel is the schools biggest issue. While the Alaska schools are subsidizing things, one really has to question whether they are really committed to making hockey work. Not just exist, but actually work. Ponder this: UAA announced in May that they were moving from their current arena (Sullivan) which holds 6500 people to their arena on campus that hold 750. They were doing it because of financial reasons, but then said they were going to expand it to 2500. My question is, how are they going to pay for that expansion? If they can't afford to be in an arena that's already there....how can they possibly afford construction to expand a different one? Now, look at UAF, they announced this spring that they were going to stay in their current arena (the Carlson Center) for this year, but were looking to move back on campus that is already built because the current one needs a new ice plant. The one on campus (the Patty) has a capacity of 1,047....they don't plan on expanding it even though the league REQUIRES a 2500 seat facility. There are now rumors that they didn't go to the member schools to get approval for this and only went to the league office to say that's what they were going to do. Now, on Friday, the Alaska governor announced that he was vetoing the state's budget and forcing the U of A system to cut $130 million from their budget. This after the hockey programs were on the chopping block last year from the last budget cycle. The rumor I've seen is that adding all of these things up is what caused the other 7 schools to act in the manner that they did. It was the last straw for them and they needed to give notice by July 1 so as to not break the league bylaws. Again, certainly not ideal, but I get the feeling that there is a lot more that's been going on beneath the surface than previously thought. In fact, if the frustration has been building as long as it seems, I'm surprised there haven't been more leaks of dissatisfaction. You've also got the Alabama Board of Regents who not even 5 years ago tried to kill the Huntsville program. Now, there is a proposal to build a new arena for hockey, but the Board of Regents has proven time and again that Alabama football gets the money and everyone else gets the crumbs that fall off the table. So, add all of those things up, and you've got a few schools that are concerned about the stability of at least two and, seemingly three schools, that they are supposed to be partnering with. If we all put ourselves in the shoes of the administrators, what are they to do? Are they supposed to just trust the government of Alaska that they are going to come through and fund programs that they seem to want to kill? And do we trust the the Alabama Board of Regents to come through? Or do we act to sink an already sinking ship instead of waiting to drown along with it? It is a horrible position for all 10 schools. I'm just not sure why anyone thought it would end in anything other than this. All the low budget schools were put in the same conference (because it was really the only option) that has the highest expenses, told to figure it out and not to complain about it. It just wasn't and isn't realistic.
  6. I'll make sure to pull out my thesaurus more often when I'm posting in such a high class establishment if this is the kind of reception I get.
  7. So, this is just an observation and not necessarily directed at anyone specifically (Goon, your post just happened to be the one I quoted). There is a certain irony that this sentiment is posted on a thread that is dedicated to "College Hockey Expansion". I was just reading over on USCHO that one of the positives that people have liked to point out over the last 7ish years is that the breakup of the old WCHA and CCHA and formation of BTHC and NCHC created all sorts of supposed opportunity to spawn new programs. Fast forward 7 years and no one wants to allow anyone new into their conferences. Big Ten has a superiority complex. The NCHC has a fear of others bringing them down. The WCHA has real financial issues. So, what opportunity is really is there for expansion? To go independent? I guess this just leads me back to the point I tried to make in my original post.... college hockey lost it's innocence when all of these changes started. There is no "greater good of college hockey" any longer, if there ever was. Many of us idealized what college hockey was and it isn't that any more. It's all about how much money can go into each individual college's pockets. It's just unfortunate.
  8. I'm not so sure it's as cut and dried as you think. ASU is liable to leave the conference hanging. Everything I heard after the last application was that the entire MSU administration and the coaches were SHOCKED that MSU wasn't admitted last time. From what I understand MSU was a shoe-in, but ASU didn't have their crap together and the league didn't want to have an odd number of teams.
  9. F!!! I typed a freaking thesis for the last 30 minutes and then I had to sign in and lost it all. Cliff notes.... 1) I'm disappointed in the way it was announced, but I trust our administrators enough to give them the benefit of the doubt. 2) I'm not sure why this is a surprise to anyone as contraction was always more likely than expansion given the circumstances of the WCHA. Smallest schools, smallest budgets, largest geographical footprint...ergo, the most expenses. 3) Mankato is likely in the best financial position in the league, but that could all go away if we have a couple of bad seasons and people don't keep buying tickets to see teams they don't care about. 4) I would love to be in the NCHC as I think it would provide fans with another reason to buy tickets when we aren't the winning-est team in the country. I think we would compete well in the league, even if many people don't agree with me. 5) I lost all illusion of an idealistic world during the last re-alignment. The last re-alignment taught me and I'm sure a lot of other people and schools a very valuable lessen. There is no "for the good of college hockey" any longer, if there ever was. It is simply that each school needs to do what is best for them and not worry about anyone else. 6) I think there is a lot of backstory on this that we don't, and maybe never will, know. I think there are some clues in the Alaska schools are in a lot of financial problems and the proved it when they moved to arenas of roughly 800 capacity and 1500 capacity. It would not surprise me if the 7 schools decided they needed to act before the other three sunk all 10 of the programs. 7) I'm not sure why UAH has been left out as they seemed to be making some huge strides both on the ice and financially. I'm really confused about that one. 8) I got on rant and word vomited a lot of opinions out when people ask.....be careful what you ask for.
  10. While true, both of them will be smaller than their current arenas. The universities are to the point where they are considering closing dorms. The schools and their budgets are shrinking, it's just a matter of how much.
  11. It may not be as easy of a ticket as it used to be. Kato fans have started showing up quite a bit better than in previous years.
  12. I'm with you on that. They have an advantage and they use it. I certainly believe it worked against my team this weekend (it still doesn't explain the implosion, but to act as though it had no effect is a bit of an insult to my intelligence). I don't like the system, but I don't see a way around it as long as the coaches and ADs insist upon having "neutral site" games. My bigger point is that, knowing those details, I'm not all that impressed with the attendance numbers. Could you imagine the numbers that UND would put up in that same scenario? I'm reasonably confident that half the student base would go to the games. Obviously, there is no way to prove that, but that's my suspicion.
  13. In fairness, there was a post on Twitter that said the administration of Providence subsidized student tickets so that students at PC only had to pay $15 for the regional. Seems to me that the deck is stacked in favor of Providence (talking about the city) when considering that. I'm reasonably certain that any of the cities would have performed as well, and probably better, if the arena was 3 miles from campus and the administration gave that sort of a deal to their students. EDIT....here's the Twitter link. Sorry if this doesn't work, I suck at the interwebs sometimes.https://twitter.com/NUHockeyBlog/status/1110669739624411136
  14. If I were a drinking man, I would be obliterated right now
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