Former Merrimack College recruit Austin Plevy, who was enrolled at the college this summer, has committed to UMass.
Plevy enrolled at Merrimack over the summer and left the school last month, without notifying hockey personnel. Plevy returned to play for the Brooks Bandits of the Alberta Junior Hockey League, where he was traded last season after several seasons in the BCHL.
As we previously reported, Merrimack will not grant Plevy a release from his National Letter of Intent (NLI), which was signed and is essentially a one-year contract between an institution and a player for an agreed upon amount of financial aid.
“Austin made the decision to leave campus last (month),” Dennehy said the week after Plevy left the program. “We will continue to follow the standards set by the NCAA in regards to the National Letter of Intent as well as the NCAA’s transfer policy.”
If Merrimack does not grant Plevy an NLI release, he is subject to a penalty. As Plevy was already enrolled at Merrimack, he is also subject to transfer rules.
“In this student-athlete’s situation he has not fulfilled the NLI requirement since he did not complete the full academic year at the signing institution,” said Susan S. Peal, who manages the NLI program for the NCAA. “He would be subject to the NLI penalty (serving an academic year in residence and losing a season of competition at another NLI member institution). He could try to see if the institution would grant him a complete release. Since he attended the four-year institution, he also has NCAA transfer rules he is subject to.”
According to NCAA rules, Plevy started his “five-year clock” by enrolling at Merrimack this past summer. Once a student-athlete enrolls, they have five years to complete four seasons of competition. According to that rule, Plevy would be eligible to play during the 2014-15, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons.
But, under the NLI penalty, he will only have three seasons to compete.
“(Losing a season of competition) means the student would lose one of his four seasons to play,” Peal said. “So, if he did not already lose a season while enrolled, he would have three seasons remaining.”
Plevy currently has 13 points (5 goals, 8 assists) in 10 games for the Bandits this season.
Mike McMahon covers Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune and is the founder and managing editor of The Mack Report as well as on staff as a senior writer at College Hockey News. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN