On Friday, the NCAA suspended Wisconsin freshman Nic Kerdiles for the entire 2012-13 campaign for violating its code of amateurism.
Now, details of the suspension are beginning to leak — and it appears a high-profile NHL agent could be at the center.
According to Andy Baggot of the Wisconsin State Journal, sources claim the NCAA acted on photos involving Ian Pulver — one of the heads of the Pulver Sports agency — and Kerdiles, selected by Anaheim in the second round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
Multiple sources in the NHL and college hockey indicate the NCAA acted on photos and postings made public via social media that involve an agent and took place leading up to the NHL Entry Draft in June.
It’s not clear what specific issues led the NCAA to rule against Kerdiles, an 18-year-old from Irvine, Calif., but the Bucky’s 5th Quarter website culled a photo from an agent’s Twitter account that showed Kerdiles and two of the agent’s clients holding glasses that advertised a specific energy drink.
The photo could be construed as Kerdiles being marketed by the representative as well as being used to promote a specific product.
The agent who posted the energy drink photo, Toronto-based Ian Pulver of Pulver Sports, didn’t return a phone call seeking comment Monday.
As mentioned, the photo in question was procured by Bucky’s 5th Quarter, a SB Nation blog. It shows Kerdiles posing with fellow draftees Nail Yakupov and Alex Galchenyuk while holding BioSteel products, a line of performance sports drinks.
Bucky’s 5th Quarter also obtained a second photo — through the Facebook account of Alyonka Larionov, daughter of Pulver agent Igor Larionov — showing Kerdiles at dinner with Pulver, Galchenyuk, Igor Larionov, John Walters (another Pulver agent) and Bruins forward Tyler Seguin.
Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves said the school is appealing Kerdiles’ suspension, but declined to give any further details.