David Branch and
his gang from the Canadian Hockey League need to get a really good look at the
rules regarding NCAA compliance and eligibility. While the NCAA has singled out the CHL, they
have elected to turn the other way in regards to other amateurism violations.
The entire spectrum
of youth athletics in the United States has athletes that are able to
participate without the fee that others on the same team has to pay.
Programs like to
"scholarship" elite athletes to attract others that believe they are
elite athletes. This problem exists at the club level of almost every NCAA
Any such benefit is
improper according to the NCAA. I also have to question the legality of
selective enforcement. The NCAA needs to either sanction approved pre-college
programs or simply eliminate the question all together.
I find it to be
amusing that USA Hockey thought enough of the CHL to do whatever possible to
make sure that certain rules could not apply to men's ice hockey. Why is that?
USA Hockey needs to stop protecting the United States Hockey League and realize
that the CHL is a powerful developmental tool that could be essential to the success
of the national programs.
The NCAA also needs
to define its own role in regards to college athletics. Why does the
organization even allow scholarships based purely on athletic ability when it
does not allow the athlete to accept the same benefit during the developmental
I've said this
before and will say it again. The NCAA needs to standardize all scholarships to
ensure that the athlete is able to complete the education. If that means full
five-years of tuition and expenses, so be it.
Players that get
injured, or simply do not meet the potential the coaches envisioned, should not
suffer as a result. College should always be about education first.
At the same time,
athletes that decide to depart before the completion of their degree program
should be forced to re-pay all of the educational and developmental expenses up until that date.
This would eliminate the recruitment of athletes that have zero intention of
completing the educational process, opening up those spots to student-athletes
that do. This has not really been much of a hockey issue as it has been in other sports.
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