Caron played for New Hampshire as a freshman in 2001-02, then left for Yale where NCAA transfer rules required him to sit out a year before becoming eligible to play for the Bulldogs.
But before that happened, he decided to head back to UNH, enrolling in classes this past spring. Normal transfer rules would have kept Caron from playing until late December 2003 or early January 2004.
However, citing the unusual situation in which Caron returned to his original school without ever playing for Yale, UNH appealed to the NCAA on Caron’s behalf and received permission for him to play this fall. He has three years of eligibility remaining.
“This decision comes as an immense relief to me,” Caron said. “I’m truly humbled by the opportunity to file away the lessons I’ve learned and forget every shift I have missed.
“I owe a tremendous debt to a great number of people, most notably Coach (Dick) Umile, Dave O’Connor, (Athletic Director) Marty Scarano and (Academic Advisor) Gail Stepina. Each gave of their time and energy to help me get back into the game that means so much to me.”
O’Connor is UNH’s Senior Associate Athletic Director for Compliance and handled the appeal for the school.
“Everyone is excited for Eddie’s return to the program,” said Umile. “He excels not only on the ice, but in the classroom.”
The 6-3, 220-pound Caron, a second round draft choice of the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers in 2001, had 13 points on six goals and seven assists in 34 games for the Wildcats in his rookie season. He was also named as the team’s Top Student at the end of that season.
UNH hosts the U.S. Under-18 Team in an exhibition game on Oct. 4 and opens regular season play against Vermont one week later.