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Jeff_Jackson_for_Pres.
11-15-2012, 02:54 PM
I will admit some trepidation at starting this thread to ask my question because I fear being raked over the coals or starting a shouting match between enemies, but I have been wondering something:

Why is there not more uniformity (templates, if you will) for punishment from institution to institution and from league to league? Thinking about several things that have come to light/happened over the last 6 months it seems as if some institutions and leagues dish out (IMO) much harsher penalties than others and the NCAA is no better when it comes to making heads or tails out of the severity of the crime.

When I think about what happened at North Dakota or BU, compared to institutional mistakes at UA(F), to me sending freshmen to the hospital with possible alcohol poisoning is worse (more dangerous) than the violations the athletic department committed in Alaska, yet I don't believe the NCAA has acted with regards to NoDak or BU, but has taken away scholarships from the hockey program. I realize there is a set rule for that case about contacts/recruiting, but is there no set rule or punishment for dangerous/illegal behavior?

When I think about the hit that Notre Dame's Kevin Lind put on a WMU player, I fully agree with his one game DQ, but the AHA league commissioner suspended an Atlantic Hockey player for 7 games for a hit that was likely no more egregious (although admittedly I don't know the resulting injuries/impact, but would guess any injury was not perilous given that I saw no coverage of it).

Okay, hockey gurus...let's hear the answers, debates and speculations. This inquiring mind wants to know what you know.

Wondering
11-16-2012, 02:12 PM
I can't answer your question. But in regards to the loss of scholarships at UAF, I believe that punishment was self-imposed by the university. The NCAA now has the option of deciding whether that action is sufficient, or whether UAF should be penalized even more (fines, bans on post-season competition, etc.}.

I hope some other people weigh in. You've raised an interesting issue.

Ed Trefzger
11-16-2012, 03:49 PM
When I think about the hit that Notre Dame's Kevin Lind put on a WMU player, I fully agree with his one game DQ, but the AHA league commissioner suspended an Atlantic Hockey player for 7 games for a hit that was likely no more egregious (although admittedly I don't know the resulting injuries/impact, but would guess any injury was not perilous given that I saw no coverage of it).

Unfortunately USCHO doesn't have permission to post the video. I've seen a copy and I know it has been circulated to people in other leagues, other media outlets and to the NCAA. The player who was suspended never stopped moving his feet, had his hands up and banged the head of the injured player into frameless glass. The loudness of the bang was pretty loud. The player's helmet was broken and from what I understand, he had a laceration on his face and a concussion. He has not played since. In this case, the extent of the injury was considered, per the commissioner. http://www.uscho.com/2012/11/06/atlantic-hockey-commissioner-discusses-lengthy-suspension-state-of-the-conference/

We discussed injuries and suspensions with NCAA rules committee editor/CCHA director of officials Steve Piotrowski on this past Tuesday's USCHO Live. Steve suggested that the severity of the impact -- that frameless glass being like hitting against a concrete wall -- made this situation one in which Atlantic Hockey was right to consider the extent of the injury as part of it.

My view is that the suspension, while severe, sends a message that this sort of deliberate hit -- the suspended player did not let up -- will not be tolerated. I'm not sure if the number of games is proper or not, but since the injured player has been out since the hit, it doesn't seem too egregious from an eye-for-an-eye standpoint. I like that the severity of the injury was considered and I give DeGregorio credit for suspending the player for the two games at Air Force, meaning that he would not be in the lineup against the Falcons until next season (except possible playoffs.) I've been vocal in criticizing that league for not enforcing head contact enough and for not issuing public supplementary discipline, so I was glad to see this addressed.

SJHovey
11-16-2012, 04:42 PM
I will admit some trepidation at starting this thread to ask my question because I fear being raked over the coals or starting a shouting match between enemies, but I have been wondering something:

Why is there not more uniformity (templates, if you will) for punishment from institution to institution and from league to league? Thinking about several things that have come to light/happened over the last 6 months it seems as if some institutions and leagues dish out (IMO) much harsher penalties than others and the NCAA is no better when it comes to making heads or tails out of the severity of the crime.

