Twitter has somewhat blown up today with some a rumor and a story. Since the rumor is far more interesting (only if it’s true), let’s go to it:
The BC Hockey Blog has a “source” in BU (I use air quotes because it seems odd a BC hockey blog would have BU sources, and also because no credentials are given) saying that Coyle is basically gone. Now, luckily BU has a lot of very solid reporting on hockey, and Coyle was called, who told them he was still with the team. BCHB is saying he’s going to the Major Juniors, and alluded to academic trouble.
The obvious problems here is that there’s no information that can be cross-checked (hockey pun!). The source is unnamed, and anyone can say that a player is going Major Junior, and with Trivino having just been kicked off, it sounds more credible to say it now than in a few weeks. On twitter, they’ve assured people the source is credible and to wait a few days. For what it’s worth, a lot of players in the past will indicate that they’re still with the team, and then days later are gone (this happens a lot when recruits assure the media they’re going to college, and then the next day have signed with Major Juniors). I’d say there’s a 10% chance this is actually true.
Now onto the real story here, that Illinois is going to elevate their program from Club to Division I, with funding by the guy who brought you this. This has been rumored for a couple of weeks, but a new surge of talk about it happened today. Illinois is already making big renovations to the building that houses hockey, so the big issue here is scholarships. They’ll need to fund 18, and will need to make up another 18 for women to make up for Title IX, so if the Jimmy John’s founder can pony up that sort of money we might see Illinois hockey very soon.
Illinois adding hockey is, in my opinion, a bigger deal than Penn State. Illinois would be forming a team with a significantly smaller investment, since they’re renovating a building rather than building a whole new one. Teams with club hockey arenas or basketball arenas may look to save a lot of money by renovating these places, adding hockey rink capabilities to basketball arenas, etc. which would allow them to form teams with a more manageable amount of money.
Secondly, the Big 10 will have 6 teams by 2013, exactly half their membership. If Illinois added a team, it would tip the scales, so that more schools have hockey than those that don’t. This may pique the competitive nature of some of these schools, who may look more seriously into forming a hockey team simply to compete in the Big 10, and not be left out. Teams like Nebraska, Indiana, and Iowa compete in just about every sport, and may look at investing in hockey to keep up with the other Big 10 schools.
That’s a look at the stories for now, I hope over the break to have a report card on the team, a power ranking for the league, and a look ahead. Obviously there will be more reporting about any other crazy rumors to surface as well.