In the wake of the news that Penn State was considering a move to Division I hockey, a few bits of information have come out in response to it.
The first is a quote from CCHA commish Tom Anastos saying the CCHA is interested:
"They are a very attractive choice -- very attractive," CCHA commissioner Tom Anastos told The Detroit News on Tuesday. "They're in a different market than we're in, more and more U.S. players are on college rosters, and there's tremendous growth of the sport in Pennsylvania."
Again, Huntsville meets all those criteria as well. Pretty much all of the growth of the sport in Pennsylvania is centered in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, both about a solid 3-hour trek to the wilderness of State College, PA. That same radius put around Huntsville gets you the growing hockey markets of Nashville and Atlanta. Of course there are other huge advantages Penn State has, likely biggest among them is a huge alumni network of potential fans. You could probably draw more interest for PSU hockey in Atlanta than you could for UAH hockey. But I still think UAH got a pretty raw deal from the CCHA.
The one conspiracy I've heard people float around is that UAH's rejection was based in part on people knowing Penn State would add hockey. I'm not necessarily sure I buy that. It was known that Penn State was very interested in men's hockey, and considering a move to Division I, but the entire plan was contingent on somebody leaving $60 million on their front door step. Generally, that's not a great first step to a plan. I'm sure this donor didn't make a nearly $5 billion deal with Royal Dutch Shell over a weekend on a whim, and maybe PSU had an idea that some of that money was earmarked for them, but it still seems like putting a lot of faith in a lot of different things.
Plus there's the fact that a lot of schools had reasons--I won't qualify those reasons as right or wrong-- for voting against UAH regardless of there being another team out there.
I usually refrain from reading/linking to Bleacher Report and equally reliable sources, but it's pretty rare that Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany mentions hockey directly. Via Sid Hartman of the Star-Tribune:
The Big Ten commissioner didn't see the 18-game conference basketball schedule being extended. But he did say that on the table is a possible Big Ten hockey championship, once another school adds hockey as a sport. Five conference schools now play the sport: Minnesota and Wisconsin in the WCHA, and Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.