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Why no D-I teams in Alaska?
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Captain Bearcat Offline
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Post: #21
RE: Why no D-I teams in Alaska?
(06-22-2022 11:35 AM)ken d Wrote:  
(06-22-2022 10:06 AM)YNot Wrote:  
(06-22-2022 06:42 AM)ken d Wrote:  Even if, somehow, they could come up with adequate funding, they would probably need to get a waiver from the NCAA to allow them to play all their games on the road. You can find teams that will travel to Hawaii in winter, but not to Alaska.

And if you are going to play all your games on the road, what's the point of having sports anyway?

And yet the Division II UAA women's basketball team had a home schedule that included a 4-game home tournament and 8 regular season games with teams traveling from Michigan, Texas, North Carolina, Alaska, Montana, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and British Columbia.

The women's basketball team had road games in North Carolina, Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, British Columbia, and Alaska.

They had five OOC games at home in November. After that they had 6 conference games at home (including Alaska-Fairbanks) and 10 on the road.

The men's team played two home games back to back against Lincoln Christian (a small bible school with about 500 students, that discontinued athletics after the 2021 season) and hosted two games in the Seawolf Thanksgiving Classic. They then played 7 conference games at home and 8 on the road.

I believe they would have a hard time putting together a viable schedule in a D-I conference. The Big Sky is probably their only chance, and they don't need any more mouths to feed, so I don't see that it's worth the effort to move up.



Why is it harder for them to put together a D-1 schedule than a D-2 schedule?

There's fewer D-2 schools overall (306 vs 350), and lot fewer D-2 schools West of Colorado (32 vs 55).

And D-2 schools have even less money than D-1 schools.
06-22-2022 12:02 PM
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ccd494 Offline
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Post: #22
RE: Why no D-I teams in Alaska?
Money. Alaska's governor cut funding to the University of Alaska system by more than 40%. A number of sports went, and those that have come back need to be privately funded. The cut was so deep that there were rumors that one of the two main campuses would go.

Basically, every Alaska citizen gets a check every year from the state's oil revenues. The Republicans ran on increasing that check, even if oil revenues fall (which they did in 2019). So, the governor vetoed 182 bills, including $130M+ from the university system, to pay for the direct payments to citizens. Until that priority changes, any increased investment in intercollegiate athletics is a pipe dream.
06-22-2022 12:40 PM
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Frank the Tank Online
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Post: #23
RE: Why no D-I teams in Alaska?
(06-22-2022 11:25 AM)ManleyPointer Wrote:  Why don't the D2 HI/AK schools don't share a conference?

I get why the HI schools prefer a CA conference. But not much in it for the CA schools. Which makes me wonder how long the Pac-West can last.

There are a couple of items that I can think of:

(1) Hawaii is one of the best per capita college athlete-producing states in the country. I saw one analysis that Hawaii is in the top 5 states for FBS football signees per capita. There are many years where Hawaii produces more *total* FBS recruits than states like New York, Wisconsin and Colorado even with a fraction of the population. Its advantage is even greater in sports that are particularly important to the California schools, such as volleyball, track & field, swimming & diving, baseball, softball... the State of Hawaii punches WAY above its weight in essentially any outdoor sport along with volleyball (whether indoor or outdoor) being ubiquitous. There's a deep talent pool at all levels (whether D-I, D-II or D-III) for the sports that the California schools focus on within the State of Hawaii. It makes sense because Hawaii has perfect weather that encourages high levels of outdoor sports participation throughout the entire year.

(2) If I'm a recruit, an annual January away trip to Hawaii sells itself (even for people from California). Just tell me when and where and I'll show up. In contrast, that ain't happening with a January away trip to Alaska.

The value of Hawaii to West Coast athletics is in a totally different universe compared to Alaska (where they might have some favorable hockey recruit figures per capita, but that's about it). The sports where Hawaii produces a lot of talent directly overlaps with the sports where California and the other West Coast schools have advantages, whereas there's very little overlap in interests between Hawaii and Alaska (or Alaska with the rest of the West Coast).
(This post was last modified: 06-22-2022 12:45 PM by Frank the Tank.)
06-22-2022 12:42 PM
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jdgaucho Online
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Post: #24
RE: Why no D-I teams in Alaska?
C'mon Frank, we all know UAA baseball and men's soccer are diamonds in the rough.
06-22-2022 03:09 PM
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ken d Offline
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Post: #25
RE: Why no D-I teams in Alaska?
(06-22-2022 12:02 PM)Captain Bearcat Wrote:  
(06-22-2022 11:35 AM)ken d Wrote:  
(06-22-2022 10:06 AM)YNot Wrote:  
(06-22-2022 06:42 AM)ken d Wrote:  Even if, somehow, they could come up with adequate funding, they would probably need to get a waiver from the NCAA to allow them to play all their games on the road. You can find teams that will travel to Hawaii in winter, but not to Alaska.

And if you are going to play all your games on the road, what's the point of having sports anyway?

And yet the Division II UAA women's basketball team had a home schedule that included a 4-game home tournament and 8 regular season games with teams traveling from Michigan, Texas, North Carolina, Alaska, Montana, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and British Columbia.

The women's basketball team had road games in North Carolina, Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, British Columbia, and Alaska.

They had five OOC games at home in November. After that they had 6 conference games at home (including Alaska-Fairbanks) and 10 on the road.

The men's team played two home games back to back against Lincoln Christian (a small bible school with about 500 students, that discontinued athletics after the 2021 season) and hosted two games in the Seawolf Thanksgiving Classic. They then played 7 conference games at home and 8 on the road.

I believe they would have a hard time putting together a viable schedule in a D-I conference. The Big Sky is probably their only chance, and they don't need any more mouths to feed, so I don't see that it's worth the effort to move up.



Why is it harder for them to put together a D-1 schedule than a D-2 schedule?

For one thing, you play a lot more games in D-I than UAA has been playing, and you don't have other Alaskan and Canadian teams in the Big Sky. That presumes they could get invited to the Big Sky in the first place, and I believe they'd have to add several sports just to be eligible.
06-22-2022 03:25 PM
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Post: #26
RE: Why no D-I teams in Alaska?
In D2 basketball scheduling, there's a 26 game limit plus a 2 game exemption for a conference challenge in the years a team is eligible to compete. Conferences play as many as 22 games but the Great Northwest Athletic Conference plays 18 so they have to fill only 8 openings on the schedule.
06-22-2022 09:22 PM
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