This blog is particular about politics, but time and time I break to talk of stories that need to be addressed. This weekend, Wisconsin and Minnesota State played a big hockey game at a place that was very tough for the Badgers the Alltel Center in Mankato, MN. Last season, WCHA officials due to their gross incompetence on video reviews robbed the Badgers out of two wins against Denver and St. Cloud State. The one goal against Denver was a royal screw job on the part of WCHA official Randy Schmidt who basically did a poor job on the video review only days later the Badgers received an apology letter from the WCHA saying they made a error.
Let’s fast forward to Friday night, Badgers in a tough environment up 3-2 in the 3rd period and the Badgers Tom Gorworsky scored to make it 4-2 and later the goal was under video review. After a long video review, WCHA official Greg Anderson disallows the goal. I watched the game on TV via the internet feed and it is purely inexcusable on the part of the WCHA to not allow a goal despite Gorworsky never kicked a puck, as the video showed the puck just bounced it off the player’s skate. Mike Eaves the Head Coach was very livid and mad and almost got ejected from the game as Eaves gave Anderson an earful. To make matters worse, Greg Shepherd the WCHA officials coordinator was in Mankato. It was reported in the Wisconsin State Journal that Eaves gave Shepherd an earful and it was a loud confrontation. Saturday night, the Badgers came back from a 2-0 deficit to battle for a 3-3 tie, but again like on Friday Night there was a video review that took way too long especially 10 minutes to get a video review right.
So why does this tie into WCHA commissioner Bruce McLeod? First, he hired former WCHA on-ice official Greg Shepherd to be the Director of Officiating, but he is giving his son Doug Shepherd games that he wants to officiate and there is a very serious conflict of interest issue that is affecting a sport with a lot of growth potential like college hockey. Second, McLeod is allowing Greg Shepherd allow a culture that sort allows the refs to make the nation’s top college hockey league which is the equivalent of SEC football only to seem like its run like the rec-softball league in Whitefish Bay. There is no excuse for what happened this weekend for video reviews of disputed goals to take ten minutes. The problem is in college hockey, the officials only see overhead camera images. If a game is televised, they should look at the whole angle just like college football instant replay. But, disconnected from Wisconsin, WCHA commissioner Bruce McLeod gives teams certian favors, especially when George Gwozdecky the Denver Head Coach who got ejected for the second time in two seasons earlier in February as Gwozdecky jumped over the boards and went on the ice to protest a bad call. WCHA bylaws state if a coach gets a second ejection in two years, they get suspended for the next 20 percent of games which is like 6 or 8 games, but the WCHA only suspends him for one game because of benefit of the doubt the WCHA has their league office in Denver and Commissioner McLeod likes to play favors to the home team, the Denver Pioneers. This behavior from Commissioner McLeod and Greg Shepherd who gives his son favors as its father-son privilege of being an on-ice official makes it seem the league is run more like its Mayor Daley like and with the smell of Rod Blagojevich corruption.
I have watched the badgers play hockey since I was four years old, and this weekend in my years of watching college hockey, I have never seen a league commissioner becoming a greater travesty to the integrity of major college hockey then Commissioner Bruce McLeod. I personally along with many Badgers fans and alumni, ask your Mr. McLeod for the good of collegiate hockey to resign from your position as Commissioner of the WCHA. I also ask that the NCAA starts investigating any conflicts of interest between Greg Shepherd the WCHA officials coordinator and WCHA on-ice official Doug Shepherd. Before another good team in the WCHA gets robbed of an NCAA tournament bid, the WCHA needs to get rid of the corruption in Doug Shepherd and Bruce McLeod.
Videos as proof of what is happening under Shepherd-McLeod
March 1, 2008 when WCHA on-ice official Doug Shepherd disallowed a goal that was basically perfectly legal against St. Cloud State.
February 2008-Wisconsin v. Denver when WCHA official Randy Schmidt incorrectly ruled on a goal call that was a goal as it was before time expired.
This Season-Denver v. North Dakota when Denver coach George Gwozdecky jumps over the boards and over the ice and gets ejected.
Wisconsin State Journal sports writer Andy Baggot rips on the WCHA for its poor leadership