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Amy Dalrymple, Published April 07 2009

MSUM: Hockey supporters could write check today

MOORHEAD – The people who approached Minnesota State University Moorhead about exploring a Division I hockey program have the money to support it, the president said today.

“If they wrote a check today, it could be done,” Edna Szymanski said today following a town hall meeting at MSUM. “We were approached by people who could make it happen. They and their friends.”

Szymanski and Athletic Director Doug Peters have not named the people who approached MSUM.

During the meeting, which also included discussing the school’s budget and the flood, Peters and Szymanski answered questions about a campus and community group that is considering launching a hockey program.

The proposal could not include any state money, Szymanski said.

The Western Collegiate Hockey Association lifted its moratorium on adding more teams on Jan. 15. The deadline to apply for the conference was March 31, but the only university that applied was Bemidji (Minn.) State University.

Peters said today MSUM is sticking its toe in the water because the WCHA will not want to add just one team. He said he didn’t know if other universities also are exploring a hockey program.

Peters would not answer whether MSUM is also looking at women’s hockey, but Szymanski said the university would comply with Title IX requirements.

Admissions Director Gina Monson said she’s excited MSUM is exploring hockey because it would help recruit people who want to play and who want to support a hockey team.

“Minnesota is such a hockey state, so I think it would be positive,” Monson said.

For more on this story, read Wednesday’s Forum.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590