Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Duluth Foreign Legion did cheat afterall

None of this should come to a surprise to a Badger Women's Hockey fan, but the Duluth Foreign Legion (formerly the bulldogs) used an illegal player during the first half of the 2007/08 seasons. Iya Gavrilova was the player in question, and FINALLY the NCAA got around to making an official decision about the wrong doing.

Duluth must forfeit all wins in which the former Russian Pro played in and give up their 2008 WCHA regular season championship. BUT, they don't forfeit their WCHA playoff title or NCAA Championship which was won at home at the DUMP against the Badger Women.

There are some other "restrictions" as well, I'll get to that in a minute. I think this is complete and utter BS. It took the NCAA over a year to come to a decision long after the games in which Ugly Iya didn't play in were completed, a championship won and so on. A whole nother season has happened already! The NCAA is slower than the DMV.

The real losers in this situation are teams that competed fairly last season like Wisconsin and minnesota and the good teams out East. I know you can't replay games, but if they had to forfeit say even 10 WCHA wins, I don't think their is a linear association that the rest of Duluth's season would have finished the same way. Sure they are saying that Duluth won the WCHA playoffs and NCAA Championship w/ out the illegal foreigner, but since those losses (had the NCAA got off their dead ass and made a timely decision) would have lowered their seeding in the WCHA playoffs, would the same thing had happened? Down all those WCHA pts (in the process handing them to other WCHA teams) might have put them on the road, and even if the make the semis they aren't the "home" team in the Final Faceoff. Based on forfeiting all those games, the DFL would have had to win the WCHA playoffs, and I don't think had things been "fair" that it would have 100% turned out the same.

But say the DFL won the WCHA playoffs, they would have been a low seed and had to travel out East to play one of the best east coast schools on their home ice. Do they make the Frozen Four then?

Taking away Championships isn't an easy then to do, especially when you sit on your hands for 16 months making a decision, but there should be a HUGE * in the NCAA Women's record book for the 2008 Championship.

2008: Duluth Foreign Legion*


In no way am I saying that Wisconsin should be handed the NCAA Championship from 2008, that would be tarnished, but at least they can hold their heads high because they weren't cheaters.

Here are the rest of the "restrictions":

Revise its procedure on evaluating its possible athletes. They must complete two forms disclosing all teams on which they played since graduation or while in high school, if teams weren’t directly sponsored by their high school.

Prohibit its women’s ice hockey coaching staff from engaging in any on- or off-campus recruiting activities for two weeks.

Discuss violations at UMD coaches meetings, and each fall dedicate a meeting to the review of the recruitment of amateurs.

Participate in a compliance review by the NCAA.