Freshman forward Stephane Da Costa has not made it through NCAA clearninghouse as of Tuesday afternoon.
Merrimack officials are currently awaiting word on his status, which is expected to come from the NCAA later this week. The Warriors open the season on Friday night in North Dakota, where they’ll take on the defending WCHA Champions.
Da Costa, who comes to Merrimack from Paris, France, finished fourth in the USHL in scoring last season.
This would be a major blow for the Warriors. Watching some of his USHL games via tape last season and watching him scrimmage this past week, it’s safe to say he’d be one of the better offensive players on the team, and could be the Warriors’ No. 1 center.
Da Costa is brilliant with the puck.
If he’s ruled ineligible, I’d like to get an explanation from the NCAA on why. Purely my speculation, but I wonder if this has to do with transferring credits from his schooling he received in France and whether or not they have equivalents in the United States. I know that for a Division 1 athlete, the NCAA requires that a player has completed 16 core courses before he can be eligible, and one of the requirements is four years of English.
Now, I don’t remember this being a problem for UMass Lowell when Yorick Treille, Laurent Meunier and a few other Frenchmen played for the River Hawks in the late 1990’s, although admittedly, I’m not sure if the standards were different then either.
But before judgement is passed on my part, let’s wait until there is a ruling and if it’s denied, what reason the NCAA will give.