December 12, 2012

Harvard sophomores off team amid scandal

Staff Report

It appears that the cheating scandal that has rocked the Harvard campus has not spared the men’s hockey team. 

Goaltender Steve Michalek is among the four sophomores taking a leave of absence. (Dave Arnold Photography)

Four sophomores – defensemen Max Everson, Patrick McNally and Mark Luzar, and goaltender Steve Michalek (Glastonbury, Conn.) – have taken leaves of absence from the university, according to Harvard athletic department spokesman Jeff Selesnick. Everson, McNally and Luzar were removed from the roster last week, while Michalek left the team in November.

Selesnick wrote in an email to the New England Hockey Journal, “We cannot speculate on the duration of the absences and cannot comment on the nature of their leaves.”

A report published in the Crimson newspaper noted that the four players had been removed from the roster during Harvard’s 19-day break between games from Nov. 17 to Dec. 7. In that report, Raphael Girard intimated that the players’ exits may have had to do with the cheating scandal that first came to light in September, and allegedly involves more than 100 students.

“Some guys had to take a year absent,” Girard said in the Crimson report. “I won’t say any names, but like any other team, we might have some problems with the academic scandal.”

Selesnick did not say whether the players’ absences had to do with the cheating scandal, and coach Ted Donato was not made available for comment. The academic scandal also hit the men’s basketball team, which lost top returning scorer Kyle Casey.

McNally, a Vancouver Canucks prospect and Milton Academy product, had three points in seven games this season, while Everson, a Toronto Maple Leafs draftee, had one. Luzar and Michalek, a goalie saw no action before they left school. Michalek went to play for the Cedar Rapids Roughriders of the USHL. A report in the Cedar Rapids Gazette quotes Michalek as saying he plans to return to Harvard next year.

“I didn’t leave because I wasn’t playing,” Michalek said in The Gazette’s report. “I wasn’t playing because I was leaving. There are just a few different reasons that I’m taking the year off.”

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