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12-10-2012, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Oilers Chick View Post
Technically speaking, D-II no longer exists in ice hockey. So teams either go DI or DIII or are simply left at the club level depending on the support (financial and otherwise) of each institution. You are correct that that some schools, such as Colorado College and Clarkson for example, have hockey as their sole D-I sport. Some schools play at either the DII or DIII levels in all other sports that they have.

SFU doesn't necessarily have to go DI, but if they want a shot at the best recruits available and gain the most exposure to NHL teams, then DI is the only option. But it also takes a huge financial commitment as well. Should they opt to go only as far as a DIII level, that could also provide a few benefits such as not needing to set aside scholarship funding (some DI non- Ivy and Service Academy schools such as Union College do not give out scholarships), still getting some pro exposure (although it's almost exclusively by the minor pro ranks) and generally not having to budget out so much money to support the program. But the down side to DIII is the recruiting level overall is not at the level of DI nor is the NHL exposure there.

Club level isn't where SFU wants to be. If they want to go club level, they might as well stay in the CIS. The quality of both players and teams are so much better in the CIS. And before you all start jumping down my throat, I'm NOT implying that the CIS is a lesser quality league than either DI or DIII, just different.

Anyway, I hope this answers your question.
DII schools actually play hockey at the DII level (Northeast 10 conference), but there is not enough schools at that level to sponsor an ice hockey championship. DII schools have the option of opting up to DI in that sport only.

A DII school such as SFU can not play at the DIII non-scholarship level. DIII bylaws forbid it. Grandfathered DIII schools can however play up to the DI level (i.e. Colorado College, RIT, Union).

Simon Fraser can chose to offer men's and women's ice hockey at DI level (as well as other sports like men's volleyball, skiing, women's gymnastics, men's and women's water polo that also do not have DII championships). There is no requirement at the DI level on ice rink size. But, at least on the men's side, an ice rink of around 5000 is needed to make ice hockey financially viable. A number of schools have a practice rink near or on campus, but use a larger rink off campus. The main issue is that a geographical outlier like SFU needs to be in a conference, otherwise it will be impossible to schedule.

Actually think the new WCHA would entertain SFU as a hockey school, especially if a nearby US school also added the sport. For example, Eastern Washington has a rink on campus and could play games in Spokane. If the new WCHA added both SFU and EWU, then that league could split into three divisions to save on travel costs:

Ferris St
Lake Sup St
Bowling Gree

N Mich
Mich Tech
Bemidji St

Simon Fraser
E Washington

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