Michigan State Spartans’ athletic director Mark Hollis had a great idea to mix the schools team color with the Div. 1 hockey program for the upcoming season: when the ice went back in at Munn Ice Arena, the bluelines were painted green.
The change was a simple one, and Hollis told the Detroit Free Press’ George Sipple the green lines would, “(give) a unique story to a program that is very proud of its heritage, its logo, its color, and gives us something that is kind of unique.”
It is a unique idea, and one that hasn’t been tried anywhere else in the NCAA. And really, what would be the harm in painting the bluelines green?
“Any time you can put fun into college sports without jeopardizing integrity, I think that’s what separates college sports from everything else,” Hollis said.
The NCAA isn’t on board with Michigan State’s idea of fun, however. Monday afternoon, the NCAA rules committee shutdown the Spartans’ green lines, saying the team had to switch back to bluelines before the season got underway.
"The NCAA hockey rules committee has denied the request for a one-year rules waiver to alter the color of the blue lines to green,” Michigan State said in a statement. “We understand and respect the committee's decision and the bluelines will be in place for the start of the season.”
While the NCAA rules do state the zones have to be broken up, “by lines 12 inches in width and blue in color,” the change from blue to green is hardly a major one. And in the image above, it’s near impossible to tell the Spartans have actually painted the lines green.
Even Bob Daniels, coach of Ferris State’s Div. 1 program and MSU alum, said he liked the idea.
“I think the difference between the blue and the green is so minimal, it won’t have any effect on the players, zero,” Daniels told Sipple. “I see nothing wrong with it. In fact, I think it’s a pretty neat idea.”
Unfortunately, Daniels, nor Hollis, got to make the final call. There’s always next season, though, and maybe with a heads-up, the Spartans can convince the NCAA to allow the green lines to become a reality in 2016-17.