According to a report by The Crimson student newspaper, Harvard defensemen Patrick McNally (Vancouver Canucks), Max Everson (Toronto Maple Leafs) and Mark Luzar have been removed from the team in what may have been part of an academic scandal. From College Hockey News:
On Monday, Harvard goaltender Raphael Girard told the university's student newspaper, "Some guys had to take a year absent. I won't say any names, but like any other team, we might have some problems with the academic scandal. Some of them just want to take leaves to get more playing time and come back later because they were younger guys. Some other guys were just injured. But overall, they're going to come back; they're still part of our family and still part of our team."
In August, the university launched an investigation into students who enrolled in a government class for allegedly plagiarizing answers or inappropriately collaborating on the class' final exam, which was take home.
McNally is the biggest name involved after finishing last season fourth on Harvard with 28 points (6G-22A). His efforts on the ice were rewarded in being named to the 2011-2012 ECAC All-Rookie team. This season, however, the sophomore has 3 points (1G-2A) in 7 games.
The three removed players are joined by sophomore goaltender Stephen Michalek (Minnesota Wild), who left the team in November and has an .852 save% in 4 games with Cedar Rapids of the USHL. He is not alone in heading to the USHL. Everson, a sophomore from Edina, Minnesota, had his rights picked up by the Omaha Lancers last week and will likely go play for them the rest of the season.
While it appears that the four removed players will come back to Harvard next year, the serious nature of these academic allegations highlights the role that they play regardless of school.
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