By now, most everyone is aware of the situation revolving around Wisconsin freshman Nic Kerdiles and the NCAA. On Friday, the NCAA ruled that Kerdiles is ineligible to play for one season.
Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves briefly addressed the situation at his weekly media availability on Monday afternoon. The following is the transcript of how he led off his press conference:
"Before we get started, going to talk about the elephant in the corner of the room, and that's the Nic Kerdiles situation. We have a couple of things that we can speak about. So I'll share those with you. First of all, the investigation of the NCAA is an amateur status issue. The NCAA has said that Nic, the withholdings are for a year, and we're appealing this decision immediately. Those are the three things I wanted to share. I'm just going to put it out there right now. Should you ask me any further questions, I'm going to ask for next question because we've been asked not to go into any more detail. I hope you'll respect that wish."
As we previously reported, sources have confirmed that Kerdiles' relationship with advisors from Pulver Sports has been called into question.
In our last update, we detailed two photos that have surfaced that may have put Kerdiles' eligibility in question. One is from a dinner at the NHL Scouting Combine with representatives from Pulver Sports.
The other situation includes a photo tweeted by Pulver Sports that shows Kerdiles and two other NHL prospects holding BioSteel supplements. That could be considered an NCAA violation of an athlete promoting a product.
The concerning issue here is that multiple people with NCAA compliance history have noted that the evidence presented with both photos does not come close to equaling the punishment levied by the NCAA.
What that says to me is that either the NCAA significantly overstepped its bounds -- and we can expect a significant retraction of the current punishment -- or there is a lot more to this that we're not currently aware of.
As I've mentioned previously, it's not against NCAA rules to associate with an advisor, even if that advisor is a certified NHL agent.
Bucky's 5th Quarter obtained a hockey-specific memo sent out by former College Hockey, Inc. director Paul Kelly last year while he was still in charge. The memo specifically addresses NCAA rules in regards to agents and advisors:
- Young athletes, who I will refer to as prospective student-athletes (PSAs), are not permitted to have agents who market their hockey skills or negotiate with professional teams on their behalf. The definition of a professional team includes major junior teams (NCAA bylaw 18.104.22.168.4).
- PSAs may not have written or oral agreements with agents. This includes agreements for future representation.
- Family members of PSAs are not permitted to have written or oral agreements with agents.
- PSAs are not permitted to accept benefits from agents, such as money, meals, clothing, hockey equipment, or other things of value.
- PSAs and their families are permitted to have advisors to offer guidance and advice, so long as that advisor does not market his or her client's hockey skills or negotiate with professional teams on behalf of the client.
- If a PSA or his family uses the services of an advisor, he must compensate that advisor in an amount equal to the services provided. A modest annual fee is recommended.
Basically, Kerdiles or any other player can receive guidance and advice from advisors as long as the player does not receive one single benefit of value from the advisor. That means no meals, no cab fare, no plane tickets, no hotel rooms, no equipment, etc.
That shouldn't be an issue, as long as Kerdiles paid for 100 percent of his expenses on trips he may have taken for the draft, the combine, player development camp or anything else.
However, the part that catches my eye is where it says, "PSAs and their families are permitted to have advisors to offer guidance and advice, so long as that advisor does not market his or her client's hockey skills."
The second part is a bit concerning, given Pulver Sports' history on Twitter. While the NCAA rulebook itself doesn't mention Twitter, it seems like any tweet from a representative of an agency that includes a prospective student-athlete would imply marketing of that client's hockey skills.
Whether it be mentioning that the player was drafted or that he had a big game, the NCAA could conceivably consider that marketing of a client's skills.
Even if it's not, I feel like some of the Tweets from agents at Pulver Sports are pushing the boundaries of what could be considered by the NCAA as a potential violation. At minimum, Tweets from or about Pulver Sports were enough to trigger an NCAA investigation into the relationship of a student-athlete and an agency.
