In a move that TJHN has lobbied for publicly for the last few years, USA Hockey has made a legal proposal to toughen up the Zero Tolerance Policy as it relates to Alcohol and Drug use among players, coaches and other staff.
The new proposal more clearly defines not only what was once referred to as a “mood altering drug”, but those persons that the new rule would effect.
It also defines that use of these items by coaches or anyone else involved in a USAH team in front of minors would be subject to penalties.
This proposal, is not only long over due, but provides some teeth to what was once an all “bark” rule. Players, parents, coaches, owners and even referee’s will now have to be much more diligent in how they handle their off ice activities.
How this will now effect social media use by teams and players should be noticeable. Most coaches research players through social media now, and those tell tale photos of under age parties will now play a much bigger role in who makes what teams.
As one coach said to me yesterday;
“We have enough risk with these players and how we invest our efforts to get them to college. The new policy will definitely have our organization avoid those players, no matter how good they are, when we find evidence that could subject us to discipline if it took place while on our team.”
TJHN applauds USA Hockey for this proposal.
Joseph Kolodziej – Publisher