posted Oct. 3rd, 2012 - 6:44am
John Buck says:
The language you highlighted is in most AJ contracts. My son experience 2 years ago was just as you highlighted. It worked out in the end, but he spent most of the year on the b team in an unsupervised apartment. I still don't understand how we pay to play hockey and sign contracts,which give the owners rights over the paying customer. By the way, never pay in full up front, this is your only leverage. The system is a joke at the tier 3 level and needs to be cleaned up. Too many shady operators who are looking to make a buck and keep every kid they can to do so. Welcome to Junior Hockey and the wild Wild West.
Wow...my avg. brain counts 10 Tier III leagues when I go to Juniors at USA Hockey...I guess USA Hockey kept it relativly quiet or I just missed it when they dropped the "JR. A" (that we knew for years) from all three Tiers...I will only guess (without diving into it all online) this allows teams to have Jr. B (and C?) teams within teams and get rid of "unatractive" "B" and "C" league classifications...in that case the "team" listed is actually an organization...the USHL teams have "affiliates" (listed mostly on the affiliates website)...the NAHL teams have affiliates plus the PHL (AAA youth) and 3HL with the 3HL being 1 of those 10 Tier III leagues (does the 3HL have "B" and "C" teams within teams?)...is or was the above player 18 when he signed?...having not been involved i can only guess about this players situation.....BUT THE MAZE GETS BIGGER...assuming all organizations from top to bottom have to be members; USA HOCKEY NEEDS TO MAKE SURE THE MAZEs MULTIPLE ROUTES AND FINISHES ARE CLEARLY MARKED FOR ALL MEMBERS, ESPECIALLY HOCKEY PLAYERS AND PARENTS OF UNDERAGE PLAYERS, AND DEAL WITH ANYONE THAT MISREPRESENTS A ROUTE...but in any case if the housing situation you described is true, something has to be done and now
USA Hockey truly only cares about the upper echelon of players and their development. Thus the emphasis on the NTDP, monies to the USHL, and player development camps in the summer. The remainder of the players from youth to adult are only there to keep the ponzi pyramid going.
That said, how could USAH ever come down on Tier II or III operators when they are simply following the USAH model. Mr. Heiser your intensions are honorable and just, however, your asking the fox to police the hen house.
Well my brain is on overload now...I love the game...and all the kids that play it...well done Stephen, keep fighting the good fight...long live the free press
I have many thoughts on this. The previous comments touched on some of my thoughts so for now, let me throw this idea out there. Instead of parents/players withholding tuition via delaying payments and in turn, violating their contractual payment schedules, why not have USA Hockey mandate that no monies are due until rosters are finalized? While doing that, move up the date to finalize rosters so as to allow released players time to contact other teams. Perhaps, a refundable deposit if you are "cut" and replaced with another paying "customer". I heard of one AJHL team that had over 10 healthy scratches opening night. That same team scratched one player, that was assured of a "top six" forward spot as an inducement to sign his "no escape" contract, 3 out of the first 4 games and then when he wanted to leave had the coach hold his equipment hostage and defamed the player before the whole team!
Enough is enough...restore Midget hockey (18U and 16U)and if the kid is not recruited, so be it. Hockey is a great game and the 12 years that most kids will play will provide enough fond memories to get through those first few months in their college dorms when homesickness starts kicking in. Take Tier III hockey and give them 20 minutes to clear out their lockers.
Great idea on waiting for finalized rosters. Just curious, what parent or player would agree to be part of a team with 10 extra (scratch) players? Especially the AJ. If it were the EJ and the kid was 16 or 17 and a couple of years to prove himself, that's one thing but as I understand it the majority of the AJ are 19. & 20 year olds. I will assume that they were not made aware of this when the paperwork was presented to them. Could you imagine agreeing to pay $10,000+ for the opportunity to watch 20 other guys play? Are they bound by the contract and unable to move to another team even though they may only play 50% of the games? My guess is that the players were just thankful to make a team and signed quickly to secure a spot. Owners prey on those families. Empty promises and very little value. Reputable teams and owners will stand behind their product like any good retailer. It is the bottom feeders and shady operators that conduct business this way. I hope Mr. Heisler exposes this team. I will add it to the list of crooks I have come in contact in this sport.
After some reflection, I want to amend what I said earlier with regards to sending Tier III packing; restore Tier III to the way it was prior to 2011; Junior A, Junior B, and Junior C. There are some solid Tier III teams (formerly considered "A") that would be more than competitive against Tier II teams. I say that if USA hockey wants to continue to have "pay to play" junior leagues, at least let the players/parents know what they are paying for. Having said that, please, USAH, restore 18U and 16U across the board. I'd be remiss in not thanking Mr. Miller for his support of my comments.
I have said since they removed A,B & C classifications from Tier III that USA Hockey didn't go far enough. Getting rid of the alphabet soup was a great idea but allowing for organizations to maintain multiple teams (effectively keeping A, B and even C levels) was not smart. USA Hockey should've forced these multi-team organizations into a single team Tier III operations but giving them the option to drop the "B" and "C" level teams to the midget levels. In my opinion this would've strengthened both the junior and youth levels.
I talked about running a special Saturday Dish as an update to this article... but have elected to wait until next week and here is why.