This should be a lesson for future student-athletes and advisors on what not to do in handling clients through social media.
The following is a sample of Tweets collected by Bucky's 5th Quarter from the Twitter accounts of Pulver Sports employees Ian Pulver (@pulversports), Daniel Tolensky (@dtolensky), John Walters (@jwalters82) and Igor Larionov (@Igor_Larionov).
Also included is a picture tweeted by Larionov's daughter Alyonka (@AlyonkaLarionov) of Kerdiles at a restaurant with representatives from Pulver Sports at the NHL Draft combine.
Note that Kerdiles twitter account was shut down on, or shortly after August 15th. I was told that was due to this NCAA investigation which has been ongoing for months. Notice that there hasn't been a single mention of Kerdiles since August 9th from anyone at Pulver Sports.
August 9, 2012
Team USA guys in Lake Placid, Ny. Doing there thing Alex Galchenyuk and Nic Kerdiles. #Pulver/Larionov @agally94 , @nickerdiles— John Walters (@jwalters82) August 9, 2012
July 6, 2012
Ducks head home to find a piece of their future @nickerdiles ocregister.com/sports/kerdile…— Daniel Tolensky (@dtolensky) July 7, 2012
June 24, 2012
Congratulations to @agally94 @nail10_1993 @nickerdiles . Lots of hard work and exciting times ahead! Best of luck to you!— Igor Larionov (@Igor_Larionov) June 25, 2012
June 23, 2012
Congrats to @nickerdiles drafted 36th by Anaheim #goinghome twitter.com/dtolensky/stat…— Daniel Tolensky (@dtolensky) June 23, 2012
June 22, 2012
@nail10_1993 @agally94 @nickerdiles @curciosfbulls @jwalters82 - Pre 1st round of the draft ... On our way to Consol twitter.com/jwalters82/sta…— John Walters (@jwalters82) June 22, 2012
Other players to watch this weekend include @nickerdiles @maxiafrate34 @kristoffkontos @etmarcoux @clapperton57 @jumbs9 continued...— Daniel Tolensky (@dtolensky) June 23, 2012
June 1, 2012
Good luck to all the #Pulver #Larionov Clients on there combine testing today. @agally94 @nickerdiles @maxiafrate34 and Yaki.— John Walters (@jwalters82) June 1, 2012
May 30, 2012
Team Lunch w/Elvis @pulversports @tylerseguin92 @walts82 @agally94 @nickerdiles @igor_larionov twitter.com/AlyonkaLariono…— Alyonka Larionov (@AlyonkaLarionov) May 30, 2012
May 29, 2012
Great evening catching up with the boys. Nail, @agally94 @nickerdiles twitter.com/Igor_Larionov/…— Igor Larionov (@Igor_Larionov) May 30, 2012
May 28, 2012
Badgers duo will strut their stuff for NHL brass: bit.ly/L97p6L @nickerdiles— Daniel Tolensky (@dtolensky) May 28, 2012
May 27, 2012
Fine Dining @realsports for dinner W/ @pulversports @nickerdiles and a player to be named later lol. #Pulvercrew #NHLCombine— John Walters (@jwalters82) May 27, 2012
April 29, 2012
@nickerdiles we may have to bring @66jhosang @dylandiperna @stephens2727 @caskew19. To be the popcorn runners. #future #pulversportscrew— John Walters (@jwalters82) April 30, 2012
@nickerdiles don't worry @tylerseguin92. May make an apperence at the 2012 NHL Draft with #pulversportscrew.— John Walters (@jwalters82) April 30, 2012
@tylerseguin92 @nickerdiles let's get Nicky K a few more too. Remember he got us popcorn and drinks at the draft. #pulversportscrew— John Walters (@jwalters82) April 30, 2012
April 23, 2012
2012 UW Hockey Recruit @nickerdiles Leads USA To Gold At U18 World Championships sbn.to/JlpC01 via @b5q— Daniel Tolensky (@dtolensky) April 23, 2012
