MSU Suspends Conboy, Tropp for Rest of Season
CHN Staff Report
EAST LANSING, Mich. Michigan State head coach Rick Comley moved swiftly to back up his words from the weekend, suspending sophomore Corey Tropp and freshman Andrew Conboy for the remainder of the 2008-09 hockey season, including playoffs.
Tropp and Conboy were involved in an on-ice incident in last Saturday’s game at Michigan in the final minute of play. The pair each hit Michigan defenseman Steve Kampfer, causing Kampfer to be briefly hospitalized. He had a sore neck, but is otherwise OK.
Comley apologized to Michigan coach Red Berenson after the game, and said he would handle the players' discipline internally, indicating they would at least miss next weekend's games at Lake Superior State. But Comley went far beyond that, levying discipline that may have otherwise surpassed what the CCHA would have doled out.
“What happened near the end of the game this weekend is not the way in which we want our hockey program represented,” Comley said. “We cannot condone their actions. We felt that we had to send a strong message that this behavior will not be tolerated.
“However, one thing needs to be clear — this was an incident that was an emotional, split-second action, for which these players are being punished,” he added. “I do not want this to be portrayed that this was anything pre-meditated, or that any single player was ‘targeted.’ Their reaction, while inappropriate, was a split-second response that I know that they wish they could have back.”
The CCHA released a statement in support of Comley's actions.
“We feel that the measures taken by Michigan State are appropriate and consistent with the parameters of the sanctions that were being contemplated by the league,” CCHA Commissioner Tom Anastos said in the statement.
MSU athletic director Mark Hollis added: “We feel strongly that our student-athletes should have respect for the game, respect for their opponent, and a commitment to fair play. After conversations over the last two days with Rick Comley and CCHA Commissioner Tom Anastos and his staff, I fully support coach’s decision. I agree with Coach Comley that these were spontaneous, emotional actions carried out during a highly-competitive game, but their actions were completely inappropriate and reflect poorly on our program.”