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Thoughts on UNH Men's Hockey Recruiting Violations

Brian: Move along. Nothing to see here. Or at least that's the best I can gather right now.

Back on July 23, reported that the NCAA placed New Hampshire's men's hockey team was placed on two years probation for major recruiting violations. A New Hampshire associate head coach reportedly sent 923 impermissible e-mail messages to 30 prospective high school freshmen and sophomores during the 2007-08 season.

The university self-reported the violations to the NCAA, but the NCAA decided that the self-imposed punishments weren't severe enough. The NCAA's punishment of UNH men's hockey, which will run from April 24, 2009 to April 23, 2011, will include:
  • Public reprimand and censure.
  • Reduction by one in the number of permissible recruiters in men’s ice hockey who can be off-campus at any given time from April 24, 2009, through October 23, 2009.
  • Two years of probation. The period of probation begins the date the university accepted the committee’s additional recommended penalties. (Self-imposed)
  • The 30 involved prospective student-athletes will not receive an expense-paid visit to the university’s campus. (Self-imposed)
  • None of the 30 involved prospective student-athletes will be allowed to sign a National Letter of Intent with the university. (Self-imposed)

The NCAA's punishment of New Hampshire men's hockey will not affect either their hockey scholarships or eligibility to compete in post-season play. In addition, New Hampshire is still scheduled to host the 2011 NCAA Northeast Regional in Manchester.

My take: I'm trying hard to find a competitive advantage for BC over UNH's men's hockey program but I'm failing to find one.

I was expecting to read some reaction over The UNH Men's Hockey Blog, but there hasn't been a post on the recruiting violations as of yet. The only analysis on the violations I can find is from Mike McMahon over at Warrior Rink Rat blog. I largely agree with his analysis.

While UNH can still technically sign the 30 recruits involved in the violation, it is unlikely that they will given that these recruits can't receive a paid visit to campus and can't sign a National Letter of Intent (meaning that even if these recruits commit to UNH they will be a significant flight risk to Dick Umile). From everything I can tell, the specific list of 30 recruits will be kept well under wraps, so even if BC can sign a few of these players in a year or two, it will be hard to tell whether these recruits were involved in this specific recruiting violation.

Certainly UNH's recruiting will take a bit of a hit as a result of this violation. However, outside of UNH losing out on most (if not all) of these 30 recruits, I don't think there's much to be gained by York and BC. Maybe the Eagles will be able to sign another recruit that we wouldn't have otherwise, but that seems to be the extent of what the Eagles stand to gain from UNH's recruiting violations.