Miami University made it official Saturday afternoon that the Redhawks will leave the CCHA in 2013-14 to join the WCHA's North Dakota, Minnesota-Duluth, Denver, Colorado College and Nebraska-Ohama in a new college hockey conference that will compete with the Big Ten.
The six universities issued a join statement on Saturday and declined comment until Wednesday's press conference in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The Grand Forks Herald first reported the new conference on Thursday and the Mining Journal confirmed with sources at Northern Michigan University that same day that an announcement was on the horizon.
Below is the statement from Miami's athletics website, www.muredhwaks.com:
July 9, 2011
A Joint Statement from:
Brad Bates, Director of Athletics, Miami University
Ken Ralph, Director of Athletics, Colorado College
Peg Bradley-Doppes, Director of Athletics, University of Denver
Bob Nielson, Director of Athletics, University of Minnesota Duluth
Trev Alberts, Director of Athletics, University of Nebraska Omaha
Brian Faison, Director of Athletics, University of North Dakota
We are pleased to announce that six top NCAA Division I ice hockey programs will become founding members of a newly formed hockey conference, which will begin competition for the 2013-14 season. The six institutions are Colorado College, University of Denver, Miami University, University of Minnesota Duluth, University of Nebraska Omaha and University of North Dakota.
We understand and appreciate the widespread interest in developments relating to the formation of the new hockey conference. More information will be provided about the initiatives that have been undertaken, as well as the next steps involved, at a news conference in Colorado Springs this Wednesday, July 13. Our programs look forward to continued associations with our current leagues, the WCHA and CCHA, for the next two seasons.
Additional information about Wednesday's news conference will be forthcoming in the next few days. There will be no further comment from athletic directors, coaches or other officials from any of the institutions until Wednesday's news conference.
Comments from NMU President Les Wong concerning this news can be read at www.miningjournal.net/page/content.detail/id/564460/NMU-President-Les-Wong-comments-on-the-new-college-hockey-conference--future-of-Wildcat-hockey.html?nav=5075
For the original story detailing the new conference by the Mining Journal published on Thursday night, visit www.miningjournal.net/page/content.detail/id/564396/WCHA--CCHA-to-lose-more-teams-to-new-college-hockey-conference.html?nav=5010