Thursday, September 6, 2012

T-Minus 14 Days

Shane McColgan (Kelowna Rockets)
Just think in 14 days while the NHL will be locking out their players that New York Ranger and New York Islander prospects playing in the CHL will be starting their 2012-2013 regular season. Not a happy picture but Canadian junior hockey (and NCAA Hockey) is way better than no hockey period.

Another quiet news day but the word out of Saskatoon is that Shane McColgan (NYR 2011 5th) suffered a knee injury and is expected to miss at least a week. The injury is not being seen as serious but not the kind of start that McColgan was hoping for with his new team.

Only game involving prospects was the New York Islander's 2011 3rd round pick defenseman Andrey Petan's Guelph Storm defeating the Mississauga Steelheads 2-1. Sorry no boxscores to tell you what happened with the game.

The big story of the day came off the ice as Boston University released their internal report regarding the Boston University men's hockey team. The report was commissioned after two members of the BU hockey team were arrested and charged with sexual assault.

One of the two players involved was New York Islander prospect Corey Trivino (2008 2nd) and while Trivino was kicked off the team; some of the blame does belong to the BU hockey program.

The program knew that Trivino had an alcohol problem and choose to give Trivino "one more chance" despite Trivino being a repeat offender. BU gave Trivino a choice of seeking help or "next time you are done"

In the report:

Our conclusion is that there are a number of important structures and processes that are failing to achieve the full level and quality of oversight of the men’s ice hockey program that is expected and appropriate at a major university.

It cited a culture where several players on the team felt a "entitlement because of their status as stars on campus."

Sadly it is a problem that goes beyond hockey as one can travel all over North America and find that this "culture" exists in many sports. One thing though is very clear no matter what the sport when the school turns a blind eye towards how their student athletes are behaving then it creates an environment where players think it is OK to break the rules.

The one thing that bothers me the most about the report is this comment:

Most young men with the potential to play in the NHL first play in ‘junior hockey’ which involves competitive league play in both the United States and Canada for players between 16 and 20 years old. Because players in North America are eligible to be drafted by the NHL when they are between the ages of 18 and 20 years old, the NHL can draft players before they enter college. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) does not prohibit ice hockey student-athletes from participating in collegiate play if they have been drafted by the NHL. This creates a potentially troubling situation for colleges and universities as some ice hockey student-athletes may have already committed to an NHL team for future play. The extent to which these student-athletes may be invested in their academic success and student life may be markedly different from other students and other student-athletes. At BU, on average, about one-third of the incoming players have already been drafted to play in the NHL, and our assessment is that this contributes in substantive ways to a culture and climate in which players may not be fully engaged in the academic, intellectual and extra-curricular activities that are routine for the broader student body.

Sorry I have issues with how the NHL is run but trying to link that a player drafted by the NHL is part of the problem is not even close to the truth. Hinting that players may have already committed to playing for an NHL team would be a NCAA violation.

The problem here was the school allowed the hockey program to run itself. Players (drafted or not) were well known for breaking team rules regarding the use of alcohol. Want to blame someone BU?

Look in the mirror and blame yourselves for enjoying the fruits of a program that brought you national championships while the inmates were able to run the asylum.

Read the report and see that nobody even suggests that BU coach Jack Parker be disciplined for a program out of control. Parker was the person who had a chance to force Trivino to seek help but didn't.

And a young lady paid the price for Parker's bad choice (yes blame Trivino too).

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