Friday, November 18, 2011

NCHC is down to Two Finalists for Commissioner (RW77)

Kevin Pates of the Duluth News Tribune wrote a story stating that Former USA Olympic Committee CEO Jim Scherr is one of two finalists for the position of Commissioner of the NCHC and is considered the frontrunner.

Here is the article.

Scherr is currently a Marketing Firm founder and CEO after being CEO (interim and otherwise) of the US Olympic Committee from 2003-2009 (He was on the staff since 2000). He was a former Olympic caliber wrestler and former NCAA collegiate wrestler at University of Nebraska.

This article doesn't really go into a lot of depth regarding how Scherr's experience lines up with hockey (other than one of his partners in his marketing firm once held a similar position with USA Hockey but what does that matter?). However, taking the article at what it is worth... factoring in a little Wikipedia and Google I found a few interesting tidbits:

1. In 2009, Scherr abruptly called an Emergency Meeting and resigned. No real straightforward answer was given as to why. Hmmmmmmmm.

2. The departure was stated to be mutually decided upon but came in the wake of a power shift away from Scherr, or at least weakening his control of the USOC. Why would he depart after everyone said, including the USOC spokespeople, that Scherr was a great leader that put the USOC in a position of excellence not seen before? No one has ever gotten fired for being successful right? Something's not right here.

3. In Scherr's defense, the excuse given USA Today was that the power shift came after Scherr dared to announce a 17% downsizing of the USOC committee to meet budgetary needs.

Well, I found no correlation between Scherr and hockey and hockey administration. It seems as though he is being brought in solely because of his marketing and financial expertise. Not altogether bad... for a Chief Operating Officer or Chief Financial Officer position. But wouldn't you want someone with hockey background (at least in some capacity) to be the Commissioner? Sure, he led the USOC through 2 Winter Olympics that featured hockey, but that was a small part of a big organization not solely focused on hockey.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding what a commissioner's role really entails in a hockey conference. Maybe this is truly what is needed? But it seems like they're going to hire someone who has no idea on how to run a hockey conference to run a hockey conference.