While I was on my vacation at the beginning of this week – a major story broke on Badgers freshman forward Nic Kerdiles.
Kerdiles is a highly touted incoming freshman forward and was one of the better players on the U.S. National Under-18 Team last season; unfortunately, he has been suspended by the NCAA for one year.
According to Andy Baggott, beat writer for the Wisconsin Badgers; the University of Wisconsin men’s hockey team could end up losing their highly talented freshman winger Nic Kerdiles for a year for a violation of the NCAA’s amateurism rules.
Multiple sources in the NHL and college hockey indicate the NCAA acted on photos and postings made public via social media that involve an agent and took place leading up to the NHL Entry Draft in June.
It’s not clear what specific issues led the NCAA to rule against Kerdiles, an 18-year-old from Irvine, Calif., but the Bucky’s 5th Quarter website culled a photo from an agent’s Twitter account that showed Kerdiles and two of the agent’s clients holding glasses that advertised a specific energy drink.
The photo could be construed as Kerdiles being marketed by the representative as well as being used to promote a specific product.
The agent who posted the energy drink photo, Toronto-based Ian Pulver of Pulver Sports, didn’t return a phone call seeking comment Monday.
This would be a major hit for the Wisconsin Badgers, according to Andy Johnson of Bucky’s Fifth quarter, Kerdiles is one of the top incoming recruits in the country this season and was expected to challenge for a spot on the Badgers top line. Losing Kerdiles would be a major hit for the Wisconsin Badgers who have been picked by some to finish in the upper half of the WCHA standings this season.
Of course the University of Wisconsin is appealing this unprecedented decision. According to a tweet by Baggott the NCAA isn’t even going to hear Wisconsin’s Appeal 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
Here is the kicker, you would think since Kerdiles has been suspended by the NCAA he could just go back and hone his skills in junior hockey and serve his suspension while he’s playing Junior hockey – he can’t – Kerdiles has to serve the suspension on the Wisconsin campus.
So, it would appear that a blue chip player like Nic Kerdiles isn’t going to sit idle for a season – the home town Anaheim Ducks who drafted Kerdiles in the second round 36th overall aren’t going to want him to sit around idle for a season, waiting to play Division I college hockey.
Appeal hearing for suspended Wisconsin forward Nic Kerdiles expected Thurs. WHL’s Kelowna Rockets and NHL’s Anaheim Ducks watching closely.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) October 9, 2012
I would imagine that the Ducks are going to want him to continue playing hockey and you have to wonder if the CHL will be Kerdiles’ next destination. Kerdiles rights are owned by the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League.
It will be interesting to see how this story develops.