Big Ten to add ice hockey as conference sport

File this under the list of things that don’t currently affect Indiana but you might find interesting anyway. The Big Ten could make ice hockey a conference sport. From the conference office:


Park Ridge, Ill. – The directors of athletics of Big Ten institutions which sponsor men’s ice hockey unanimously announce their intention to recommend to the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors in June the establishment of men’s ice hockey as an official conference sport for the 2013-14 academic year with participation by Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin.

The recommendation includes both the establishment of the inaugural Big Ten Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament in March of 2014, with the winner earning the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Championship, and a 20-game conference schedule with each team playing the other five schools four times (two home games and two away games). In addition, the Big Ten’s men’s ice hockey programs will continue to proactively work to maintain a strong schedule of non-conference competition with the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) and Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA).

In September of 2010, Penn State announced the establishment of men’s and women’s ice hockey programs set to begin competition in the 2012-13 academic year, giving the Big Ten six institutions sponsoring men’s ice hockey. Big Ten rules allow for a conference championship when six institutions sponsor a program in any given sport.

Since Penn State’s announcement, the conference has researched and investigated the establishment of men’s ice hockey as a conference sport.  The conference has sought input and communicated both internally with conference chancellors, presidents, administrators and coaches, and externally with members of the hockey community, including the CCHA and WCHA.

With the addition of Nebraska on July 1, 2011, the broad-based athletic programs of the 12 Big Ten institutions will sponsor 298 teams with more than 9,500 men and women student-athletes competing for Big Ten Championships. The conference currently features 25 official conference sports, 12 for men and 13 for women.  The last official conference sport established by the Big Ten was women’s rowing in the 1999-2000 academic year.


  1. As a Minnesotan and Minnesota Golden Gopher hockey fan (Hoosier basketball fan though, thus why I frequent the site), I am not happy about this development. I highly doubt the BTN will pick up any more games than they already do because frankly, they could not care less about college hockey. I really do not see much $ coming from this. I also do not see any other Big Ten program adding hockey in the foreseeable future, so basically all the BTHC does is force the weaker programs in the CCHA to fold, leading to fewer college hockey teams (only 58 currently). College hockey has always been a niche sport, and the BTHC will not change that. Not. A. Fan.

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