Has the door reopened for MSUM?MOORHEAD, Minn. — Minnesota State Moorhead athletic director Doug Peters said it’s too early tell how an impending WCHA shake up will affect his school’s quest to potentially add Division I ice hockey.
By: Eric Peterson, Forum Communications Co.
MOORHEAD, Minn. — Minnesota State Moorhead athletic director Doug Peters said it’s too early tell how an impending WCHA shake up will affect his school’s quest to potentially add Division I ice hockey.
“It doesn’t change how we’re proceeding,” Peters said. “We’ve tried to keep a thumb on the pulse of what’s going on with conference affiliations. I have always felt that there would be change, and we saw that first with the Big Ten Conference.”
Earlier this week, the Grand Forks Herald first reported the University of North Dakota will announce next week its leaving the Western Collegiate Hockey Association for a new startup conference in 2013-14. Four other WCHA teams are expected to make the same move.
In March, Minnesota and Wisconsin already stated their intentions to leave the WCHA for the Big Ten in 2013. That would leave the WCHA with five teams. That movement may create an opening for league affiliation if MSUM starts a program.
As MSUM mulls whether or not to add ice hockey, finding a potential league is one of the key issues. In April 2009, Peters first announced MSUM was considering adding hockey.
“I don’t have a crystal ball, but I do think with change there is opportunity,” Peters said. “Those opportunities will become clearer as things become finalized if anything changes.”
Money is another critical factor. Peters reiterated, if MSUM launched hockey, “it needs to be done purely on outside dollars.”
Peters wouldn’t say what dollar figure would be needed to satisfy the above condition.
“If we are in a position to do this, we have to make that it is something that can be done for a long, long time,” Peters said. “We have no interest in getting up and going and having to stop.”
Peterson is a sports reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.