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Brad E. Schlossman / Forum News Service, Published May 31 2013

National Collegiate Hockey Association commissioner resigns

GRAND FORKS – The Jim Scherr Era is over in the National Collegiate Hockey Association before it ever really got started.

The league’s first commissioner resigned Friday, accepting a higher-paying job as the chief operating officer of the European Games before the NCHC ever played a hockey game.

Scherr, who was hired by the league in January 2012, previously served as the head of the United States Olympic Committee and will return to the Olympic realm.

A national search will begin immediately for his successor.

Scherr, who earned a base salary of $150,000 per year, helped lay a lot of the groundwork for the league, including setting up a television deal with CBS Sports, securing a postseason tournament home at the Target Center in Minneapolis and creating the league’s bylaws.

The league will kick off play in its inaugural season in October with members The University of North Dakota, Colorado College, Denver, Western Michigan, Miami (Ohio), Minnesota-Duluth, St. Cloud State and Nebraska-Omaha.

“We knew when we hired Jim that there would come a time when there would be competing bids for his services,” UND athletic director Brian Faison said. “We are grateful for what Jim has done in his time with the NCHC and we are very happy that he has the opportunity to return to the Olympic sports world with the European Games in Baku. We know his expertise will greatly benefit their event.”

Colorado College athletic director Ken Ralph said the league is in good position because of Scherr’s work.

“While it is difficult to see him go, we understand his decision,” Ralph said. “Jim was presented with what is really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Schlossman writes for the Grand Forks Herald