A few days ago Packer of The Blog That Yost Built made a post on The Wolverine message board about the “awesome” news in the Wisconsin vs. U.S. National Team Development Program Under-18 Team preview that stated:
“Meanwhile, Matthew Nieto, the top scorer with 14 goals, 14 assists and 28 points, and Jon Merrill who leads a dynamic blue-line corps with 4-18-22, were scratched for the second straight night. Forwards Kevin Clare and Jacob Fallon also were scratched, leaving the under-18 squad with 10 forwards.
Without naming names, Kleinendorst said his club has had issues with alcohol use this season and that there was a recent incident of that which prompted him to take disciplinary action.”
Merrill, Clare, and Fallon are all Michigan recruits who have signed their Letters of Intent for 2010. Fallon had already spent the first half of the season suspended due to an alcohol violation.
What came to light yesterday, however, is that this may be more serious than another alcohol violation. According to U.S. Hockey Report ($), Nieto, Clare, Fallon, and Merrill have all been serving suspensions since the middle of last week due to allegations of sexual harassment at Pioneer High School.
USHR says the NTDP is waiting for PHS to complete their investigation, but one family feels the investigation isn’t being handled properly and has retained a lawyer. A meeting between the players and NTDP staff is suppose to take place today (Tuesday).
USHR speculates, using prior incidents at the NTDP, that some players may have their suspensions extended or be dismissed from the program (most likely Fallon seeing as he already spent the first half of the season suspended for drinking).
Hope the allegations aren’t true, but we’ll find out shortly what comes of it. Probably too soon to know what affect, if any, this will have on their Michigan status. As if the season hasn’t been bad enough for the Wolverines…