Tuesday, December 04, 2007

More of the Nunn Fiasco

I had fully intended on yesterday's post being my last thoughts on the subject, but it seemed like every hockey mind across the continent had an opinion on this story, and there were a few more things I wanted to share. It's largely been reported as a pretty black and white story so far, but there's also a lot of gray area.

There are some people that have expressed concern over the way Nunn has been portrayed as a "victim" in this situation. There was a feeling that Nunn and his family enjoyed the recruiting attention from both sides a little too much, and got caught trying to play both sides of the fence.

The question is, whose fault is that? Is the problem with Nunn or is it systemic? When that type of attention gets thrown on young kids, it's probably only natural for things like that to happen from time to time. It's an awful lot to ask from parents as well.

Regardless, I think if the Nunn family knew all of the facts, they wouldn't have handled the situation in the way that they did. Nunn essentially ended up signing something that gave him little guarantee of a future with the Giants, yet limited his NCAA options.

It's also hard to feel too sorry for Nunn since it was rumored that he got $50,000 upfront from the Giants for signing with them.

There are also a few holes in the Giants "sinister plot". First, the Giants dropped Nunn off of their protected list for a period of time after Nunn committed to the college route, so any other WHL team could have added to him. It's also questionable how much Vancouver knew about the NCAA rules. According to the article yesterday, they only found out fairly recently that Nunn had to sit out a year at Mankato, making them one of the last to find out.

There also wasn't a lot of sympathy for Minnesota State in this situation. It was pretty well-known that Nunn was a fairly high-risk kid during his recruitment, and a number of teams chose to stop recruiting him. MSU chose to take the risk and it ended up not working out for them. MSU head coach Troy Jutting told the Mankato Free Press yesterday, "I knew when they ruled he'd have to sit a year that it might happen. It's unfortunate. He's a big-timer."

There were also a few notes on the CHL education package.

First, it's pretty likely that Nunn, with his NCAA leverage, was able to negotiate a deal that paid for all four years of college, should he go back and use it. In order to get his room and board paid for, however, that would have to be negotiated separately through the team, and couldn't be sent in to the WHL.

As far as the idea of Nunn being able to get a head start on college while with the Giants, that may be true, but highly unlikely. He would have to pay for his classes, and then get reimbursed if he passes them. Given the rigorous travel schedules in major junior hockey, especially out west, it would be extremely difficult to maintain much of a course load. Most players I've seen only take about one class per semester, which isn't going to get you that far ahead.