Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Agism in college hockey?

College Hockey News had an fascinating story on Tuesday, discovering a controversial proposal being floated (somewhat secretly) by Big Ten schools to lower the age limit for incoming players. From the story.
The legislation calls for lowering the age limit for incoming recruits from 21 to 20 years old, or, more accurately, two years past the player's expected high school graduation date. Anyone enrolling in college after 20 years old, would lose one year of NCAA eligibility for each year.
Please click on the link above and read the story, as it is excellent work by Adam Woden and CHN. But the proposal seems to be a reaction to teams that have had success against those big schools. Minnesota State, for instance, has had success in recent years against Minnesota and Wisconsin and is a school whose players often come in with up to two years of junior-hockey experience post-high school.

Mavericks coach Mike Hastings said he echoes what Northern Michigan coach Walt Kyle said in the story and added this:
"I've always been a proponent that we provide the student-athlete and the student, in general, the greatest opportunity to become contributing people to society — academically, socially, athletically.

"If you're looking at trying to take a year away from someone who's trying to better himself, someone needs to explain to me the motivation for that. I though the goal was to provide opportunities for young men and young women to better themselves."
Several college teams, including Minnesota State, have brought in players who have developed as older players and might not have gotten a college opportunity otherwise. Casey Nelson on this year's MSU team comes to mind. Another is Rylan Galiardi, who tweeted this to me in reaction to the story today:
"If that rule existed ruing my career I don't think I would have ended up at MSU."

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