I need to confirm that the player in question was granted the full release AND made the AAA Midget roster that the dad told me his son would be joining. If this is confirmed, it means that the junior team did not see the value of this particular player.
Players from this midget team are seldom later found on Tier III rosters of any sort.
Stephen, what about that billet situation out there...alleged 4 or more unsupervised players in a one bedroom apartment...or are the 16 and 17 year olds "supervised" by the 19 and 20 year olds? LOL
Billet was also talked about.
The Billet Cord job was roped into another position. The team is making sure that everyone knows that this person is the official billet person now.
All under-age players are housed with families. There are apartments for post-grads, but the coach has a key to each and does inspections, the complex keeps a very close eye on the players and has security on property 24/7.
In reality, the apartments are better supervised than many programs at even higher levels of play.
When I run "the rest of the story" I will have quotes from the team owner, coach, and apartment complex manager.
posted Oct. 6th, 2012 - 12:27am
I've had two comments taken down. Are there rules on this site that i am not aware of?
Doug: you need to use a full name.
Randy, any name, or his full name? LOL
posted Oct. 6th, 2012 - 7:18am
Thanks John. I agree but I guess rules are rules
John, Doug et al,
Just enforcing the rules, as established by the boss, Mr. Heisler.
posted Oct. 6th, 2012 - 10:33am
How about, thru this website, we start a monthly dues of say $10.00 and have Stephen put it into an escrow fund that would be established for the purpose of helping site members with legal fees incurred in the interest of righting what's wrong with the Tier III "syndicate". I am sure, that I am not the only one that signs into this site every day to see who or what Stephen and his contributors is exposing. What good is it that everybody whines about how our kid's hockey careers are effected by some of the rogue operators and does nothing but post their frustration here?
By the way, not all bottom feeders are unscrupulous. My son played for a team that went winless last year at a junior "A" level; ironically, it was probably the best year he has had playing from the standpoint of coaching, camaraderie, and support from ownership. Yeah, there were some unrealized expectations (for example, we never were able to submit a full roster sheet which contributed to our whoas) but, I am comfortable speaking for everyone involved that no one got duped by the team; the league?, that's another "comment".
posted Oct. 6th, 2012 - 10:45am
Randy, please respond to my e-mail on how to edit my profile to add my last name. i can't figure out how to do it.
Doug, I didn't get an e-mail from you, sorry. Having said that, e-mail Stephen Heisler and he will direct you on how to add to your name.
Com'mon Stephen, Agatha Christie never gave us a cliff hanger like this. We all figured out who shot JR when Dallas signed off the air. The only two mysteries that matter is: 1) How is Obama still in contention for another term in the White House and, 2) Who is the team that is going to go down as the team that defines all that is wrong with junior hockey? We need to start somewhere. My kid is almost done with his junior career so it is too late for me but, I want to make USA hockey squirm. As Reagan once begged Gorbachev, and I'm paraphrasing," Stephen, tear down this wall!"
Luv it Doug...but have to reply...better keep "those politics" out of it because the closest thing that comes to USAH is the republican party!
....and, i think after reading a lot of -s on Tier III Jrs, I would be remiss in not posting the following facts...back in 08'/09' and 09'/10' with the Eugene Generals (Coach Jay Miller, now Head Coach and I think GM with the West Sound Warriors) (and Flint Dounchuck was GM of Eugene)...Lori's Seattle Totems were in NorPac and Southern Oregon were the "hapless" (at that time) Rougue Valley Wranglers...
Eugene had: ice every day (usual days off like Sun after a 2 game series)
... appropriate off ice (weight training and dryland) with the dryland trainer (a U of Oregon Duck track girl)
...team building and "out in the community funtions"
...a final (up to) 25 player roster and 20 dressed for games
... great billet coordinator with great families (Thx Sondra and 19 yr old billet brother & Goalie Kevin (thx for karting him around untill he got his licence, have to catch up with u in college, I guess you may be about to graduate? I feel old!)
...an education coordinator for the HS ages (2.5 to dress for a game)
...weekly tutoring sessions
...chiropractor if wanted
...and everybody else i've missed
...worked to move players "up"
...League runner up (Seattle, now in AAUs WSHL) and Champion (Helena, now in "split off" America West), and NorPac All Stars to Tier III Jr Nationals and did well against the "Powerhouse East"
...and finally, half the price of AAA Tier I Youth (should be because owned franchise with paying fans)
...finally, not for all "young ones"...but fond memories
Christian, isn't it noteworthy, while sad, that we feel compelled to congratulate junior teams for running there organizations the way they should be. I myself, have experienced an organization that did everything right, except win, (which is not a right or wrong issue) and when I recount the year, people shake their heads as if I am naive. Sound organizations should be the norm, not the exception.
You all are going to enjoy tonight's dish... the rest of the story
As that great orator, "Popeye the Sailor" once bellowed, "that's all I can stands cause I can't stands no more!"
Tonight's dish includes a generous mound of Spinach courtesy of "Stephen the Sailor". Can't wait!
Stephen, i see my kids player profile login is still getting crossed sometimes with mine, do you need his new email address again or me to do something diff?...please advise
Got it Stephen...weird...but edited his and it still didnt recognize mine but does with "recomended" facebook login which is the same as my account login....anyway...dish it up!
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