On August 30th, TJHN produced a story concerning allegations presented to the Marquette Royales concerning illegal scholarship offers made to players during the recruiting season for the upcoming 2013-2014 season.
In order to provide more clarity to the story, TJHN has reached out to Minnesota Junior Hockey League President Ralph Hayne.
This morning I had a great conversation with Mr. Hayne regarding the Marquette story. One thing that was made clear was that the allegations made toward Coach Stanaway and the Royales, were made before TJHN ran its story last week. This was not a case of TJHN providing information to the MNJHL that they did not already have.
The allegations of scholarships were first made by other Minnesota Junior Hockey League team members in the Great Lakes division. These allegations were made during a conference call that to place prior to August 16th. TJHN was made aware of the conference call by multiple team representatives on Friday August 16th, 2013.
The conference call was held in secret because the only Great Lakes division members who were not aware it was taking place were the Marquette Royales, and Fort Wayne Federals. The Federals were left off of the call because of a relationship with the Royales.
Mr. Hayne informed me that he addressed the accusations in person with Coach Stanaway while on a visit Marquette over a week ago. During that visit Coach Stanaway admitted to certain allegations made by other teams in the Great Lakes division. Mr. Hayne informed Coach Stanaway that he or the team could not make certain offers to players.
According to a release made on the Royales website:
“The Royales recruiting season produced some allegations of illegal scholarshipping. The league does not take this lightly. The allegations were reviewed with Coach Stanaway. Meantime, the league assigned a mentor and the league accountant to the team to monitor and assist. The league
commissioner will be meeting with the players to answer all questions regarding scholarshipping and how such a practice would eliminate their
While no “sanctions” are being put in place based on these allegations, action in the form of oversight is being taken. To the credit of the MNJHL they have taken this seriously and will continue to monitor the situation.
To be clear, last weeks story was based upon Mike Stanaway speaking with me in person about these allegations while we were both at Lake Superior State University. Mike made these admissions in front of witnesses, and under the watchful eye of campus security cameras. That event has been documented to the league by one of the witnesses.
To clarify further, TJHN was asked by multiple teams within the MNJHL to write the original story and assisted in providing the content for that story. The MNJHL is now attempting to meet with players to make sure no one is receiving an improper scholarship.
The MNJHL on page five of its rule book says;
“The minimum Team fee for all players on all MnJHL teams is $4,500.”
Any “discount” or refund of player fee’s not being sent on to college as offered that fall below that amount stated in MNJHL league rules is a violation of those rules.
The MNJHL rule book on page five goes on to say in the very next paragraph:
“No team scholarships/financial discounts are allowed
The player must pay his fee’s in full and the team may not solicit funds on his behalf, may not discount or otherwise provide a scholarship or any other fee reduction in accordance with USA Hockey and NCAA rules”
TJHN has learned that several players who were alleged to be involved with the allegations are now being sent to another team outside of the MNHJL. TJHN will continue to monitor the players and the receiving to ensure that the receiving team keeps things “kosher”.
Joseph Kolodziej – Publisher