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Big Ten Directors to Recommend Men's Ice Hockey as Conference Sport

by on March 21, 2011 1:54 PM

Athletic directors across the Big Ten plan to recommend that men's ice hockey be established as an official conference sport, the Big Ten announced Monday.

In a press release issued at 1 p.m., the Big Ten reported that athletic directors at Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State and Wisconsin intend to make the recommendation in June. The recommendation will go before the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors.

It will suggest that men's ice hockey become an official conference sport effective with the 2013-14 academic year -- with participation from all the universities noted above, according to the press release.

Athletic directors also will suggest the formation of a Big Ten Men's Ice Hockey Tournament, to start in March 2014, the Big Ten reported. The winner would receive the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Championship.

Within the Big Ten, there would be a 20-game conference schedule; each team would play the other five schools four times -- twice at home, twice away.

The Big Ten also will work to maintain "a strong schedule of non-conference competition with the Central Collegiate Hockey Association and the Western Collegiate Hockey Association," the press release reads.

Thanks to an $88 million gift from alumnus Terrence M. Pegula and his wife, Kim Pegula, Penn State plans to field NCAA Division I men's and women's ice-hockey teams starting in the 2012-2013 academic year. That will give the Big Ten six institutions with competitive men's ice-hockey programs -- enough for the conference to sponsor a championship in the sport, according to the press release.

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