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The Slice

Tue., Sept. 27, 2011, 4:41 p.m.

Pros/cons of GU playing Div 1 hockey

Pro: What if the fairy dust falls off the shoulders of the basketball program someday?

Con: Facilities issues.

Pro: Top tier college hockey would appeal to fans who can't get into versions of the sport where fighting is an accepted part of the game. (Fight in college hockey and you're gone, and not just for five minutes.)

Con: Ruinous travel costs. Nearest Division 1 programs are in Alaska, North Dakota, Colorado and Nebraska.

Pro: Academic fit. For a variety of reasons both social and cultural, Division 1 college hockey players typically excel in the classroom. Harvard and Yale, et cetera,  compete at the highest level of college hockey.

Con: Would be starting at zero re: establishing rivalries.

Pro: Potentially rich recruiting grounds in nearby BC. (Kids wanting to go the college route might welcome a chance to play closer to home than, say, Michigan or Wisconsin.) 

Con: Wouldn't have the advantage that programs in Northeast and Midwest enjoy where many college teams grab gaduating talent from elite prep schools where the sport has decades of tradition.

Pro: A bulldog graphic would look cool at center ice.

Con: Spokane's hockey culture has deep roots in the Canadian brand of the game. The possibility that GU hockey might be embraced mostly by students from Seattle and California could create a weird town/gown discord.

Pro: Could have women's hockey, too.

Con: GU athletics boosters known to enjoy the occasional trip to San Diego or Hawaii might be slow to see the charms of a January flight to Grand Forks, N.D.,  or Duluth, Minnesota.

Pro: Anyone who has seen a game at a college hockey hotbed knows the sport sells itself.

Con: Very few people here have experienced that. 

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