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Clarkson Puts Aside Eligibility Issue
Although the Clarkson University women's hockey team is regarded as one of the top teams in the country this season with an 18-7-1 overall record and a Top-10 ranking in the national polls, the Golden Knights will have to wait a year before they can participate in the NCAA Tournament.
Clarkson is ineligible for the 2006 NCAA Tournament because the program is in its second year of reclassifying from D-III to D-I. NCAA rules require a two-year waiting period before Clarkson is eligible at the higher level.
Clarkson, which was established as a NCAA program in 2003, is in its last year of Division I probation and will be eligible for the national tournament starting next season.
"This is something that has been out of our control for a couple of years now," stated head coach Rick Seeley. "There are two ways to be invited to the NCAA's party, win your conference championship or qualify for one of five at-large bids. The fact is we've done neither, making a debate now moot. I am proud the team has played well enough to potentially make this an issue, but we won't give it a second's thought until we prove we deserve consideration following our last game. As our captain, Lindsay Williams said to the team, 'Hey, we've never won a conference playoff game, let's worry about that first.' "
The Golden Knights, currently tied for second in the ECAC Hockey League, close out the regular season hosting Dartmouth and Harvard at Cheel Arena February 24-25.