Greetings. Those who are Twitter followers (www.twitter.com/bruceciskie) got the first look at this news, but now that I have a spare moment, I figured I'd share it here for those who despise Twitter and all its evils.
According to a source, there might be a perfectly good reason Bowling Green hasn't yet accepted its WCHA invitation, and has apparently been given an extension on its 30-day window. This source tells me that Bowling Green has met with four schools that currently field Atlantic Hockey Association programs -- Canisius, Mercyhurst, Niagara, and Robert Morris -- about potentially starting a new league.
Also in on the meeting, per this source, was the University of Buffalo, which has a club team but no Division I varsity program.
The source also noted that RIT and Air Force were invited to the meeting, but RIT apparently wasn't interested, and Air Force, while interested, couldn't get a representative to the meeting.
The Buffalo angle sure is interesting. The Bulls are in the MAC in all sports, and their club team plays in an 1,800-seat building not far from campus. Robert Morris plays in a smaller building. Canisius plays in one the same size. My point? It's not like Buffalo would need a shiny new arena to be on a level playing field with the rest of these schools.
For Bowling Green, there are some perfectly good reasons why this might be a more attractive option than going to the WCHA, and much if it surrounds travel. Instead of flying to Alaska twice some seasons and always at least once, the Falcons would be able to board a bus for all their conference road trips (the farthest trip, Buffalo, is a smidge over 300 miles away).
There have been questions via Twitter and my e-mail about Alabama-Huntsville. Sadly, I still haven't heard that school connected with any conference. No matter where they end up (assuming they do), they're going to have to help subsidize the travel for the rest of the league. This new league is probably UAH's best option, assuming it gets past what appears to be quite the preliminary stage. The shortest road trip in this configuration would be over 500 miles to Bowling Green, but at least they wouldn't have to worry about going to Minnesota, Upper Michigan, or Alaska.
I'll keep you posted as I learn more.