Central Collegiate Hockey Association commissioner Fred Pletsch and other league executives had an informative discussion today in Erie, Pa. with representatives from the four Atlantic Hockey schools the league is courting.
Athletic departments from the four schools — Canisius, Niagara, Robert Morris and Mercyhurst — released a joint statement regarding Tuesday’s discussion.
“We had a very frank and open discussion with Commissioner Pletsch and members of his executive committee about joining the CCHA. The CCHA offers several exciting opportunities for our institutions, however each of us feels the need to bring the information we discussed back to campus and discuss it with our school president and our hockey staff.
“In addition, we will need to have discussions with Atlantic Hockey commissioner Bob DeGregorio and his executive committee. Once we have completed our due diligence, we have agreed to meet at a future date to continue to explore our opportunities. At this point in time, no decisions have been made about leaving Atlantic Hockey or joining the CCHA.”
The following members were in attendance from the four schools:
— Canisius: Athletic Director Bill Maher and Associate Athletic Director John Maddock.
— Niagara: Athletic Director Ed McLaughlin.
— Robert Morris: Athletic Director Craig Coleman.
— Mercyhurst: Athletic Director Joe Kimball and Senior Associate Athletic Director Aaron Kemp.
UPDATE: Representing the CCHA at the meeting along with Pletsch were Ferris State Athletic Director Perk Weisenburger and Bowling Green Associate Athletic Director Jim Elsasser, according to UpperMichigansSource.com.
“We are committed to having further dialogue in the future to potentially accommodate those schools, while representing the interests of our member schools that are committed to staying in the CCHA for the 2013-14 season and beyond,” Pletsch said, according to the report.
McLaughlin is the only one of the six who appears to have an active Twitter account (@NiagaraPurpsAD), though not surprisingly, he has not tweeted anything about the hockey team.
All four schools are set to compete in Atlantic Hockey next season. Any potential conference switch is likely to going into effect starting in the 2013-2014 season, when several current CCHA schools will leave to enter new conferences.