Mike Lantry, 1972
Bob McKenzie reports on TSN.ca that the Canadian Junior system will be radically revamped. Included in the revamp is apparently going to be some kind of limit on the number of Americans playing for CHL teams located in Canada. I blogged on this topic before and pooh-poohed the idea. Egg on my face? Maybe. We'll see what the limit is set at. If it's one, that's major news. If it's two, that's a minor inconvenience. Anything higher and it's basically a cosmetic gesture. I'm betting the limit is something like four per team.
There are a slew of other changes that were in the works but probably had their skids greased by the overwhelmingly negative reaction of the Canadian press to the OHL's decision to allow 14-year-old John Tavares into the most recent OHL draft. OHL teams will be limited to two 16-year-olds per team--approximately 120 across Canada--and the remainder would play midget AAA. There is also a proposal to block 15 year olds from transferring to the United States like Sydney Crosby and Angelo Esposito have to play at Shattuck.
In summary, the changes basically say: stay and play at home until you are 17 unless you are one of the top 120 16-year-olds in the country. I don't have any OHL numbers that indicate how many kids this will impact, but assuming that it's a significant number the changes proposed are a step in the right direction.
The impact on colleges will probably be minimal unless the CHL really clamps down on the number of Americans allowed, in which case a few players will probably end up in the NCAA instead of the CHL.
It's too bad I can't take NationalChamps.net seriously, because they just declared Michigan's offensive line the best unit in the country. Unfortunately, an Estonian turnip farmer apparently wrote the article. Seriously:
Often, youth movements are also a precursor for more beneficial times, as we will soon see in Ann Arbor, where four of five "hulksters" return for '05.
...oh God. I think I'm going to pass out... can't... breathe... laughing... too hard SPOCK!
Sorry. Sorry. I've composed myself now. Fear the mighty Hulksters of Michigan!
What are you going to do when the Hulksters of Michigan run wild over you?
mgoblog has adopted a new piece of obscure lingo:
Hulkster (n.) - an offensive lineman, esp. one who is suspected of being on steroids and having silly facial hair. Example: Kyle Turley.
Update 5/16:Added note that Michigan leads for KY DT Corey Peters based on post from KY Rivals guru Jeff Drummond. Used header of Scout article to assert that Nebraska leads for CA WR Menelik Holt.
Small update but one with some actual news in it. Rumours that Michigan leads for Corey Peters of Louisville Central have been out there for a while but when the UK site's recruiting honcho says it that qualifies as news. Peters is a solid four star that may inch into the bottom of some top 100 lists by the end of the summer. He played next to James McKinney last year and some observers claimed that he outperformed the Michigan freshman-to-be. Worth keeping an eye on.
If you hit the first iteration of the "OSU did bad" post and have not revisited it you may want to do so now. It got updated with authorita(!), as Cartman might say. Definitely read that Stewart Mandel article, it's right on the money.
I know that's like saying "Jessica Simpson still dumb," but in about a half-hour OSU will be holding a press conference to announce the findings of its investigation into its football, men's basketball, and women's basketball programs after, well, you probably know already about the Clarett stuff and the Boban Savovic stuff... but did you know Dave Thomas tried to give Savovic money? Yeah, that Dave Thomas, the dead one from the commercials.
Might the hammer go down? Dunno, but the O-Zone is somewhat apprehensive. If it does, expect an awful lot of Ed Martin finger-pointing from Buckeye fans over the next few days... and a deep, evil cackle from mgoblog's mysterious underground headquarters.
Update: Press conference didn't announce anything earth shattering but bodes unwell for the OSU basketball program. The Ozone has a list of the NCAA allegations up (sans permalink, the bastards). All pertain to basketball save for the last one, which is about the Troy Smith fiasco at the end of last year.
Most damning is this one:
Former men's basketball coach Jim O'Brien, through then-assistant coach Paul Biancardi, provided a cash payment of approximately $6,700 to then-recruit Alex Radojevic.
That's a nasty, nasty violation if it can be proven to be true. Michigan's Ed Martin problem was an instance of a third party giving money to players as an extra benefit. That allegation is the head coach giving money to a player as a recruiting inducement. The amount of the payment is largely irrelevant to the NCAA once you get past a certain petty threshold, what's important is who is doing it and for what purpose. The head coach is the worst person to be doing it. A recruiting inducement is the worst purpose to have. Put them both together and that's asking to get gored by the NCAA's horns.
I think OSU's basketball program may have more trouble on the way. If those allegations can be proven to be true the NCAA will probably perceive the OSU violations as systemic and institutional and levy scholarship reductions and at least an additional year of postseason ineligibility. Still a long way to go before the end of this whole thing.
Update II: Stewart Mandel has a great article on the OSU infractions that explains everything very clearly. Mandel says $6,700 payment I referenced is not as bad as it looks at first blush but several other violations are quite serious and can be backed up by phone records and O'Brien's own testimony. Money graf:
While the Michigan scandal involved much bigger player names -- such as Chris Webber and Robert Traylor -- and larger amounts of money -- reportedly $616,000 in total benefits -- an examination of NCAA case precedent indicates the Ohio State findings may actually merit harsher sanctions than the Wolverines'.
Bingo, Mr. Mandel. Mandel also lifts a sentence from the the NCAA's report that upheld Michigan's appeal:
"A review of [past] decisions ... which upheld a postseason ban revealed the presence of one or more of the following factors in each case: repeat violator status, lack of institutional control, or academic fraud. None of these factors is present in this case."
Check, check, and check. OSU is not out of the woods by any stretch of the imagination here.