Kerdiles Suspension Reduced
CHN Staff Report
Wisconsin freshman Nic Kerdiles' season-long suspension has been reduced to 30 percent of the season, or 10 games, the school announced Friday night. Kerdiles is still deciding whether he will remain at Wisconsin, according to a statement from senior associate athletic director Walter Dickey. The two games the Badgers have already played would count toward the suspension, so Kerdiles would be eligible to play on Nov. 30.
"While we recognize the significant nature of a reduction in penalty from a full season withholding to 30 percent, we are dismayed that any penalty whatsoever was imposed on Nic Kerdiles in this matter," Dickey said. "We remain confident that the facts demonstrate Nic had no culpability. The facts serve as evidence that he has the kind of character we believed he had when he was first recruited. Throughout this ordeal, Nic has demonstrated nothing but poise and integrity consistent with the outstanding student-athlete we know he is."Nic is currently exploring his options, which we have encouraged him to do. Our hope is that he remains a Badger."
Wisconsin coach Mike Eaves announced on Oct. 8 that the NCAA had suspended Kerdiles for one season, and that the school was appealing the decision. The school's appeal was heard on Thursday.
Bucky's 5th Quarter blog reported that the suspension was for amateurism violations related to Kerdiles' relationship with advisors from Pulver Sports, an agency that specializes in representing pro athletes. NCAA student-athletes aren't allowed to have agents, but they can have family advisors as long as they don't receive any special benefits.
Bucky's 5th Quarter discovered photos from the NHL Draft combine that may have shown possible violations. One photo on Facebook showed Kerdiles eating dinner with several agents, including Ian Pulver, as well as Boston Bruins forward Tyler Seguin and fellow draft hopeful Alex Galchenyuk. It is unclear if someone else paid for Kerdiles' meal, which would have been a violation.
Another photo on Pulver's Twitter account showed Kerdiles, Galchenyuk and Nail Yakupov holding up BioSteel Sports products. This could have been an NCAA violation if Kerdiles received the products for free or was paid to promote them, but that isn't made clear in the tweet.
On Thursday, The United States of Hockey blog reported that the sanctions were not directly related to the photos, but that the photos did help spark the NCAA's investigation. It also reported that on the night of the NHL Draft, Kerdiles stayed in a hotel room paid for by Pulver. Peters' source told him that Kerdiles' family eventually repaid Pulver, but that enough time had elapsed that the NCAA considered it a loan, which is an improper benefit.