Hockey in America
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12-02-2009, 07:04 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: I Return to Serenity
I would really like to see more division 1 programs from non traditional markets. Every time I look at college football or basketball, it seems that every school has a division 1 program, but hockey doesn't. Take a school like Penn State, how does Penn State not have d-1 hockey? They have an excellent club team, but we can't get them into a d-1 level?
Look at Illinois also. The Hawks are on fire, and yet there is no place for local kids to go further their education and play d-1 hockey at in their state. Not every kid gets recruited to play for Michigan and Minnesota, many very talented players just give up after highschool because there isn't enough opportunities for them out there. Not every kid wants to play in the NAHL or USHL, many would love to further their education and play d-1 hockey at the same time.
There really is no excuse as to why Loyola University, University of Illinois Chicago (UIC), and University of Illinois are not division 1 hockey programs. The NHL loves to give money to help fund USA Hockey and the CHL, but if they truly wanted to help the growth of the game, they need to help these schools pay for the start up of their programs for the first 10 years.
How awesome would it be for kids to be able to say they got a scholarship to play at USC or University of Cal! It should be happening right now. I thought that is what Gretzky helped start back in 89'. Hockey needs to grow at the collegiate level which inturn would trickle down to the highschool and pee-wee levels. There are enough solid coaches out there, and there are enough talented kids that would love to continue playing this game if they had a chance to do so locally.
I know the cost is high, but that is where the NHL can come in and help jump start these programs. What is also nice is that these schools can have women's teams too, so there is no gender preferencing going on. I am sure there are many more d-1 volleyball programs then hockey right now. How much money does a pro volleyball player make in comparision to a pro hockey player? Money isn't everything, but you would think that the path to the NHL is a much brighter one then some of the other d-1 sports.
I am just a huge fan of the game of hockey, and the bigger it gets in the states, the happier I am. There is not enough being done at the college level right now. It seems that the existing schools are too stubborn to expand and are completely happy as long as their school is taken care of.
They say it is getting harder to keep the best US kids playing in college, and that junior is the better option. Well maybe if those kids like McColgan and Jacobs had college hockey in their respective states (Cali and Texas), those top stars wouldn't have bolted for the CHL. Just think how many kids from Minny or even Canada would love to come down to play hockey in California! Are you kidding me? What 18 year old wouldn't want to do that?
Maybe this is all a dream (no pun intended), but I strongly feel that NCAA hockey is severly lacking on its growth and needs to expand to many non traditional markets to help this game grow.
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