Thursday, November 18, 2010

Curious suspension

Hi folks.
I've been under the weather since Sunday night but in I wanted to speak of Seth Appert's suspension by ECAC Hockey, and share some thoughts about the RPI/Union weekend.
Why did it take until near the end of the third business day for ECAC Hockey to assess it’s questionable one-game suspension of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute coach Appert?
If Appert’s conduct was so grave, why wasn’t he suspended on Monday?
If he really showed up referee Bryan Hicks, why didn’t ECACH commissioner Steve Hagwell suspend Appert on Saturday, forcing him to miss Saturday night’s rematch with Union at Houston Field House.
As it is, Appert will be sidelined for a non-conference game against UConn on
The action for which Appert is being told to “sit down” for one game happened on Friday.
Discounting the two weekend days, that’s still four business days ago.
The ECACH's short, terse, non-specific statement said:
“ECAC Hockey today announced that Rensselaer head coach Seth Appert has been suspended one game as a result of his post-game actions after a game at Union, Friday, November 12.The League action was taken in accordance with Section VI. (Conduct and Ethics) of ECAC Hockey Policies and Procedures.
Appert will miss Rensselaer’s game Friday, Nov. 26 vs. Connecticut.”
No listing of such policies and procedures appears on ECACH’s website and no direction to such a list is given.
Years ago, when ECAC Hockey was a part of the Eastern Colleges Athletic Conference, the policy for Divisions I, (briefly II) and III stated, as mentioned Wednesday by Tom Reale's Without a Peer blog, that, “the ECAC commissioner is permitted to assess penalties (i.e., suspensions) on coaches and student-athletes for abusive or racial language, physical action with the intent to injure, negative language toward officiating in public forums (i.e., media) or other incidents, which the Commissioner deems as detrimental to the image of the League.”
Rensselaer was not the only person(s) taping that game. All those video tapes became a matter of public record as soon as the game ended, if not sooner. How does that "show up" referee Hicks?
It was Hicks who totally blew that call. How does showing visible evidence -- if not total proof -- that he got the call wrong more detrimental to the league than Hicks actually getting the call wrong and depriving a team the chance to win -- or lose -- the game in overtime?
Seems to me, Hicks' horrible call -- and the manner in which he came storming out from behind the net -- brought more discredit to the league than what Appert did. You may or may not agree.
Obviously, either Hagwell, ECACH Supervisior of officials Paul Stewart or both felt that by showing a video tape of the play to the media was an action he/they found “detrimental” to the image of ECAC Hockey.
Question is, will the league hold Hicks accountable for his action as it did Appert.
More on Hicks and RPI-Union next time.


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