According to Bowling Green State University Athletic Director Greg Christopher, Northern Michigan University has stopped returning calls to the CCHA and its member schools.
This comes from a story by John Wagner that is set to be published Wednesday in the Toledo Blade.
"Northern Michigan has stopped returning phone calls from the league and from its fellow member schools, so that's a pretty strong signal of where they stand," Christopher said to the Blade.
You can read more from John Wagner at his blog at toledoblade.typepad.com/falconfodder/ or at www.toledoblade.com/BGSU.
Bowling Green head coach Chris Bergeron and Christopher said the university is still committed to the hockey program and Gergeron is more committed than ever. The Falcons took a big step this season as the 11th seed in the CCHA playoffs when BGSU upset the Wildcats in the first round of the league playoffs, winning a double-overtime Game 3 in Marquette.
A rumor began circulating late Tuesday night on Twitter that the CCHA had sent out a memo to its remaining six members that NMU was leaving the league for the WCHA in 2013-14. The Mining Journal has been unable to verify the rumored memo or obtain a copy of it. A call to CCHA commissioner Fred Pletsch Tuesday evening was not returned as of 11 p.m. EST.
The CCHA has already lost Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State to the Big Ten. Miami is heading to a new league as well with North Dakota, Minnesota-Duluth, Colorado College, Denver and Nebraska-Omaha.
Notre Dame is also searching for a new home and based on public comments made by the university this offseason, it appears the Irish are not staying in the CCHA. Western Michigan is also campaigning to join a new conference and Alaska is rumored to be following NMU to the WCHA. That would leave the CCHA with only Bowling Green, Ferris State and Lake Superior State.
Roman Augustoviz (@RomanStrib) of the Star Tribune tweeted Wednesday that the CCHA had contacted the WCHA, asking for the two leagues to sit down and talk. According to Augustoviz, the WCHA will decide Friday when the five remaining schools - Minnesota State, St. Cloud State, Bemidji State, Michigan Tech and Alaska-Anchorage - meet in St. Paul whether to sit down and talk with the CCHA.
By then it could be too late.
NMU's board of trustees is meeting Thursday at 9 a.m. and an athletics update is on the meeting agenda. This time was originally set aside to discuss the overall state of NMU athletics, however, it is expected that hockey will not dominate the discussion. NMU President Les Wong said Monday he will discuss with the board the future of NMU hockey and what conference it should play in during Thursday's board meeting.
The Mining Journal will be at the board meeting Thursday morning and tweeting updates at www.twitter.com/mattwellens.