Sunday, August 31, 2008

There's no ice in Florida!

By far, the most egregious move by the NCAA Ice Hockey Committee is placing the 2012 Frozen Four in Tampa, Florida. Tampa. FLORIDA. 674 miles from the nearest Division I hockey team, and nearly 1,000 miles to the second-closest Division I hockey team.

Of course, there are still regionals and the 2011 Frozen Four in Minnesota, but they have a bit of an advantage (emphasis mine):
“We focused on selecting sites that have NHL size ice sheets and are in neutral buildings,” said Ice Hockey Committee Chairman Joel Maturi, the AD of Minnesota. “We really feel that each of these buildings will showcase college hockey, give our student-athletes a tremendous experience and help take our championship to another level.”

Yes, what a tremendous experience playing for the championship in an empty arena in Florida. Awesome.

If the NCAA was serious about expanding Division I ice hockey, they wouldn't be scheduling tournaments in Missouri and Florida. They would spend all their free time wooing Penn State. Pennsylvanians not only have two pro hockey teams, but are aware they have two pro hockey teams, so you have a built-in hockey fanbase. Michigan, Ohio State, and Notre Dame have hockey teams, so you can have games against known rivals to bring in casual fans. There are only two Division I hockey teams in the state, both in the western part. And there is nothing to do in State College in the winter.

Sure, it's expensive, and you'll have to add women's water polo or rowing for Title IX, but long-term it would be good for college hockey. I almost suspect that the NCAA is trying to kill college hockey. I mean, Florida?

(link via The Blog That Yost Built)

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