February 6, 2003
Competition and Championships Cabinet recommends "grandfather" clause
NCAA: Future of WCHA, CHA auto-bids to be resolved in April

By Mike Eidelbes

The NCAA Competition and Championships Cabinet recommends attaching a "grandfather" clause to a rule set to take effect in September that would
eliminate automatic postseason berths for four conferences, including College Hockey America and the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

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Feb. 5: Future WCHA, CHA auto-bids in jeopardy

NCAA Ice Hockey Championship Coordinator Tom Jacobs told Inside College Hockey Thursday that the cabinet, which wrapped up three days of meetings in Indianapolis Wednesday, endorses a proposal allowing conferences that currently have automatic bids to the NCAA Tournament to keep them once the new statute takes effect. The NCAA Management Council will consider the cabinet's recommendation at its meeting in April and determine the fate of the CHA and WCHA automatic bids.

The provision in question requires conferences to have no fewer than six full-time Division I members – schools where every sport is Division I – in order to receive auto-bids for NCAA championships in any sport. Furthermore, each of those schools must have maintained Division I status for at least six years. The intent of the rule, according to Jacobs, is to strengthen D-I requirements across the board and prevent institutions from elevating one sport.

Jacobs says four conferences would lose auto-bids without an amendment to the new rule. In addition to the CHA and WCHA, the Atlantic Soccer Conference (men's soccer) and the Midwestern Collegiate Volleyball Association (men's volleyball) would also be affected.

The grandfather clause would have to be approved by the NCAA Management Council at its meeting April 14-15. The Management Council is made up of 46 members representing the 31 Division I basketball conferences. Incidentally, the auto-bid rule change originated in a Management Council sub-committee.

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