Wisconsin fans heading to Green Bay this weekend won't see blue-chip forward Nic Kerdiles in a Badger uniform.
The suspended forward hoped his appeal of a one-year suspension by the NCAA would be rectified by now, but Andy Baggot of the Wisconsin State Journal tweeted Thursday morning that no decision will come this week.
Wisconsin officials confirm NCAA will not hear Nic Kerdiles appeal this week. No specific timetable for when NCAA will act.— Andy Baggot (@AndyBaggotWSJ) October 11, 2012
Kerdiles, who many consider the nation's top forward recruit, was given a year-long suspension by the NCAA last Friday for an amateurism violation.
No specific details of the violation have been officially released, but multiple sources have been able to confirm to Bucky's 5th Quarter that the investigation stems from a relationship with Toronto-based sports agency Pulver Sports.
As we said yesterday, no decision this week on Kerdiles might not be the worst thing in the world for Wisconsin. Oddly enough, the Badgers have an off-weekend scheduled next weekend. That could be a blessing in disguise if this thing carries on.
One of the major concerns for Kerdiles is playing enough games this season so he can continue along an upward development trajectory. The Anaheim Ducks, who drafted him in the second round of the NHL Draft, certainly want Kerdiles on the ice as much as possible.
With the bye week, the Badgers don't have any games scheduled after this weekend until October 26 at Minnesota-Duluth. That's a full three weeks after the initial NCAA ruling. It would be surprising if a decision wasn't reached by then.
Kelowna, who owns Kerdiles' WHL rights, has five games scheduled between now and the 26th, should this play out that long. Given travel logistics, it would be surprising if Kerdiles was able to play for the Rockets this weekend. Kelowna has a two-game series in Victoria, B.C., but I just can't see that as a realistic option.
A rumored Thursday deadline of Kerdiles leaving seems silly, given that would likely only give Kerdiles three extra games with Kelowna. With the WHL schedule having 50-plus games left after that, I'd be surprised if he didn't let this play out until a decision is reached by the NCAA.
If Kerdiles' suspension is reduced but not thrown out all together, the path the freshman would take is unclear. Wisconsin has 36 regular season games scheduled, but that number could end up as high as 46 if the Badgers were to make the national championship.
Kerdiles is also projected to be a member of the United States squad over New Year's at the World Junior Championship, which would add between 5-to-7 seven games.
If Kerdiles' suspension is cut in half (to 18 games), he would be eligible to play starting January 11 at Minnesota State.
Would Kerdiles consider sitting that first half, knowing that he would still be able to play upward of 35 games (7 WJC, 18 regular season, 10 playoffs)? Badgers fans are certainly hoping so.
At this point all we can do is wait, and see how this thing plays out.
As I've said before, the NCAA ruling on this situation borders on irresponsible considering the infractions that we're currently aware of.
The NCAA may be willing to make an example out of Kerdiles. I just hope they are ready for the hundreds of players who are weighing their options between NCAA hockey and major junior to now lean north of the border.
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