Since the NCAA has hammered the Penn State football program and athletic department with significant penalties — a $60 million fine, a four-year bowl ban and the loss of a significant amount of football scholarships — there has been much speculation on what it means for the startup hockey program.
My guess? Not a lot.
Penn State will still use 18 scholarships for hockey. It will still fund the program at a high level. Will they cut some corners like flying commercial instead of chartering and driving to a couple of more road games because of the $60 million fine? Maybe. But their players won’t be using wood sticks or anything.
In fact, there may be opportunity for the hockey team.
The sanctions will significantly hurt the football team for the next five to 10 years. During that time, Nittany Lion fans will be looking for something to grasp onto. Their favorite team won’t be relevant and the basketball program has struggled for years.
If the hockey program can get off the ground and have some success, it will be something the fans can rally around. And many of you know how easy it is to get hooked on college hockey if you attend a few games.
Penn State will have a brand new facility to show recruits, it will have a strong recruiting base in the state, a good coach and a recognizable name to sell recruits. So, despite the awful scandal going on, the hockey team will have more things working for it than against it come the 2013-14 season and the start of the Big Ten.
After an offseason of coach shuffling in the WCHA, it appears that all the spots are filled for the upcoming season.
St. Cloud State hired former captain Garrett Raboin to replace Steve Johnson, who went to Omaha. Minnesota State announced that Mike Hastings will retain Darren Blue and Todd Knott on staff. The Mavs have an all-Section 8 coaching staff — Hastings (Crookston), Blue (EGF) and Knott (Red Lake Falls).
Matt Greene appeared on L.A. Today this week. Watch the clip here.
Former UND women’s player Sara Dagenais was drafted by Montreal in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League — the most common destination for Olympians and college standouts after their college careers end.
The CWHL has teams in Montreal, Toronto, Brampton, Ont., Boston and Alberta.