On the heels of the news that Penn State will be adding Division I hockey in the near future, the Big Ten released a statement Friday saying that the news does not necessarily mean a Big Ten Hockey Conference is on the horizon. Not that they ruled it out, either.
For many years, we have had five institutions sponsoring Division I men’s ice hockey programs – Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, and Wisconsin. Big Ten rules allow for a championship whenever there are six institutions sponsoring a program in any given sport. This leads to the presumption that there will be a Big Ten Men’s Ice Hockey Championship at some point in the future. A decision of that nature, however, cannot be made without a significant amount of discussion both internally with conference chancellors, presidents, administrators and coaches, and externally with the hockey community as a whole. Whatever we do, we will communicate in a respectful and responsible way as we endeavor to balance all of the unique interests in play.