A very credible and reliable source is reporting that a former Eastern Junior Hockey League player is being investigated by his school's NCAA compliance office due to an allegation that he received a free-ride from his junior team.
Rumors of this nature have been circulating for years without any serious allegations being investigated. Details of this case include the family's inability to prove that checks written to the team were ever paid. An un-named compliance officer at another school is saying that the investigation could quickly turn into a full NCAA inquiry into every player that has emerged from the league if more than a few players are discovered to have received the same benefit.
The NCAA does not have the authority to investigate junior hockey programs but they do have the responsibility to ensure that current student athletes have not jeopardized their eligibility.
This situation can quickly turn into a hornet's nest if multiple allegations emerge at once. The EJHL has repeatedly denied such allegations in the past but suspicions continue when high profile pre-committed Division I prospects elect to pay-to-play in the EJHL ($6,500+ year) when there are opportunities to play-for-free in other leagues.
It is my opinion that USA Hockey needs to step in and eliminate such abuses and can do so by establishing a player registration program that includes team tuition. The registration software is already in place and adding a module that releases funds to the teams, on a pro-rated basis, would eliminate the ability of shady operators to jeopardize a player's NCAA eligibility.
Such a system would also go a great distance to eliminate other abuses as well. Players that are late on tuition payments would simply become ineligible and placed on financial suspension.
It is obvious that the problem is not going to fix itself, there are always going to be operators that want to operate outside the lines, so USA Hockey could do the game a grand service by being the entity that is counting, and dolling out, the money.
What do you think?