College Hockey:
Minnesota State-Moorhead inches toward goal of launching Division I programs

The changing conference landscape of men’s college hockey has given Minnesota State-Moorhead another opportunity to launch Division I men’s and women’s programs.

The school is roughly 40 percent of the way toward a $37 million goal to endow Division I programs through “soft commitments,” school president Edna Mora Szymanski said at a news conference Friday.

Moorhead athletic director Doug Peters said the changes to conference affiliation brought on by the formation of the Big Ten and the National Collegiate Hockey Conference makes this the “best opportunity” for the school to add programs.

Said Szymanski: “In chaos there is opportunity.”

The school will be looking to make a decision in the next three months, officials said.

The Dragons would play at 5,000-seat Scheels Arena in nearby Fargo, N.D., according to a blog post on the school’s website. That building is home to the USHL’s Fargo Force.

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  • EazieCheeze

    In order to do it, they’d have to move their entire athletics department to Division I, as the NCAA has killed the “play-up” option once the moratorium lifts in about a month.

    Not to say they couldn’t make it in Division I, because I don’t know that (they’re a perfect geographic fit for the Summit League), but Division I men’s and women’s ice hockey necessarily means Division I everything else, as well.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RXIYXPN5XUZ2V5UT7CEV2YHZBY A guy named Joe

      And then there is By-Law 20.8 which allows a D-II school, when there is no championship in that sport, to play in the D-I championship.

      Under Moorhead cannot play up as a D-I school but under 20.8 they can play in the D-I championship.  Are the two in conflict, or Moorhead plays in the D-I championship as a D-II school?

      This is a mess.  But the NCAA  and Moorhead have 2 years to figure it out.

    • bluetell

      i dont think this is right. half of the ccha isn’t D-I in anything. Ferris, LSSU, Northern, and Alaska are all DII or lower

    • BeaverHockey

      Most of the remaining WCHA is D2 in their other sports, Bemidji, St. Cloud, Mankato, Duluth, and Moorhead are in the same conference for football, basketball and all other sports.

  • Anonymous

    What a stupid bylaw. Why shouldn’t the sports compete at different levels? Yet another great idea from the crack baby basketball association.

  • Brad

    LSSU fans better hope this doesn’t happen.  It might cost them getting into the CCHA.

    • Brad

      I mean the WCHA.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RXIYXPN5XUZ2V5UT7CEV2YHZBY A guy named Joe

      Current play-ups are unaffected. 

  • Bjohnson235

    I’d actually think this might be good news for the CCHA.  Means one less team the WCHA will try to pick off.  Could have a legit 8 team conference with Ferris, Lake ST, BGSU, Alaska (doubt WCHA would want two Alaska teams), Alabama, and 3 Atlantic Hockey teams that would love to be able to offer more scholarships by playing in the CCHA.

  • MSU Grad 97

    Great to see the other MSU in MN looking to get a team going.  It almost happened a few years ago when BSU was looking for a partner to join the WCHA.  In retrospect, it sure would have been better than the three-and-done Red-Mavs from down-under.

    • Kburd53

      Hey, I’m a graduate of MSU living Down Under and don’t appreciate the comment.  MSU Grad 73

  • Ljolson

    Great news out of Moorhead.With 190  Junior hockey teams in the US alone, we could use 20 more D-1 NCAA Hockey programs!Hopefully, places like Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska will follow suit.I feel, the changing landscape of D-1 hockey in the West will encourage more schools to establish D-1 programs.I can remember when the WCHA opened its doors to UMD,Wisconsin,and Notre Dame in the 60′s.The CCHA FOLLOWED suit when it added NMU,Miami,and Ferris in the late 70′s.The growth of D-1 college hockey will continue as more leagues emerge.We will see the day the USC,UCLA,Arizona,and ASU ARE COMPETING at the NCAA D-1 LEVEL!!!

  • Guest

    The REAL problem is that college hockey lacks a Div II. Div II schools like MTU have struggled with limited resources to keep pace with the larger schools like North Dakota, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan.

    Due to Title 9 and startup costs, very few new mens Div I teams will be created and very few Div III schools can make the jump to Div I. A Div II would give schools the option to move to the level that is appropriate for their resources.

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