Tuesday, August 11, 2009

CCHA ensures demise of UAH

Perhaps the worst news I have heard in college hockey since I started following. INCH is reporting that the CCHA council has denied UAH's application for admission. Why, you ask? Tom Anastos had this to say.

“The league completed its due diligence of the application for membership submitted by the University of Alabama in Huntsville with careful consideration and discussion of various issues,” CCHA Commissioner Tom Anastos said. “At this time we have chosen to maintain our membership at its current level. The CCHA will remain focused on maintaining and strengthening our existing members to ensure the conference’s continued success and long-term viability.”

Casting UAH out leaves the CCHA with a gaping hole with 11 teams on the books for 2010-11, a void that was supposed to be filled. I don't see where they are supposed to go. WCHA rescued Bemidji, Atlantic rescued the other two, where does that leave UAH? Every other team has an even number, with CCHA being the only conference with an odd number of teams. But the CCHA is still too stubborn to let in UAH? Sure, they aren't the best team in D1 hockey, but we aren't college basketball, we don't have 300 other teams out there in the hockey world to let the CCHA be picky.

Who knows, maybe the rumor train should start again with Wisconsin moving to the CCHA, then UAH go to the WCHA. That sounds regionally logical, right?


Jason said...

I've been around the block in the business world enough to know that when a difficult decision like this is made, there are usually reasons that aren't always made public. I think there is more to this than meets the eye.

The conspiracy theorist in me has the following possibilities:

1. The CCHA is expecting a team to either fold or leave the conference. Upon admitting UAH, the other possible team leaves or folds, and the CCHA is stuck back at square one with 11 teams.

2. The CCHA could be actively pursuing another school to join the conference. This is me talking out of my ass here, but if that was the case I think the two best possibilities would be UAA or Michigan Tech, as they both already have natural CCHA rivals. I can't speak for Tech, but the rest of the WCHA already views UAA as something along the lines of a red-headed stepchild. Seawolves, if the CCHA calls, come on over to where you are wanted and tell the elitists in the WCHA to shove it where the sun don't shine. The big CCHA schools (UM, MSU, OSU, and Notre Dame) like to put their money where their mouth is, and they would see big $$$ signs from having UAA in the conference and getting two extra exempted home games. Michigan is taking advantage of that by coming to Anchorage in October to play UAF and UAA in the Kendall Classic.

Regardless of my own rambling thoughts, I think the college hockey world needs to wait and see what else comes to light about this decision before completely jumping to conclusions. And, I hope for the best for the UAH program despite this setback.

Squarebanks @ USCHO forum

Goon said...

I think the CCHA is just trying to send a message to the WCHA. I am hoping this turns out for the better in the future.

GoNooks314 said...

Rumors have circulated around the CCHA world for a while that Wisconsin was being pressured by the powers that be to join the CCHA. While this hasn't materialized, there has to be something...

I doubt it. There is always something that involves money. Unfortunately, sticking it to the WCHA isn't one of 'em.

Jason said...

Not disputing you, but Wisconsin doesn't really make sense to me to come to the CCHA. Their biggest rival is Minnesota (WCHA), and they are better suited geographically to be a WCHA school. Don't get me wrong, I'd do backflips to have them in the CCHA; they would be a fantastic addition and a big help to the conference PWR rankings, but it just doesn't make sense to me. UAA makes far better sense to join the CCHA, assuming that the CCHA big four (UM, MSU, OSU, ND) would go for it, but Anchorage is so stuck up on the WCHA label that I doubt they'd go for it even though their program would probably benefit from a switch.

I do, however, think that the UAH denial is just the tip of the iceberg for the CCHA. I have a feeling there is a whole lot more to come over the next year or two regarding additions or subtractions to the conference.

Goon said...

Wisconsin isn't going to the CCHA. I would bet my right ____ on that. Wisconsin likes being in the same conference as Minnesota and moving to the CCHA makes no sense.

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