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DAILY DISH: NCAA OR MAJOR JUNIOR? Canadian Junior Hockey News

Published: Monday, 30 Dec 2019  
By: Stephen Heisler,

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 sport. 

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 process?

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. 

Author: Stephen Heisler from
Stephen Heisler has spent a lifetime in the game of hockey. Stephen is also working with individual teams, coaches, and players as a director with Victorious Hockey Company. Stephen, his wife Deysi, and four children reside in Orlando, Florida.

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