Hockey: UBC would seek D-1 puck program if it joins NCAA

You will recall UBC said it could announce its new football coach this week. Meantime, as Sir Andrew of Bucholtz noted yesterday, their top sports admin is working the room at the NCAA's AGM.
"UBC athletic director Bob Philip has been in Atlanta this week for the NCAA's annual general meeting as the school continues to explore the idea of leaving Canadian Interuniversity Sport for NCAA Div. 2. Confusing the issue for UBC is the moratorium on Div. 1 membership until 2011 and how that impacts finding a home for hockey. There is no Div. 2 hockey, so UBC would look to play up in that sport. 'We don't know what the rules are going to be (with hockey)," said Philip. 'We want to make sure if we go, we're doing the best thing for the majority of student-athletes and sports.' "
The Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre, which will host the Olympic women's hockey tournament, is presumably up to NCAA Division 1 standard. Speaking more as "why not" person than as a "why," they should be trying to utilize that 10,000-seat facility; a NCAA program might be the best option.

Neither UBC hockey squad is a traditional power in Canada West, where the Alberta Golden Bears and Pandas dominate. The best way to raise their profile might be to offer something unique to Canada. That also goes for drawing spectators in a region which has the AHL Abbotsford Heat and ECHL Victoria Salmon Kings along with junior hockey.

It's kind of an odd coincidence, then, that the women's hockey Thunderbirds scored a rare win over the U of A in their final true homestand last weekend before they vacate for Vancouver 2010.

UBC mulling move to NCAA (Vancouver Province, Jan. 17)
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