When I think about what happened at North Dakota or BU, compared to institutional mistakes at UA(F), to me sending freshmen to the hospital with possible alcohol poisoning is worse (more dangerous) than the violations the athletic department committed in Alaska, yet I don't believe the NCAA has acted with regards to NoDak or BU, but has taken away scholarships from the hockey program. I realize there is a set rule for that case about contacts/recruiting, but is there no set rule or punishment for dangerous/illegal behavior?

When I think about the hit that Notre Dame's Kevin Lind put on a WMU player, I fully agree with his one game DQ, but the AHA league commissioner suspended an Atlantic Hockey player for 7 games for a hit that was likely no more egregious (although admittedly I don't know the resulting injuries/impact, but would guess any injury was not perilous given that I saw no coverage of it).

Okay, hockey gurus...let's hear the answers, debates and speculations. This inquiring mind wants to know what you know.You raise some good questions, ones that I don't think I know the answers to.

I think there is becoming more uniformity on the crackdown on the blows to the head, and I think we'll only see the leagues and maybe even the NCAA go tighter on this issue. Head injuries are clearly at the forefront of discussion in many, many sports right now, not just hockey.

I don't know, but I suspect the Alaska vs UND incidents/punishment question is answered by thinking about part of the role the NCAA plays. While you'd think they'd certainly have some interest in looking after the well-being of student athletes, it's much more likely they will get involved when it affects the competitiveness between institutions. For example, player eligibility, the Wisconsin Kerdiles situation, etc... There, the NCAA imposes sanctions when it feels that rules have been broken where one institution used those transgressions to gain some sort of competitive advantage over fellow institutions. It is much less likely to get involved in the so-called "in house" problems like alcohol abuse, sexual crimes, etc... Because of that a school like Wisconsin or Alaska gets punished for what seems like relatively minor infractions (society would certainly think so comparing them to sex crimes or alcohol abuse) while schools like BU and UND get a pass.

I think it will be interesting to see what change in approach, if any, the NCAA takes on these types of in house, behavioral, problems in the wake of the Penn State football event. We'll see, I guess.

uaafanblog
11-16-2012, 07:02 PM
Because the NCAA is a paper tiger in a jungle filled with poisonous snakes, Dragons, T. Rex's, Vampires, Leeches, Boars, ad nauseum ... ?

Because winning is more important than competing?

Because individual character isn't a top priority at every school?

Because of the almighty dollar?

Because humans in any institutional situation behave in ways that benefit the institution rather than adhering to basic human values?

All of the above?

Jeff_Jackson_for_Pres.
11-16-2012, 07:21 PM
My view is that the suspension, while severe, sends a message that this sort of deliberate hit -- the suspended player did not let up -- will not be tolerated. I'm not sure if the number of games is proper or not, but since the injured player has been out since the hit, it doesn't seem too egregious from an eye-for-an-eye standpoint. I like that the severity of the injury was considered and I give DeGregorio credit for suspending the player for the two games at Air Force, meaning that he would not be in the lineup against the Falcons until next season (except possible playoffs.) I've been vocal in criticizing that league for not enforcing head contact enough and for not issuing public supplementary discipline, so I was glad to see this addressed.
Because I didn't know the extent of the injuries, I would now agree that the AHA handled it well. But they appear to be the only league that does so. Notre Dame had a player who's career was ended due to a hit to the head and ensuing severe concussion (he almost had to leave school because of memory and concentration difficulties), but the offending player was given no penalty other than a minor in the game. I too want a crackdown on CTH infractions.

Why can't the NCAA take a Brendan Shanahan-type method to penalize players? I may be in a minority, but the Nic Kerdiles affair and the UA(F) situation don't mean squat compared to risks to career, cognitive ability or health/life.

Thanks for the clarification and input. Keep it coming.