|Deadline is Friday for BG hockey decision|
|Written by KEVIN GORDON Sentinel Assistant Sports Editor|
|Monday, 19 September 2011 08:28|
Bowling Green still hasn't decided if it will join the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.
The Falcons a charter member of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association - have until Friday to decide if they will accept the WCHA's membership invitation.
BG was one of five CCHA schools invited to join the WCHA on Aug. 25. Each school was given 30 days to make a decision.
Alaska (Fairbanks), Ferris State and Lake Superior already have accepted the WCHA's invitation.
Western Michigan also has yet to decide.
The move would begin with the 2013-14 season. BG and Western are the only schools left in the CCHA for the 2013-14 season.
The CCHA dates back to the 1971-72 season.
"We're still looking at all available options and we're still talking with everyone," BG athletics department spokesman Jason Knavel said Sunday night.
Also, Notre Dame still hasn't announced what league it will join or if it will become an independent, but it is not returning to the CCHA. If the Fighting Irish join a league, they most likely would move to the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference or Hockey East.
ND athletics director Jack Swarbrick said his school is "about a week away from announcing (a) conference decision," South Bend, Ind. TV station WSBT reported on its Website Saturday night.
Swarbrick also told the station the school hasn't made its decision.
There are those who believe once Notre Dame's decision is known, the rest of the realignment will fall into place.
"Our decision is not tied to what Notre Dame does," Knavel said.
The remaining members of the WCHA are Alaska-Anchorage, Bemidji State, Michigan Tech, Minnesota State (Mankato) and St. Cloud.
Before the five CCHA schools were invited to join the WCHA, Northern Michigan moved from the CCHA to the WCHA.
"That's a good option for Bowling Green," BG athletics director Greg Christopher said of the WCHA earlier this month. "The question is can we make it better and that's some of the conversations we're having behind the scenes with those schools now. Ultimately, how big would that league look and (what would) the configuration of that league (look like)?"
That started speculation the WCHA and the CCHA could be talking with four Atlantic Hockey schools - Canisius, Mercyhurst, Niagara and Robert Morris - about joining the WCHA.
The CCHA and the four Atlantic Hockey schools first met July 26 to discuss future options for both sides.
Alabama-Huntsville, an independent, also may be involved in the talks. The Chargers were turned down for CCHA membership in 2009.
The WCHA has nine schools for the 2013-14 season when all of college hockey's realignment takes effect.
If BG, Western, the four Atlantic Hockey Schools and UAH all join the WCHA, that would give the league 16 members, possibly leading to some sort of two-division alignment.
BG's other option, although it appears unlikely at this point, is joining the new NCHC.
The NCHC already consists of Colorado College, Denver, Miami, Minnesota-Duluth, Nebraska-Omaha and North Dakota.
The NCHC has six schools and the conference has said it would like to have as many as eight members, although no timetable for future growth has been announced.
In addition to ND, the most-mentioned schools to round out an eight-team NCHC are BG, Western and St. Cloud.
BG, Miami and Western are members of the Mid-American Conference in all other sports.
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