NCAA apologizes for women’s championship hats featuring the men’s Frozen Four logo

The NCAA has apologized for the men’s Frozen Four logo appearing on the championship hats given to Minnesota after the Golden Gophers won the women’s Frozen Four on Sunday.

In a statement, the NCAA called it “inadvertent” but something that should have been caught before the hats were handed out.

The issue was brought to wide attention Monday when championship game color commentator and former U.S. Olympian and Harvard player AJ Mleczko Griswold tweeted a photo:

The hat mistake drew scorn on Twitter.




In response to a question from USCHO about the mistake, the NCAA issued a statement:

“We sincerely regret providing a championships hat with the men’s logo on the side panel to the University of Minnesota’s women’s ice hockey team on Sunday following its championship victory at the Women’s Frozen Four. This was inadvertent but should have been noticed and addressed. We are sending the Minnesota women’s ice hockey team new 2016 championship hats, which they have rightly earned. We apologize to the university, the athletics department and especially to the Golden Gophers championship women’s ice hockey student-athletes for this mistake.”

NCAA championship logos got a makeover this season, and the women’s Frozen Four logo has the same shape as the men’s Frozen Four logo.


  1. Between the whole Northeastern playing Boston College (AGAIN!!) instead of Princeton to this hat thing, and everything in between, the NCAA should be ashamed of how it has treated this tournament

  2. Totally embarassing…. Three lines of wording and TWO of those lines have something completely different. How do you not notice? Hey, those people who boxed them up and sent to New Hampshire deserve $15/hr!!

  3. Just further proof of what Arlan and I discussed in our Wednesday Women a few weeks ago: the NCAA doesn’t give a damn about women’s hockey, and finds the whole thing inconvenient.

    • I don’t know that it’s proof, per se. It seems like this could have just as easily happened the other way around. Except we’ll never know now because they’re making darn sure the men’s hats are right as we speak. =)

    • College hockey is a niche sport and women’s hockey is in a much smaller niche. You expect to get treated like football?

      • That’s just a straw man argument. they can get the basics right. Get the right hats to the right game, and start avoiding intraconference games in the first round just because it might be cheaper.

        • Oh, get over the hat issue. Pro teams make uniform mistakes too. No one is out to get women’s hockey. As far as keeping expenses down, it’s the right thing to do until these teams start paying their own way.

  4. Is it possible that it’s just a regretable mistake, and not at all sexist or insulting or permanently harmful to the recipient. After all, the logos are identical in design and the city script appears to be about an eight of an inch high. Maybe the women’s hats are already in Tampa, waiting to be passes out to the men.

    • Have you followed the women’s game much? Look at how the NCAA constantly cuts corners when putting on the women’s national tournament. This is just one more example of little they care about the sport.

      • Could not agree more, Candace, the NCAA has not given women’s hockey their due, ever. Just look at not only the pairings, but the QF teams over the years. No consideration for the teams that beat each other up all year, which causes an uneven Pairwise and eliminates 1-2 teams each year that should be included. Then when they do the pairings they make sure we end up with an East-West final, instead of a true Championship game. Wisconsin and Minny should not have been a Semi. One of them, Minny this year, should have faced BC in one Semi and let the chips fall where they may.

        While the Pairwise works for the men, it is an awful indicator for the women. If the NCAA is going to continue to use it, then the conferences need to play fewer conference games and more inter conference matchups so the best 8 teams are actually invited in March.

      • Candace, I don’t follow on the national level as you do. Kind of envious actually. I think you have a cool part-time gig. But, I’m a Gopher alum, life-long hockey fan, and I have have been to Ridder Arena many times. Would have been even more if I had raised girlz instead of boyz. Never to a women’s FF though. I won’t argue your assertion that the NCAA takes fringe non-revenue sports such as women’s hockey lightly. I just think the hat mix-up fails as smoking-gun (is that phrase still OK?) proof.

  5. Wow, it seems like paranoia and whining have infested the world of women’s hockey. At least on this count the sport is equal to the men’s version.

    • If you can’t see how it’s an outrage, especially in light of the other things the NCAA has done to women’s hockey, then you are part of the problem.

      • Putting the wrong (almost identical) logo on a hat is really not a big deal. I’m quite certain it was a mistake, people make them you know.
        A few years ago the WCHA handed out posters with North Dakota State on them. Nobody lost their mind, but when it’s women, all of a sudden it’s a crime against humanity.

      • An outrage? Get over yourself. It’s hockey played by teenagers. And don’t blame me that your sport has extremely limited appeal.

  6. Unfortunate mistake, but when you break it down…. IT’S A MISTAKE!!! I guarantee that the NCAA made 2 batches of hats. One said men’s one said Women’s. They sent the wrong boxes to the wrong location, and probably didn’t open the boxes til the game was nearing the end. Would it have been better to not have handed out hats at all??? The logos are basically identical. It could have been an easy fix and apology and move on. But why waste a chance to transform a HUMAN error and make it fuel an agenda. Heck for all we know the person who packaged and shipped the boxes could have been a woman. Is it embarrassing, yes! Is it a sexist attack on women, women’s sports or women’s hockey.. Don’t be ridiculous. The issue of NCAA hockey support and coverage is an issue for both men and women. It’s a niche sport and even more so on the women’s side. It’s an unfortunate fact just based on numbers. Both men’s and women’s college hockey has come a long way over the years and I hope it continues to grow and gain popularity. As a UMass Lowell alum I have witnessed a program rise from the ashes of nearly being eliminated all together. They managed to survive and pick themselves up and now are a national contender. I hope that someday they will have such a hockey fan base that the university will someday add women’s hockey into the mix in hockey east. I was at the Women’s frozen four in NH, my wife and I brought our 7 year old son. We had a blast. But having gone to regionals and men’s frozen four as far as the observed effort by the NCAA and ESPN both men’s and women’s have a similar feel. As if NCAA and ESPN say here we will send you our scraps because we have all our good stuff at MARCH MADNESS and I include both MEN’S and WOMEN’S BBALL. So back to the issue, let’s not take a simple mistake and mold it into something to fit into someone’s agenda. I think we see enough of that already. And quite frankly everyone needs to quit being so over sensitive to things and not call the hurt feelings police every two seconds.

  7. Hi I am Kelly Ferreira who studies sports management at Nichols College in Dudley, Massachusetts. I am also apart of the women’s ice hockey team here so obviously hockey in D1 teams and the pros are a big part of my life. Another big part of my sports life is that everyone is treated equally, blacks and whites, men and women.
    In all sports men and women having equality is always a big problem in the sports world. I had a few questions, 1) Do you think was a true accident? and 2) Do you think the company was too lazy to make different hats? I believe that it wasn’t an accident just because obviously you can tell the difference between men and women hats and they are playing in two different places, so I think that it wasn’t an accident.


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