Northeastern, Szmatula Still Waiting
CHN Staff Report
Last month, Northeastern recruit Michael Szmatula, scheduled to be a freshman this fall, requested to be released from his National Letter of Intent in order to attend the University of Denver, where his junior coach, Jim Montgomery, was recently hired as the program's new head coach.
A National Letter of Intent is a signed agreement between a collegiate program and a player, which guarantees a player attends the given program for a period of one year, in exchange for athletic financial aid (scholarship) over the same one-year period.
Northeastern denied Szmatula's request, and the player has appealed the decision to the NCAA. According to a source, the appeal is likely to be denied.
That leaves Szmatula and Northeastern with two basic options:
1) If Szmatula still wants to play for Denver, his only option would be to formally transfer, sit out a season in residency, and then become eligible for the 2014-15 season.
2) Szmatula could decide to attend Northeastern, and the Huskies would have to honor that scholarship for a period of at least one year per the terms of the signed National Letter of Intent.
Despite reports on Thursday, Northeastern has not made any decisions regarding who would "replace" Szmatula on their roster for the upcoming 2013-14 season, according to a source, because the team doesn't know what the NCAA and Szmatula will decide.
The team will decide its next step after an official decision from the NCAA on Szmatula's appeal, and the player decides what his next step will be (either attending Northeastern or transferring to Denver).