Many people who know me well say I love ice hockey as I am a die hard Wisconsin Badgers fan, but I am commenting about a recent, horrific incident during the Michigan-Michigan State game when a senseless and classless incident has happened last Friday when Michigan forward Steve Kempfer was attacked by Michigan State Defensemen Corey Tripp and Andrew Conboy during a game last weekend at Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor, MI.
What happened during the game was Corey Tripp gave a hard open body check, but what was classless was that Andrew Conboy used his stick to slash Kampfer in the neck in which sparred a fight on the ice. Both players got tossed from the game, but beyond what happened there has been reports from the Detroit Free Press that somehow Kamfer’s father confronted the players at the end of the game.
First, as a fan of the Badgers Ice Hockey team, I will say that this incident has NO place at any level of ice hockey. I agree with the decision with Michigan State to suspend the players for the rest of the season, but I feel that Michigan State could send a stronger message and make the players go to another college team. The move of Michigan State head coach Rick Comley to only suspend them for the season does not give a re-affirming message to their fans across the nation and to their alumni that they are not sending the right message.
Also, I am very disappointed that Kampfer’s father made a very poor decision to find a way to the visiting locker room to confront the two players. If I was the players Dad, I would be upset, but Kampfer’s father did was a very poor and very immature decision on the part of his father. What happened is that this has put both Michigan and Michigan State in a very severe Public Relations crisis with their fans, alumni, and with the public at-large. However, I was very disappointed with the very liberal U of M Police to not investigate incident, I hope Attorney General Mike Cox of Michigan investigates this incident fully.
I understand there needs to be corrective measures to prevent something like this again, but instead of the athletic departments legislating top down, they should take a page from Newt Gingrich and get all the stakeholders together and stop pointing fingers. There is way too much of this top-down finger pointing and it happens at every college including with Wisconsin. If some of these collegiate athletic administrators have the guts to learn from Mr. Gingrich that real change requires, real change from everyone then some of these athletic administrators can have more sensible policies. I say this because I disagree with the decision of the U of Michigan Athletic Adminsitration to curb swearing. Their decision violates the first amendment of the constitution of the United States.
I have been a life long Wisconsin Badgers hockey fan since I watched my first game when I was four years old and remember staying up late at night because the games were tape delayed at 10:30 PM back then and always having my parents order me Frank’s Pizza back when I grew up in Appleton and yes I have seen those fights between the Badgers and Gophers and the Fighting Sioux, but what happened last week and the incidents surrounding it show it has no place in college hockey and I hope there is a pro-active solution to this problem.