Yesterday's Dish, EJHL on Edge, has caused a bit of stir among players in the northeastern United States and many are saying that the practice of elite level players not having to pay to play hockey is widespread and extends down to the ... Read More...
Not until these Tier III leagues institute central accounting and tuition systems, financial roster controls, and some type of player draft and player movement/transaction control systems are you gonna see anything change here. It is far too difficult and expensive to prove who is paying and who isn't. The unilateral negotiations between players and owners invite impropriety. If I wanted to play for the Monarchs, but had to pay my tuition to the league office and go through a draft where I might get taken by the Huskies, the "buddy deals" would go away and as an added plus, parity would be improved. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.
When the hockey powers do identify this crap, they should strip the owners of their franchise, ban the coach for 15yrs, freeze the player's eligibility for four years and file a report with the clearinghouse. It is wrong.
That being said, I do feel these tier III leagues (not teams) should have scholarship programs. These tier III programs are the "hockey is for everyone" alternative (wedged between extremely expensive AAA and free to play Tier II)for some kids. If the scholarship are handled by the league they benefit the players, not some select team or owner with deep pockets and big egos.
There is no motivation for any team to change the system. The Springfields or Philly's are making more money not having to scholy anyone, so they are not complaining. The other teams that scholarship players are hurting financially but are content with their position.
I think everyone is surprised this may be an NCAA violation.
Sorry for the re-post. Steven- the little guys are not content with their position, they just feel powerless to do anything about. If tuition came from the player through the league office and on to the team, every team would have 175000 reasons to comply with a little central authority.
If it is a pay to play league, and a player isn't paying, he is being paid to play = NCAA ineligible. I've always wondered why teams don't use this hammer to collect from deadbeats.
My sons spirit has been completely broken by the sport of hockey. And now mine heart is broken to witness this. We have spent $200,000 plus in this sport only to see points being stolen, ice time being stolen. We could have used that money to save for his college education. We were completely naive about the secret underbelly of this dark world. We knew he was a gifted athlete and thought this would carry him through to where ever he aspired. NOT TRUE. He feels bad because of the money we wasted. In a state championship game at the AAA tier I level, he and his line sat thru the third period on the bench, then the first over time in the bench, then the second over time in the bench and yes the THIRD over time on the bench. The first two lines were so tired they couldn't even stand up. This very well rested third line could have come out and put the game away easily. Why didn't they you ask? The "pay more than the fee" underbelly and the fact that the owners kid wanted to score the game winning goal so that it could make headlines. This third line was dripping with talent. So very sad. When the opponent (who played all three lines) finally win the game. I cheered for them. Ever since then my son has been black balled from hockey. This is a nasty sport. For all you parents out there, let this be a warning to you. Either be ready to make some back room deals or get out before you spend your retirement money.
Don't give up on the game, just fight the system. There are a great number of programs that do things the right way.
If your son is a AAA player, but you are tired of dealing with all the BS, find a decent AA team that costs less money and he will be appreciated. All the advantages of AAA go out the window when you can get the same evaluation, from top level coaches and programs, elsewhere.