Sunday, October 05, 2008

A Canadian entry in Div. I hockey?

One piece I put together last week for the newspaper looked at the University of British Columbia's potential bid to join the NCAA at the Division II level, something that would allow the school to play in Division I in one men's and one women's sport.

It's believed that, at least on the men's side, that sport would be hockey, and UBC could become the first Canadian team to be a part of the WCHA or CCHA.

Cost would be a big part of the jump from CIS hockey to Div. I, as teams from the WCHA have a budget in the $1-million range. UBC's total athletic budget is about $4-million.

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on the idea of a Canadian school playing in the NCAA. It'd certainly make the U.S. college system more visible on this side of the border.

(I've been fighting the flu the past few days, so this is probably all for me until tomorrow afternoon. At least there's hockey on.)

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At 3:27 p.m., October 05, 2008, Anonymous Ricardo said...

You should check out UBC's student newspaper's (the Ubyssey) analysis and coverage on the issue. Imo, it's pretty naive to jump to the conclusions the transfer intends, and it's a waste of money for a school trying to manage from the deficit created from a short-sighted construction boom in the last decade.

At 7:23 p.m., October 05, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

are they even competitive in the Canadian university system?

At 7:30 p.m., October 05, 2008, Blogger B.C.B. said...

I don't believe it is a good idea. I am a strong supporter that athletic scholarships should be based on academics rather then althelics (but have no problem with the ohl/qmjhl/whl scholarships since the money comes from outside the university). How much better is the hockey in the NCAA compared to the CIS? I can't judge cause I am from Edmonton, but I would say 20-26 year old NHL cast offs are more physical and just as good as 18-23 players that may not ever make the NHL (plus the 3-4 years in junoir never hurt the CIS players either). I like that the junior leagues have teamed up with the CIS to give these young men an opition to better themselves.

In summary: CIS is a valuable social insituition. And its good hockey.

At 8:29 p.m., October 05, 2008, Blogger Comrade J. Michael Neal said...

There is an important thing to keep in mind: there is no NCAA Div II ice hockey. It died about a decade ago. If a Canadian university decides to join the NCAA at the Div II level, they would have to play DI hockey, or not play it in the NCAA at all.

Schools are allowed to have one men's and one women's sport play in a higher division than the school's general level (a rule that originated with Johns Hopkins lacrosse), but they can't play anything at a lower level. So Div III hockey isn't an option.

At 8:31 p.m., October 05, 2008, Blogger Comrade J. Michael Neal said...

As for my opinion, I'll be disappointed if this goes through. I love watching NCAA hockey, but I loathe the NCAA as an organization. It's corrupt, and it does serious damage to the academic mission of the universities that are a part of it, at least at the DI level. One of the things that I've always respected about Canadian universities was the impression I had that they don't take sports so damned seriously.

At 10:49 p.m., October 05, 2008, Blogger Matt N said...

Can someone who knows tell me what the level of hockey is in the CIS as compared to the NCAA. I see all kinds of NCAA players being drafted and signed by NHL teams and none from the CIS so this would lead me to believe that the NCAA is a superior league.

A quick look at last years standings shows them at 12-16 last year placing 5th in their conference. Im not sure they are even competitive in their own league, much less stepping up.

At 10:52 p.m., October 05, 2008, Blogger andy grabia said...

Darn. One less shitty team for the UofA to beat up on.

In all seriousness, it would be bad for the CIS, and in particular Canada West, for the T-Birds to start playing in the NCAA. There just aren't enough schools out west to handle a loss like this. I also agree with the point about the NCAA being a corrupt and misguided organization.

At 12:21 a.m., October 06, 2008, Blogger Sean M. said...

In terms of competitiveness, I would say most CIS hockey teams would compete very well with top NCAA programs as, on average, the players in Canadian universities have used up their eligibility for junior leagues and are older, stronger, and more developed.

I'm sure UBC can compete in some events, probably track and field, swimming, maybe basketball, but will a move to the NCAA make sense for a university already dealing with a precarious financial situation?

At 8:45 a.m., October 06, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

SFU tried to join NCAA div II years ago following the failure of the NAIA (SFU wasn't a member of the CIS), but was rejected due to a rule requiring members to be US based. I doubt that would change for UBC.

At 8:55 a.m., October 06, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

That's already been changed. Read the article.

At 10:05 a.m., October 06, 2008, Anonymous Ebscer said...

Another thing to consider is they will have the option of keeping Hockey as a non-NCAA sport and move everything else over if they choose to.

Also the vast majority of NCAA teams are in the North East, so this would mean a large amount of traveling for a team from British Columbia.

At 10:35 a.m., October 06, 2008, Anonymous Ken said...

A move for hockey would probably do wonders for recruiting.

UBC has been a negligible force in hockey for at least the past 7 years, and Div I teams typically beat up on CIS Competition in exhibition competitions (i.e. Lakehead got hammered 6-0 against Minn-Duluth yesterday_

At 11:50 a.m., October 06, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe that U of A has also investigated playing NCAA hockey. CIS hockey is good, but not well supported. I think U of A, UBC should move to NCAA hockey if they can. There is every indication they would be competitive and it just might bring fans (students) to the games. If Canadian kids can play at US colleges, why can't Canadian U's play against US Universities?

At 3:55 p.m., October 06, 2008, Blogger Comrade J. Michael Neal said...

Also the vast majority of NCAA teams are in the North East,

Vast majority? Not really. There is a majority, but only in numbers. In terms of quality teams, the advantage goes to the western conferences, albeit, in hockey, the "West" starts in Ohio.

At 5:48 p.m., October 06, 2008, Anonymous Ebscer said...

Yea, I was considering Ohio, and Michigan to be in the North East.

wikipedia has a map.

A team in British Columbia is going to be doing much more flying than any other team will be

At 3:16 p.m., October 07, 2008, Blogger Dagg111 said...

presumably UBC wouldn't be able to recruit CHL (whl/ohl/qmjhl) players anymore because that would be against the NCAA rules, no?

Therefore, they'd probably have a pretty weak team for a while until they can build up on their recruiting. But I would imagine they would become a preferred destination for western canadians that wanted to play in the NCAA (which would include the likes of kyle turris, joe colborne, travis zajac, etc., from past years).


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