The short answer is the voting is still out on Calvin. There have been other teams that have inquired, but have not submitted the application form. The deadline for submission is today. Other teams that have asked for or have gathered information for applying to M1 have been WPU and FGCU.
One of the ACHA goals for the past two seasons has been to increase the parity in each division by encouraging teams to move to the division that best suits there talent levels - no hockey player I have ever known enjoys a double digit win or loss. From a strategic sense we have some problematic geographical issues within the ACHA. If you take a look at our national map, the areas of concern for us are the following: 1) No M1 or M3 presence in New England, 2) No M2 presence in NY area, 3) minimal presence in MN, 4) No M1 (with exception of Alabama or Arkansas) or M2 (with exception of FCGU) presence in FL or the deep south, and 5) No M1 or M3 presence west of the Rockies, specifically CA. This presents new teams that join the ACHA to have limited options for conferences and ACHA Divisions and creates, at times, heavy mismatches on the ice. So we are strongly encouraging teams to move up or down, based on their talent/organizational levels, and placing policies/rules/benefits to incent teams to do so.
For instance, Jay has been working hard to encourage the lower end M1 teams in NY to move down to M2 and create a NY M2 Conference with new addition Clarkson and others. In M2, we have been encouraging FGCU, NYU, WPU, GVSU, and others to apply for M1. M3 has been the biggest challenge due the largest diversity of talent and geography. However, we have made some progress there as well. Met State (#2 in Pacific last season) already moved to M2 this season and has been very competitive there. Calvin applied (and hopefully will be accepted - our computer rankings have them #1 of 150 M3 teams nationally before this past weekend). Aquinas will be moving into the newly formed NAIA Division with L-B, LTU, Life, I Tech, and others next season. Adrian (Gold) will be moving to M2. BAC will be going NCAA D3. There are many other very competitive M3 teams that are looking at options to move in the near future.
Having said all that, I must tell you this is not a perfect process. Years of individual division culture established has made any change, no matter how minimal, somewhat challenging. But we are making progress and most teams/coaches/players are buying into the strategic vision where the divisions are more distinguishable by talent with the best teams being in M1 and with M3 being the entry point into the ACHA for new and struggling teams.
As always, open to suggestions/feedback/criticsm on any improvements we might consider for the ACHA. My goal is to be active on this site every Monday am to see what the membership has been discussing and answering questions.
ACHA Executive Director