Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Roberto suspended for remainder of season

BU junior forward  Nick Roberto has officially been suspended for the remainder of the season. Roberto is reportedly serving a suspension for being involved in gambling activity by CHN. He will not play for the reminder of this season and I would guess his future at BU is very much in doubt. However, as reported by WEEI reporter Scott McLaughlin, Roberto remains a member of the team at this time. First, I want to say that this was a great job of reporting by Mike McMahon and Adam Wodon at CHN. They remain one of roughly three stories to correctly have identified Roberto as suspended and not kicked off the team. Kudos to them for responsibly reporting the story without fueling the speculation and rumors being spread by others on the internet.

The rest of what I'm about to say shouldn't be misinterpreted as defending Nick Roberto. What he did was obviously wrong and he is now serving the penalty for those actions. I have no issue with players gambling but the NCAA obviously does so if you are going to do it, you can't let your debt or the allegations get this serious and not expect conequences. Roberto messed up which I'm sure he is very well aware of. I hope he is able to come back from this at BU or somewhere else to finish his hockey career. He did nothing malicious and is becoming the forefront of this story because BU self reported his violation to the NCAA as they should have. BU handled this 100% correctly. They sat out Roberto while the investigation was taking place and turned over everything to the NCAA. If you are transparent and forthright with the NCAA, then they usually do not punish the program. The coverups are what are punished severely.  David Quinn and the athletic department certainly handled this correctly so props to them for that. Just another example of why Quinn is the best in the business.

Next, I want to get into the ridiculous rumors that were going around as this story broke. You were hearing stuff as ridiculous that Roberto and possibly teammates were betting on their own games which didn't happen. Some people took these claims to the next level claiming that the team threw the national championship game to pay off their debts. These are obviously false as it has now been reported that no collegiate or professional hockey games were bet on. This certainly didn't stop these rumors for spreading before the story broke yesterday.  These were being perpetuated by some members of the media who were hinting at serious allegations without providing any specific details.  You can see an example of this below with former NHLer Matthew Barnaby who helped spread the point shaving rumor with the tweet below. There really was and still is no reason for this tweet to have been sent. I get it to a degree since he played in the Q so he obviously isn't very bright but people respect his hockey opinion, he should atleast be responsible enough not to fuel rumors.Barnaby isn't the only offender of this but certainly the biggest name to do so. Go watch a bunch of 16 year olds play no defense in St. Johns and leave the college hockey reporting to people with an actual college degree eh Barnaby?

My biggest question I have now is why this point shaving rumor came up. I heard it for the first time this past summer from a friend of mine(who doesn't follow hockey) but was told this by a parent of a player from another Hockey East program. Think about that. A parent of another Hockey East player is spreading a rumor to try to tear another program down. An adult is spreading rumors to slander a number of 18-25 year olds. This is just beyond comprehension to me. I don't think this particulate program(it wasn't BC shockingly) had anything to do with spreading the rumors but just because BU kicked your teeth in last year is no reason to start slandering them to make yourself about your son's hockey career.  Be an adult and tell your son to get better at hockey if he doesn't want to be embarrassed everytime they play BU.

Last point I want to make is one line from the CHN story I linked above: "Other sources have indicated that players from other teams were involved, too." This is obviously bad news for those programs but as a BU  fan you have to love where your program now stands in all of this. You self reported the violations and the only player involved on your current roster has not played all year anyway. Ahti Oksanen's shoulder is a much larger concern in regards to this year's team than this story is. These other teams could lose players for a year in the middle of their seasons and this could have a real impact on the stretch run. It appears to all be involved with a MA  gambling ring so I would expect the other affected programs to be in Hockey East or the ECAC where a lot of MA prep and HS players play. I am not going to start damaging rumors about other programs(I'm not a mature adult but I am an adult) but anyone with a brain can take a guess who the most likely candidates are if BU had players involved in this. There certainly will be more on this story as time goes on. It was certainly enjoyable to watch fans of other teams go from salivating about what implications this would have on BU going forward to worrying about their own program. If you are wondering what teams' fans I am referring to, just take a look at the ones that aren't tweeting or talking as much on the internet. Follow the crickets and you will find your answer.

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