Thursday, July 14, 2016

MSU's letter to the NCHC

Brad Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald obtained a copy of Minnesota State's letter of inquiry for potential admittance into the National Collegiate Hockey Conference today. The letter, from university president Richard Davenport, makes clear the schools intentions as well as highlights the things — "added value" — MSU brings to the table. No real surprises based on Wednesday's news.

You can see the letter through a link in Schlossman's story here.

A few highlights from the letter:

• The letter was sent on May 18.

• Minnesota State's hope is to get into the league as a full member in 2018-19.

• Coach Mike Hastings' success over the last four years was noted, including his 100-49-7 record, the third-highest win total in DI over that time.

• Hastings' new contract signed last year as well as the team's full-time move into the upgraded Verizon Wireless Center show a financial investment and commitment that should make the program attractive. Later, the letter mentions MSU is working on a plan to phase in full cost of attendance aid.

• Geography (as I noted in map form on the previous blog post) is a big selling point with Mankato being a bus ride away for four current NCHC members (St. Cloud State, Minnesota Duluth, Nebraska Omaha, North Dakota) and having local charter service in town as well as close proximity to the MSP airport. Later, MSU's proximity to the Twin Cities is again brought up in reference to the NCHC's "Frozen Faceoff" championship weekend, which has been held at Target Center.

• Mankato's downtown with the full-service Hilton Garden Inn attached to the civic center via skyway, giving visiting teams an easy "stay and play" experience. (Indeed, I have heard this has been very attractive to visiting teams when it comes to scheduling nonconference games.)

• The Mavericks' game play is brought up, too: "We are committed to a wide-open, fast-paced style of play that fans enjoy watching and which allows for the complete growth and development of young student-athletes ..."

Schlossman's article says that the application fee for the NCHC is $20,000 and that would be applied to an unknown membership fee if the applying team is accepted.

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