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NCAA Watching Hockey Much More Closely Updated

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NCAA Watching Hockey Much More Closely Updated October 10, 2012 9:35 AM

So many are still trying to get over on the NCAA system. Well NCAA officers are doing their jobs these days and they are cracking down.

Nic Kerdiles has been suspended for the entire 2012-13 season. Because Kerdiles is required to serve the suspension while enrolled at University of Wisconsin, it’s not feasible for him to play a year of junior hockey before returning to school. All that would do is delay his serving the ban.

TJHN has learned that two photos have surfaced that may have put Kerdiles’ eligibility in question. One is from a dinner at the NHL Scouting Combine with representatives from Pulver Sports.

The other situation includes a photo tweeted by Pulver Sports that shows Kerdiles and two other NHL prospects holding BioSteel supplements. That could be considered an NCAA violation of an athlete promoting a product.

Wisconsin is appealing the move by the NCAA, which has not commented or elaborated on the situation on the record. This suspension though is unprecedented in NCAA hockey. While similar suspensions have been enforced in football and basketball, hockey has now become relevant enough for the NCAA to look more closely at potential violations.

The Nic Kerdiles situation is disappointing, but not terribly surprising. What’s saddest about it is the idea that it’s Kerdiles’ advisors who should be facing the scrutiny, not the player who is supposed to know all the rules. Unfotunately the Kerdiles situation is not uncommon, and more players are being looked at now for these violations and others.

The Ducks are said to be not happy with the idea that Kerdiles not playing hockey this season. The WHL’s Kelowna Rockets hold his rights, and if this appeal isnt resolved quickly, it’s believed that Kerdiles is likely to make the jump to Kelowna. So the USA looses another top prospect to Canada because of people in positions of power working with the player not knowing and understanding the rules.

Any players and parents still want to game the system? Want to put your education at risk? Want to put your amateur status at risk?

The bottom line to the rule is simple, players are not to receive anything of value from anyone based upon their ability as an athlete. This includes improper Tier III scholarships, improper meals, equipment, or anything not authorized directly from and received through a team.

This is not an issue that is going away. Stay tuned for more news on the Tier III scholarship crackdown as the investigation of this practice heats up.

By Joseph Kolodziej

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