Here’s the text of the Big Ten’s statement in reaction to Penn State’s announcement that it’s adding men’s and women’s hockey:
The Big Ten Conference is excited about Penn States recent announcement regarding the establishment of NCAA Division I mens and womens ice hockey programs set to begin competition in the 2012-13 academic year. Our institutions have longstanding relationships with Division I, Division II, and Division III college hockey programs that have benefitted both our institutions and the entire national hockey community.
For many years, we have had five institutions sponsoring Division I mens ice hockey programs Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, and Wisconsin. Big Ten rules allow for a championship whenever there are six institutions sponsoring a program in any given sport. This leads to the presumption that there will be a Big Ten Mens Ice Hockey Championship at some point in the future. A decision of that nature, however, cannot be made without a significant amount of discussion both internally with conference chancellors, presidents, administrators and coaches, and externally with the hockey community as a whole. Whatever we do, we will communicate in a respectful and responsible way as we endeavor to balance all of the unique interests in play.
We congratulate Penn State and wish them well as they continue to provide the most broad-based opportunities possible for their student-athletes.