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WCHA announces plans for expansion, but passes on Bemidji St. for now

The WCHA today said it would delay a decision to admit Bemidji State University until a 12th team is found.

That decision, however, could come as soon as mid-summer, said WCHA Commissioner Bruce McLeod in a telephone conference call from Florida where WCHA meetings are being held. The WCHA will continue to put a hold its moratorium for new teams and McLeod said he will now "negotiate" to find that 12th team.

Bemidji State made a presentation on Monday, and McLeod said BSU made a strong case but that because of scheduling difficulties, a 12th team is necessary.

"We've been facing this for 10 years, what's a few more months?" said Bemidji State coach Tom Serratore. "I feel confident that the WCHA will find a 12th team. I feel very confident where we stand with the WCHA.We need to be a little more patient, an d things will work out."

There is the possibility that Bemidji State may have at least one season as an independent - the College Hockey America league it now belongs to folds after next season - but Serratore was confident that Bemidji State could schedule a full season of home and away games. "The college body is very supportive."