The WCHA's "Alaska plan," which will pit Anchorage and Fairbanks against each other in the first round of the 2013-14 playoffs no matter where they finish (unless they win the league) is already causing quite a stir.
Choosing fiscal responsibility over competitive equity (to paraphrase Minnesota State athletic director Kevin Buisman) may make sense on the ledger sheet of a conference that's almost acting as a start-up with the departure of most of its popular and most-powerful programs, but it also raises a ton of questions. It only took a few moments after details of the plan started to be reported upon (details weren't included the league's original press release) that scenarios were thought up that might blow up the integrity of the tournament.
Buisman told me on Thursday that "nothing is forever," hinting that the "Alaska plan" could be scrapped in a year or two. But it might be revisited even sooner, according to commissioner Bruce McLeod, who was reached by The Mining Journal's Matt Wellens (Marquette, Mich.) on Friday.
Stay tuned ...
More quality reporting on the subject done by Jack Hittinger of the Bemidji Pioneer, Stephen Anderson of the Daily Mining Gazette (Houghton, Mich.), Doyle Woody of the Anchorage Daily News and Danny Martin of the Faribanks Daily News-Miner.