Knowlton’s move to Air Force raises question about his spot on NCAA committee

When the NCAA Division I men’s ice hockey committee convenes for selection Sunday in 10 weeks, who will be its chair?

Rensselaer athletic director Jim Knowlton has been the committee chair since September 2013, but news Tuesday of his impending move to the athletic director position at Air Force raised the question of his assignment.

The committee (despite the outdated language on this page) is made up of one member from each of the six Division I men’s hockey conferences, and three of the representatives must be administrators.

With Knowlton moving from an ECAC Hockey school to an Atlantic Hockey school, the ECAC has to decide what it wants to do with its spot on the committee if the move happens on its announced date of March 1, 21 days before selection Sunday.

ECAC Hockey associate commissioner Ed Krajewski said the league is looking into the situation and will discuss it on an administrator call next month.

The committee has virtually no input on which teams are picked for at-large spots in the NCAA tournament — that’s what the PairWise Rankings are for — but it has plenty of say on bracketing and the selection criteria.

So the committee membership is important, and the ECAC administrators should be protective of their interests in having one of their own among the body.

I wonder, however, whether the timing in this instance could push any transition into the offseason. Stay tuned on that.


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