|University of Alaska Anchorage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Sure, I'll take on a job that's sure to be a lost cause...
That's my take on what a coach would have to think about when accepting the UAA Head Coaching gig. As a UND fan, you don't get much insight into the internals and the atmosphere around the UAA program in Anchorage, but over the period of time from the end of Hill's tenure until now, it seems like it's just one bad year after another. Sure, there were a few "ups" along the way but comon...
Now everyone, including alumni and former players, are giving the vote of No Confidence to UAA AD Steve Cobb. I find myself wondering if Cobb is behind all of it, or is it above even him?
I can't imagine trying to sell UAA to a player from...say... Massachusetts, California, or even the Midwest. It's so far away and isolated (even if it is a wonderful place...at least that's how I remember Anchorage anyhow). I remember thinking during the coaching search after Hill left that whoever gets that job will inherit the toughest coaching gig in the WCHA and certainly among the hardest in all of DI hockey.
It seems that NO ONE wants to go to Anchorage. So, if you keep on dreaming of diamonds being found in the rough that you convince to come to campus, how can you not have bad years year after year?
I don't think UAA should fold their program. I do think they have something to bring to the table, but UAA is a big time dependent upon institutional support. If it doesn't get it, it goes under. I'd venture the same thing goes for MTU and even UNO (living in Omaha, I can tell you if the Husker football team is playing, no one gives a flying bleep about UNO hockey). UNO gets it. I believe MTU has gotten it as well. UAA definitely does not... at least not totally. If it goes completely, then it will follow the math UAH did but succeed and go the way of Findlay, Iona, and Wayne State.
Submariners on Skates
I despise diving. I also despise officials that take forever to get the game going again after reviewing it but.... I think that's what's going to have to happen. I am convinced that on ice officials do not call diving as much as they should because they cannot recognize diving when they see it in real time. The truth is that diving has become a part of the game. Not just because the refs don't call it when it happens, but because the coaches (at best) ignore it when players do it or, even worse, condone such acts. Even the media at times refers to a clever dive as "Drawing a penalty." (Though I admit freely that not every time a player draws a penalty is he diving).
I think the only ways to eliminate diving are long term or unacceptable solutions. The long term is simply to replace all the coaches in amateur hockey with hockey coaches that have a heavy hand against diving. They teach that it is wrong and do something about it when they see it (with or without their rose colored glasses). There's nothing to say that this is even possible, either.
Secondly, use the replay system... post game. If the head office spots a dive by another player, that player is brought in for a conduct review and a 1 or 2 game suspension gets handed out for diving after the fact.