Thursday, May 09, 2013

NCAA Hockey: Coaches want to keep the status quo

English: National Collegiate Athletic Associat...

A couple of things have come out of the NCAA hockey meetings so far. Frankly, I am not all that happy with what has come out of the NCAA meetings. I didn’t really have that high of expectations anyways.
Brad Schlossman, Grand Forks Herald – There was a proposal at the annual Florida meetings last week to change the NCAA tournament format to allow the top eight seeds to host a best-of-three series in the first round, but it was met with resistance from a segment of coaches, Faison said.
“Clearly, for me, I’ve always been a supporter of the top eight hosting in the first round,” said Faison, who will be a member of the NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Committee in September. “I think it’s a better way. There are still going to be upsets. It’s just better for the game.”
The primary concern of coaches with that format is that it’s not a competitively fair situation, Faison said.
In a nut shell, “certain” schools appear to want to keep the status quo, when it comes to the NCAA Division I Hockey Tourney.  But why would they want to change? Currently in its present form, the NCAA Hockey Tourney working marvelously for them.  Why would the eastern schools want to get on a plane and have to travel to say Denver, Minnesota, North Dakota or Wisconsin and play a best-of-three series when they can play a one-and-done series in their own back yard.
The same schools would also benefit from hosting their share of best-of-three series as well. So their refusal to be open to change is puzzling.
Going forward, this means, we will continue to let the schools out east drive an hour or less and play in what is basically their own back yards.
On the flip side, the NCAA will continue to have the western schools fly long distances and play in empty arenas, in unattractive cities in places that you would never dream of traveling to.
For whatever reason, the NCAA won’t make the eastern teams travel.
According to Grand Forks Herald beat writer Brad Schlossman, “BU and BC have got on a plane 3 times for a regional in the last 13 years. The teams lost by four goals in the 1st round each time.”
The NCAA wants regional games played in arenas posing as quiet emotionless mausoleums, all under the guise of the regional being held at “neutral” sites. The fact remains, these sites are not in fact “neutral” sites. All you have to do is look at Google maps to prove my point. The University of New Hampshire is 45 minutes away from last year’s regional site in Manchester, New Hampshire.
It appears that the UND hockey team is going to get a chance at hosting a regional “close” to Grand Forks, ND. Again, since the NCAA has decided in their infinite wisdom they don’t want any more regionals on-campus and want to play in empty arenas posing as quiet emotionless mausoleums, all under the guise of the regional being held at “neutral” sites. This would be the next best option, next to the Xcel Energy Center.
UND athletic director Brian Faison said the school is working on putting together a bid to host a men’s hockey regional at Fargo’s Scheels Arena in 2015 or 2016.
I know, be careful what you ask for. Right? That being said, there is going to be a problem with having a regional championship at that location. Having been to the Scheels Arena in Fargo, I don’t think it’s big enough for a regional championship. The Scheels Arena only seats 5,000 people for hockey.
What if the NCAA puts Minnesota and North Dakota in the same regional, they’ve done it on many occasions. In essence, Scheels Arena wouldn’t be big enough to accommodate both schools ticket demands. When you put a regional close to a host school like North Dakota with a rabid fan base like UND, their fans are going to show up. The same is true with Minnesota.  It will be interesting to see how this ends up.

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