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Potential Changes from Above in College Hockey

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I can't find the link now, but the NCAA put out a scary sounding memo with some potential cost-cutting measures, that included shorterning the length of the hockey season and reducing the number of games played, which is an easy target given that NCAA hockey has the longest season in the NCAA. Shortening the season would be a bad move on a number of fronts. First, schedules are already packed, trying to get enough conference games in to get some semblance of fairness and then trying to play enough non-conference games to give a flawed mathematical at least a fighting chance of being right. Second, the NCAA already has to deal with the image hit of playing half as many games as their counterparts in the CHL.

It's fine if this sort of thing comes from the schools themselves and they decided it's tough to maintain hockey programs and need to shorten the season, but I kind of doubt that's the case. Or, if individual programs that lose lots of money want to play fewer games, they should be free to do so.

Meanwhile, if the NCAA is so concerned about budgets, just looking at the front page of their website, they could probably do without a director of diversity and inclusion, and probably don't need to host dozens of ridiculous symposia.

Also potentially frightening is the NCAA looking at the Division 1 recruiting model. According to the release: "The group will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both a streamlined approach for all sports versus a model that accommodates unique challenges in specific sports," which at least sounds good, because there's a chance they could come away deciding it's better to tailor rules to each specific sport. That would be excellent for college hockey, which faces a unique challenge that no other sport deals with in terms of competition for high school/college-aged prospects. That said, my faith in some of those guys to do anything other than add another 60 pages to the NCAA rulebook, some of which make no sense whatsoever, is pretty scant.

The release also mentions that they'll be talking about the issue of early recruiting, which is big in college hockey, and has caught more attention recently because it's becoming more common in college basketball. Again, this is something best left to the hockey community. It's something brought up annually at the coaches convention, and the ultimate decision is that maybe it looks bad, but nobody wants to stop doing it, because it's too important to the teams. It's something that has worked pretty well so far, and I can't see too many problems with it. Let's just hope the Director of Diversity and Inclusion, and the Director of Health and Safety and the Minister of Enlightenment(wait, that may have a different group) come to that conclusion at the end of this thing.