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Monday, February 26, 2007

The USHL Strikes Back

The USHL didn't waste any time responding to the OHL's initiative to target players too young to be contacted by NCAA programs. Friday they released a scathing rebuttal comparing college graduation rates of NCAA vs. CHL players. I think it's fair to say both sides have thrown down their gloves and are squaring off.

The CHL has been using their scholarship program as a means of countering the development of the USHL. The problem with it, however, is that CHL players aren't in the best position to take advantage of it. Players get kicked out of the CHL nest with their education money (should they use it), and the CHL feels as though that's a success for them. In comparison, the USHL (and NAHL, lest we forget them) get kids NCAA D1 hockey scholarships. In that sense the stewardship of the player is passed on from the league to the NCAA. That's a big chunk of the USHL's argument, and they're right.

There's a multitude of problems involving the development system in the US. First off, you have the NCAA trying to regulate hockey like it regulates other sports. The problem with this is players most other college sports advance primarily through the high school pipeline (club soccer is one I'm willing to concede does not). Right now, NCAA teams can't contact players until September 1 of their junior year of high school, and that's only to mail them a recruiting packet. They can't call a player until July 1 following their senior year. The major juniors, however, are unlimited in their contact. The work-around, it seems, is to have USA Hockey and/or the USHL and NAHL contact players to extol the generic virtues of taking the USA Juniors -> NCAA path.

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Comments on "The USHL Strikes Back"

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:43 AM, February 26, 2007) : 

Marc, the funniest thing about this USHL article, is the trades. The USHL cites the CHL trade rate, but IMHO the USHL has more trades per team than the CHL.

 

Blogger Marc Foster said ... (8:34 AM, February 26, 2007) : 

I'd have to take a critical look at the data before commenting, and incorporate call-up/send down information into the set as well. We also have no way of knnowing how many trades (for either side) are at the request of the player. Still, I think that the point the USHL makes is they have a process and a system that prevents trading of school-age players without consent.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:55 AM, February 26, 2007) : 

One item that is overlooked here is personal responsibility. It's easy for people to paint pictures of the "dark side" of the USHL and the CHL. However, players knowingly enter into both of these leagues if their talent is appropriate.

Because the urge is there, and a coach wants them at age 16, doesn't mean a kid HAS to go to the USHL or CHL. One can play Junior hockey until one is a U-20. This provides an opportunity for a player to finish his childhood at home and then move on.

The argument of, "...but he'll be left behind ..." is a personal decision. Do not jump into the USHL or CHL and then complain about the system that was already in place when you entered, thinking you're the guy who will complain and get your way.

If the CHL offers an educational package, and the players don't take advantage of it, that's the problem of the players.

Same as if a USHL player goes to college and flunks out. That's not the USHL's fault, it's the players issue.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:21 AM, February 26, 2007) : 

The USHL/CHL article cites an income of 51k for a university grad, hmm. I'm pulling down about 35k. Otherwise, the article makes some good points (besides all the suspect statistics).

 

Blogger Marc Foster said ... (10:18 AM, February 26, 2007) : 

There's an old saying about the man who drowned in a river with an average depth of one foot...

There's all sorts of data out there on average salaries as a function of education level. This is just one version...

 

Anonymous 444 said ... (11:03 AM, February 26, 2007) : 

Obviously, the OHL is scared or they would not be making these comments. Nice to see the USHL fighting back.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:34 AM, February 26, 2007) : 

Hmmm, me smells fear on the USHL's part. There were over 500 former CHL players playing Canadian University Hockey last year. This does not include the hundreds more who chose to attend community colleges.

It seems to me that the USHL/NCAA has their work cut out for them.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:47 PM, February 26, 2007) : 

I think you'll see a bit of a bidding war by the CHL to get the top players, knowing that the NCAA can't match the $$$. Heard this weekend of a top 91, already verbally committed to NCAA school, where the OHL's "negotiated education pacakge" is in/approaching the 400k range...

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:32 PM, February 26, 2007) : 

Nice article and I enjoy reading your blog pretty regular, but I must make some corrections to the NCAA comments:

1. NCAA rules allow colleges to send out a "survey" with a cover letter to players at any age, but usually don't send them out to students under 14 years old.

2. Colleges can email, write letters, and send more detailed recruiting information to prospects beginning September of their Junior year of high school.

3. Students can contact college coaches at any time and can visit, at their own expense, anytime before the July 1 date in between their Junior and Senior year of high school. If the coach does not answer their phone and you leave a message, he can not call you back prior to July 1 after your Junior year, but you can keep calling until you reach him.

4. Once a student is on the campus of a college, the coach can talk to him/her all day long if they want. That is how there are so many early verbal commitments in the world of College hockey.

5. Colleges can call a student after their Junior year in school has finished, on or after July 1.

6. There are some rules with regards to how many times a coach may visit or contact a signed recruit prior to their first year of college. I am not sure what the magic number is, but I believe it is 5.

7. Since there is no established rule currently with regards to text messaging, I have heard of coaches or assistants that will text message their recruits to check in on them and see how things are going.

Keep up the reporting and I look forward to reading the tid bits in the world of Junior Hockey.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:34 PM, February 26, 2007) : 

the fact of the matter is the USHL doe
n't even compare to the level of plat in the CHL. As far as the NAHL, a joke at best, all walk-on players in college. Bottom line the NCAAcan't even come close to giving the best players what the CHL teams can pay them in cash. Money talks and bs walks, the USHL & NCAA have been walking for years.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:24 PM, February 26, 2007) : 

The poster above, is a prime example of why a higher education is the way to go.

Perhaps if he had used some of the so called funds from the CHL, he would have been able to make an intellegent post to support his views with regards to the NCAA, USHL, or NAHL.

Very few players at the collegiate level for either DI or DIII or walk ons.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:39 PM, February 26, 2007) : 

The numbers should be checked, the "study" doesn't count CHL players that use thier packages for Canadian Community Colleges, where they learn trades, become firefighters etc,...check the sources? hockeydb??? Come on, how can you give that credence? It should be noted that up to 60% of CHL play Pro Hockey, add that to the studies numbers and you get 76%?

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:49 AM, February 27, 2007) : 

This is usually where the U.S. people (and I'm U.S.) run afoul in this argument. While it's tough to argue against a college education -- it's not for everybody.

Playing pro hockey for a few years and then returning to school to learn a trade is not an issue. Not everyone defines finanacil success -- or even stability -- in the same manner. There are many components to happiness in life. Money is just one component into overall happiness.

There is nothing wrong with a kid going to the CHL and giving the NHL a shot and falling short.

There is something wrong with playing in the CHL, or playing in the NCAA and leaving early to play pro ... then not making it and THEN blaming the education system or the CHL system.

Choices. We are lucky to have them. Not everybody on this planet does. Make your choice, work hard and accept the outcome.

 

Anonymous Anonymous said ... (4:51 PM, March 03, 2007) : 

Funny how the USHL says the average roster is 28 yet the NCAA can only offer 18 scholarships. The CHL pays the full deal if the player decides to use it. CHL would be better by far.

 

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