Arizona State will not be the eighth member of the Big Ten hockey conference.
A source involved in the conversations between the school and conference confirmed to the Star Tribune on Tuesday that the Big Ten will not extend an invitation of affiliate membership to college hockey's newest Division I program.
The Big Ten added Notre Dame as an affiliate member in March, the first addition to its hockey conference since it was created in 2013.
The Fighting Irish will join the conference in the 2017-18 season. The Big Ten's odd number of seven teams led some to believe Arizona State would be the next addition. Sun Devils officials have said they would like to join a conference in 2017.
In March, Big Ten hockey Commissioner Brad Traviolia said the conference would give consideration to various opportunities to expand.
The Big Ten declined to comment Tuesday, citing its policy not to discuss specific details about future membership.
The source, however, said the conference is developing guidelines for affiliate membership built around three key factors: history of success, academic standards and geographic location.
Arizona State officials met earlier this month at the NCAA Frozen Four with WCHA representatives.
The WCHA has openly pursued Arizona State, and on Tuesday Commissioner Bill Robertson reaffirmed its position.
"The WCHA is still in active pursuit of Arizona State University and had productive meetings with them in Tampa at the Frozen Four," Robertson said. "I'm hopeful and I understand this is a process."
NCHC Commissioner Josh Fenton last month said the conference is interested in meeting with Arizona State. NCHC member North Dakota won the national championship earlier this month, and Denver advanced to the Frozen Four.
The eight NCHC teams also have been among the best in nonconference play and dominated the national rankings.