This subject has been touched upon a couple of times, but I felt the need to start a new thread with a serious discussion about the issue.
First off, to the people in charge:
How can you sit by and let the top division in the league be whittled down to four teams? I realize there may not be a rule against leaving the Division one for no reason, but how could there not be? The fact that teams are allowed to duck and hide from Lindenwood and UMSL so they can go to nationals, or in order to preserve a winning record in a down year is just absurd to me. I've heard the argument that some teams have lost players and/or are in rebuilding years, but those teams just need to face the facts that they will be having down years. Teams in the NHL aren't allowed to drop to the AHL just because they're rebuilding or a team in their division is too good. If that were the case, then Detroit would be the only team in the Central division. And if teams make a good enough case to go down a division (low enrollment, lower turnout at tryouts) then why not force two teams from the lower division who have the resources to play in D1?
To the new and old Division 2 teams:
Where is the old sense of competition and pride? Truman St. and MO St. have shown that they are premier teams in the entire Great Plains region. While it's true that they have all but guaranteed perennial trips to nationals in Division 2, why not try, (or again to those in charge) be forced to showcase their talent in Division One? UMSL did, and look what they have accomplished.
I realize a lot of the issue is based on the vast difference between the talent that Lindenwood and UMSL are able to procure based on scholarship opportunities, PIHA ties, and intangibles such as a winning reputation. Perhaps the rules need to be examined to downplay some advantages. Obviously this is a pipe dream since the NCRHA couldn't possibly intervene with individual school policies, but if anyone had any ideas that is obviously what the forum is for.
I imagine this is an issue that will be discussed at the next meetings of the powers that be, but personally I believe that this is an issue that needs to be solved before the season begins. Perhaps a realignment is in order. Or maybe some kind of loaded schedule system where D2 and D1 play each other but D1 schools play each other more. Overall it just looks bad for the conference, and bad for the sport in general when good teams are looking for advantages by avoiding other good teams, and less fortunate teams refuse to play the good teams.
I'm definitely interested in other's opinions.