Ok, Conference Realignment is the 2011 Storyline of the Year. It’s all over the place in Football, basketball (by default due to schools switching in one sport usually go in all sports), and hockey. Ok, all college sports, but I could care less about DI basket weaving.
The latest is that the NCHC invited WMU and SCSU to join its conference (scroll down to read the story). WMU is one of the purely financial and exposure based moves we’ve come to expect from an NC$$ entity, so I am not going to say much more than I don’t think WMU is going to be as bad as everyone thinks and I think with current coaching and the competition level the other teams provide, WMU will improve as well.
I will say that inviting SCSU is a VERY bad move. I know I’ll get flamed for it, but I do not care. Why am I against it? Not because of what the hockey team has or has not done over its tenure in DI. I think Motzko is a good coach and though they are on what seems like a downward spiral at the moment, they do seem to be competitive in hockey since Motzko’s hiring. I’m against SCSU joining the NCHC due to institutional reasoning. Here’s a few reasons:
1. Entitlement Attitude: This summer SCSU’s President Potter III, came out and flamed the NCHC and acted what could only be described as a spoiled child who believed he deserved better though he did not earn such a privilege. It has always been a joke (at least since I got into College Hockey) that SCSU was derogatively called “Jan Brady State University” or “JBSU” for its attitude of being the red headed stepchild of Minnesota hockey who is always and forever jealous of UMTC (among other WCHA teams). They (especially the fans) hate this attribution because it is not flattering to SCSU. Uh, that’s obvious folks. It’s not supposed to be flattering. The problem is, they’ve never once did anything to try to distance themselves from the attribute through institutional actions. They always seemed to be the ones who felt just as entitled to whatever it is as UMTC and, what seems to really grind their gears, that UND gets afforded the courtesy they feel they should have gotten when it comes to the whole rivalry and intra-conference respect that UMTC garnered towards UND. And I know what you are thinking: “UMTC always goes out of its way to put down UND.” True, but they also have shown respect at times to UND as well. SCSU, to my knowledge, has never been that much of a team player… unless you consider teaming up with MSUM, MTU, and UAA against the schools like UMTC, UND, DU, CC, and UW to be a team player.
2. SCSU enjoys conflict as a means of self promotion. It seems to me that they, over their DI history, have thrived on making themselves known or felt through controversy and conflict. It’s not the Anti-Semitic tendencies that they’ve shown in their academic realm that highlights the fact. It is the fact that SCSU was one of the pioneers in leading the whole racism campaign. This pointed Myles Brand into his second Bobby Knight crusade: The Nickname issue. I’m not sure if they are the point of the proverbial spear in this issue, but they certainly are flag wavers. Originally they made the most noise about this issue about the same time as the Antisemitism issue… interestingly enough. Seems like a political circus maneuver to blow the smoke of disdain away from St. Cloud and pointed somewhere else. Again, the jealous tendencies prevailed and pointed (with the liberal agenda already fanning those flames) to colleges like William and Mary, UND, and a few others.
Goon has claimed that the NCHC is only looking for “like minded” institutions to join the NCHC and he’s right… until now. Because SCSU does not have the same minded approach to collegiate athletics altogether let alone hockey as the original six who split. They do not add anything to the NCHC except for a voice of jealous contempt and stubbornness that got us to this point in the first place.
I have nothing against the players and coaches of SCSU. Goon dislikes Aaron Marvin and I can’t say that he handled himself very well on the ice, but overall, I thought their program was on the up swing after they fired the Dahl-li Llama.
I just feel that the NCHC should have waited until Notre Dame made its move. SCSU, to me, is an adequate fall back option even with their attitude problems, but they shouldn’t have been pursued until Notre Dame decided between the Big 10, Independent (long shot), HEA (long shot apparently), and the NCHC.
Actually, I think they should have also waited until they found a commissioner. With a commissioner in charge, the direction of the NCHC gets further streamlined and then we know for sure if teams like SCSU fit better than a say, BSU or even UAH.
Now, on the other hand, if Notre Dame still decides to come to the NCHC, perhaps the NCHC should investigate throwing a bone to UAH. Sure, they’d surely be a cellar dweller, but every conference has one or two. Even the vaunted SEC in college football has Vanderbilt.
I only wonder if Gino had something to do with it.