Last week, the Big Ten announced plans to create a hockey conference that would begin play in the 2013-14 season. Six schools would be a part of the initial season. Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Minnesota would leave their respective conferences to join the Big Ten's venture, with Penn State also joining the mix after moving hockey up to Division I status in 2012-13.â†µ
(Sean Yuille posted all the details here at SB Nation Detroit last week.)â†µ
But will the other six Big Ten schools add hockey to their Division I programs in order to play in the new hockey conference? Apparently not. Iowa and Illinois play hockey at the club level, but don't plan to step up to varsity status.â†µ
Iowa athletic director Gary Barta said as much to the Des Moines Register's Randy Peterson:â†µ
Iowa doesn’t have plans to add any sports at this time,” athletic director Gary Barta wrote in an e-mail.â†µ
The Hawkeyes haven't added a sport to its varsity programs since women's rowing in 1994.â†µ
Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne also stated that there are no plans to add hockey, citing Title IX concerns that would mandate adding a women's sport, as well. The same holds true for Illinois.