As I write this article, the NCAA is currently hearing Wisconsin's appeal of a one-year suspension for blue-chip freshman Nic Kerdiles. The appeal will wrap up sometime this afternoon, with a decision expected by Friday at the latest.
Up to this point, all we knew was the NCAA probe started due to pictures posted via social media that involved Kerdiles, and his family advisors from Pulver Sports.
Chris Peters from the United States of Hockey blog shed some more light on the story today, as his sources believe that Kerdiles may have unintentionally received an improper benefit.
According to the report:
"Apparently, Kerdiles stayed in a hotel room the night of the NHL Entry Draft that was part of a block paid for by a credit card owned by family advisor and certified NHL player agent Ian Pulver. According to the source, though the Kerdiles family eventually repaid Pulver, apparently enough time had lapsed prior to repayment leading the NCAA to view this as a loan from an agent and therefore an improper benefit."
Peters quotes the NCAA rule "18.104.22.168 Benefits from Prospective Agents."
An individual shall be ineligible per Bylaw 12.3.1 if he or she(or his or her relatives or friends) accepts transportation or other benefits from:
(a) Any person who represents any individual in the marketing of his or her athletics ability. The receipt of such expenses constitutes compensation based on athletics skill and is an extra benefit not available to the student body in general.
As Peters points out in his article, a loan would be considered an improper benefit, although the NCAA rulebook doesn't go into detail on the rules of what actually constitutes a loan.
The more and more that starts to come out about this case makes me feel less and less sympathetic for Pulver Sports. How incredibly irresponsible is it for them to knowingly book these hotel rooms for a kid they know is going to be playing NCAA hockey?
Regardless of the outcome of the appeal, they owe everyone associated with Wisconsin hockey a sincere apology, and that includes the fans.
I'm told that Wisconsin still feels like it has a great case against the NCAA and is working to get this thing taken care of. The appeal started at 1:30 and, as far as we know, is still taking place.
We'll have more updates as details emerge.
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