Pop quiz (I loved giving these when I was a teacher!)
1. How many Division 1 hockey players are from New Jersey?
2. How many New Jersey D1 players are in the Big Ten?
3. How many high school hockey teams are there in New Jersey?
1. 52 (that's #6 in the U.S.)
2. 2 (where'd the other 50 go to school?)
3. 125 (by comparison there are 309 football playing public high schools and 36 non-public)
Interesting numbers and worth a second look. And the club team that is Rutgers Hockey thinks they are really worth looking at. So much so that they have a petition drive to get Rutgers hockey elevated to varsity status. From the petition site:
From its inception and first official game against a "picked team of Princeton men" in 1892, Rutgers University Men's Ice Hockey has been a student and volunteer run "club" program. With the rise in popularity of college hockey in recent years, including the 3 year-old Big Ten Hockey Conference, the time has come for Rutgers to "Go B1G" and make NCAA Division 1 Ice Hockey a reality.
Sign & RT our petition to help make NCAA hockey a reality at Rutgers! @NJ_Sports @NJ_Hockey @NJYHL @AYHL @METLEAGUE https://t.co/RF3Brh6oiE— Rutgers Ice Hockey (@rutgershockey) May 28, 2015
With Rutgers fiscal woes, you might say how can this happen? Well, stranger things have come to pass. And it just might be worth a look. Who ever thought that there would be "Hockey Valley" out in State College?
As of fiscal year 2013 - 2014, its first at newly built Pegula Ice Arena, Penn State Men's Ice Hockey became the University's 3rd profitable sport in just its 2nd season as an NCAA program. In 2014 - 2015, PSU registered its first winning record as an NCAA team and attendance for home games averaged 104% capacity.
Will a petition make it happen? Probably not. But it would raise the issue, keeping the idea alive, and hopefully, at least, further a dialogue with the Athletic Department. Think it's worth it? I'm thinking....uuuh, yeah. The petition can be found here.
Well, this has me thinking.....I think there's a bigger story here. I'll be back.