Thursday, July 7, 2011

MSU paying close attention to 'Super League' talk

Minnesota State athletic director Kevin Buisman said Wednesday that his school and others are not just sitting back and waiting for the so-called "Super League" to happen (Is there a better name? The Runaways? The Breakaway League? College Hockey America 2: Electric Boogaloo?).

"We have to have contingency plans for several possible outcomes," Buisman said. "Our discussions focus on the schools currently aligned with the WCHA and are committed to a future in that league."

You can read more about Busiman's thoughts on the future of the WCHA here. But here are a few extra tidbits from my interview with him:

• Buisman said all of the schools in the league are in exploratory mode. "It's important for us to have contingency plans in place. There's been a lot of speculation. All we can do right now is stay abreast of the discussion and keep making decisions form an informed position."

• Buisman acknowledged that the history and tradition of the WCHA and college hockey are important but said, in the end, those things don't necessarily make money. He then compared the happenings — preliminary discussions — to that of the major college conference mashups that are happening around the country, the Big Ten starting hockey in two years (the first domino to fall in all of this) and even the Division II conference changes that forced Minnesota State to end up in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. "Change is inevitable in college athletics," he said. "(MSU) has seen all kinds of changes in recent years."

• "At the end of the day we're going to have to evaluate our options and put ourselves in postion to win conference titles and earn national-tournament berths," he said. "I think (the Super League talks) is something that has to be taken seriously. We aren't in a position to just sit back and react. We have to be proactive."

• Meanwhile, the story is growing legs in Omaha, Colorado Springs and on the Web.


VoiceOfReason said...

The time is now for Buisman to start running this hockey program like a real, D1 hockey program, and not like the other D2 sports at the school. Tough decisions must be made, and that may include eliminating other non-revenue sports at MSU, but for men's hockey to be viable, they need to be funded like other schools like UMD and SCSU.

Jeff said...

At some point that "plan B" needs to be made apparent. I, and many other potential ticket holders, can't rationalize spending money on something that might not be there in 3 years. I don't think most people are going to spend money on something that just might be a money pit.

PurpleSeats said...

Let's face it - MSU has no options. We haven't earned any options. When the AD says we are "making decisions from an informed position" Sure it's an informed position, but it's also a helpless and dire position. Options come to schools with a tradition of success, schools who have demonstrated a willingness to truly invest in their program. There is no silver lining if this shakes out. For us it's a complete slap in the face, and would mark the bitter end of an era in which MSU truly played at the highest level of college hockey.

Too little too late and woulda shoulda coulda. Let's hope we're not muttering those words when we're playing Tech and Anchorage 12 times a year before crowds of 2000. This is our punishment for a decade of mediocrity. If we somehow get spared by the powers at be we can call it a near death experience and try to learn a lesson from it.

Wyatt said...

I have always said that the lack of commitment and the media's failure to hold MSU staff and coaches accountable for a mediocre D1 hockey program will hurt MSU and its fans in the long run. I really don't think we were ever a D1 program(we may have been a D2 1/2) as far as coaching, recruitment, facilities and funding.
I believe in the upcoming years to see a total lack of recruitment power, lower caliber opponents, lack of fan spirit and more excuses from the coaches and AD for horrible games. As a MSU season ticket holder, I am so disappointed in this program, working so hard to become D1 and throwing it all away because the AD refused to take it to the next level.
If this is the only way we can hang a WCHA banner in our arena, I'd rather see the program fold and take make the drive up to Minneapolis and become a gopher fan. I watched last year as the excitement was being sucked out of the fans due to horrible coaching, players and a lack of desire to be the best. Our AD should be run out of town for his failures to our program. This is one Maverick fan who has his eye on a new gopher(Omaha, North Dakota or C.C) jersey, something I can wear with a sense of pride.
As far as the WCHA, I hope they also fold. The WCHA has been catering to the top schools since we've joined them, and it is pretty ironic that it is those same top teams that left them to its demise.