Intriguing news yesterday as Arizona State University announced it would be elevating its men's club hockey program to Division I, becoming the 60th school to carry hockey at that level. The Sun Devils will begin play within three seasons, and are the first Pac-12 program to make the jump. This, of course, begs the question: Why not Syracuse?
There are various reasons "why not," obviously. We discuss some of them in the comment section at BC Interruption yesterday. Including:
- There's nowhere for Syracuse hockey to go. Hockey East is full at 12 teams, and a school like SU shouldn't elevate to join a lesser league. There is no ACC hockey league at this time, either.
- Title IX. If Syracuse adds a men's sport, there needs to be a women's one in there too.
- Venue? Where would a Syracuse men's ice hockey program play? Tennity is already unsuitable for the women's team, nevermind a men's team. The War Memorial doesn't really work because a) Off-campus and b) Syracuse Crunch (AHL) already play there.
But with all of that in mind, what does the TNIAAM staff think about this?
My initial thought is that there's some kind of Title XI issue holding us back but my second thought is that it might be money. All of the pieces are in place. There are multiple home ice options, including the Carrier Dome for special occasions. If they would have us, Hockey East is an ideal landing spot full of rivals and regional schools. We'd be dooming ourselves to a lot of lost #OrangeEagle points for a while but I would imagine there's a strong base of potential supporters as well as recruits that we can draw on. I don't think it's too late but I just think there must be a simple reason we don't do it and that simple reason is almost certainly money.
I assume that we'll eventually have hockey. Between the region, the fairly decent early success of the women's team, and everything else, it makes too much sense. Now we have games being played at the Carrier Dome (which is obviously not an every-game solution, but it is something), the Crunch have had some recent success, and Syracuse has ACC money rolling in. I'm no Title IX expert, but I imagine this will require starting up another women's sport, and we may have to look at a long-term solution for a rink (Tennity is fun, but probably not big enough for a legit program), but if Syracuse wants to commit to any new sport, that is likely something that will come up. Ultimately, the debate people usually have is men's hockey vs. baseball, and while baseball is one of my favorite sports, and it is weird that Syracuse is the only ACC school without it, hockey just makes a lot more sense for Syracuse.
So there you go. There's some why/why not on Syracuse hockey. Also, do we have $32 million or so from private donors to give to this cause? Otherwise, we may struggle a bit to have anything up and running in the next 3-5 years.
But what do you think? Syracuse hockey: doable and worthwhile to pursue? Or too many roadblocks?