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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ruminations - Big Ten Hockey

News broke a couple of weeks ago regarding the possibility of Penn State elevating its men's club hockey program to varsity status.

There has been on-going speculation relative to Penn State making this type of move for some time. Given the fact that varsity programs at Kent State (1994), Iona (2003), Fairfield (2003), Findlay (2004), and Wayne State (2008) have been mothballed in the last six years and that there are only 58 schools who compete at the NCAA Division I level, any time that this type of news occurs, it's going to draw alot of attention. But, not unlike years of similar rumors about schools such as Iowa State transforming club teams into varsity sports, this time the PSU story has legs.

There's a Penn State alum named Terry Pegula who is apparently a fan of college hockey. He recently sold land to Royal Dutch Shell for $4.7 billion in profit and he wants to take some of that money and give it to Penn State for the purpose of building an 8,000-seat (approx.) arena on campus in State College.  Assuming the Pegula connection is true, now the story has credibility and reports have the Nittany Lions prepared to make an official announcement this Friday.

So, connecting the dots, once Penn State has its program established, the next step is to determine what conference does it join.  The CCHA would seem to be a natural because of the vicinity of Ohio State and Notre Dame.  However, Penn State is a member of the Big Ten in its other sports and in these parts, any time one mentions the Big Ten and hockey in the same sentence, more salivation starts collecting then you would see from a bunch of dogs attending a Pavlov Convention.

Links regarding this development are located here, here, here and here.

It's great to be a Maverick!

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