still buzzing about @nickerdiles performance in gold medal game 5 points plus 6. 7-0 win. @craigjbutton great performance! @dtolensky— Ian Pulver (@pulversports) April 24, 2012
@nickerdiles needs 4 more followers to 400. Kid just had 5 pts in the gold medal game #U18. #futurefranchise #mrdoitall. Give him a follow— John Walters (@jwalters82) April 24, 2012
April 22, 2012
@nickerdiles Awesome..congrats.Amazing game!— Daniel Tolensky (@dtolensky) April 22, 2012
'@nickerdiles finishes tournament as one of top point producers & Team USAs leading scorer (4 G, 9 PTS in 6 GP). NHL draft eligible in June.— Daniel Tolensky (@dtolensky) April 22, 2012
Congrats to two-time Gold Medal winner @nickerdiles who had 2 goals & 5 points, +6 in the finale today, USA wins 7-0.— Daniel Tolensky (@dtolensky) April 22, 2012
Four points for @nickerdiles in the U18 Gold Medal Game!— Daniel Tolensky (@dtolensky) April 22, 2012
Kerdiles forces a turnover and sets up another goal, his third point of the day and 7th in the tournament @nickerdiles— Daniel Tolensky (@dtolensky) April 22, 2012
A goal and an assist in the Gold Medal game for @nickerdiles. Team USA U18 20 minutes to gold.— Daniel Tolensky (@dtolensky) April 22, 2012
USA wins 7-0 @nickerdiles 5 pts plus 6puts on a clinic back to back Gold medals for Kerdiles— Ian Pulver (@pulversports) April 22, 2012
April 21, 2012
Good luck to @nickerdiles and Team Usa in there quest for Gold #U18. #pulversports #mrdoitall— John Walters (@jwalters82) April 21, 2012
April 20, 2012
@nickerdiles strong game tonight as USA defeats Canada to go to final @uwchuckschwartz @chrismpeters @dtolensky— Ian Pulver (@pulversports) April 20, 2012
April 15, 2012
@nickerdiles doing big things over at the U18 Tournament in Brno. #Mrdoitall #pulversportsfamily— John Walters (@jwalters82) April 15, 2012
March 30, 2012
check out NHL Top Prospect @nickerdiles talented USNTDP crop for '12 draft soc.li/0yiR4ya inc Coach Cole comments @dtolensky @walts82— Ian Pulver (@pulversports) March 31, 2012
March 19, 2012
@nickerdiles we all Love you Nic. Give the kid a follow. #futurestar !!!— John Walters (@jwalters82) March 20, 2012
March 11, 2012
nic kerdiles @nickerdiles goal and 2 assists leads team USA U18 v Chicago. getting warmed up for strong finish and U18— Ian Pulver (@pulversports) March 12, 2012
January 7, 2012
Great weekend watching our boys. @nickerdiles @tylerseguin92.@clenny5Guest appearances by @caskew19 JHS. #pulversports #crewlove— John Walters (@jwalters82) January 8, 2012
February 12, 2012
Excellent interview with draft prospect @nickerdiles coaches Cole, Eaves and Shuchuk comment on Kerdiles @walts82 collegehockeyprospective.com/2012/02/14/nic…— Ian Pulver (@pulversports) February 15, 2012
February 9, 2012
@nickerdiles busy day in finland for team USA one goal, 7 shots on net most on team with Barber and 4 pims. USA wins @dtolensky @walts82— Ian Pulver (@pulversports) February 10, 2012
January 1, 2012
@uwchuckschwartz @nickerdiles 2 apples for Kerdiles sign of things to come at wisco.— Ian Pulver (@pulversports) January 1, 2012
December 30, 2012
check out top draft prospect @nickerdiles plays at wisconsin dec 31. kerdiles bound for wisco next year!— Ian Pulver (@pulversports) December 31, 2011