Mankato, Minn. --- Minnesota State University, Mankato President Richard Davenportannounced today that in recent weeks he has helped guide an institutional process in which the University has examined alternative membership affiliation options for its men's ice hockey program. Examination of these has included recent application to become a member of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC).

The decision to explore possible NCHC membership was made after extensive institutional deliberation about the future direction of Maverick hockey, and was a process in which Davenport communicated with WCHA Commissioner Bill Robertson about MSU's plans to consider other conference affiliation options. 

"We have certainly enjoyed our longstanding relationship with the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA)," said Davenport, "and our relationship with the WCHA and all of its league members remains strong." Davenport also noted, "With an eye to the future, we wanted to be proactive in seeking what's best for the University and believe that now is the right time to consider all conference affiliation options for our men's hockey program."

Davenport was uncertain about a timeline of when any assessment internally or by others would be complete.  He did emphasize that application to the NCHC was a very preliminary step, which would require a great deal of additional due diligence from everyone involved.  "I would characterize submitting the application as the beginning of the process, while we explore possibilities with the NCHC."