Heralded Recruit Ruled Ineligible

T.J. Caig, a Minnesota-Duluth freshman, has been ruled ineligible by the NCAA for this season because he played in a Canadian Tier I (major junior) exhibition game.

Caig, who hasn’t played while awaiting word on his NCAA fate, must sit out a year, and will lose one year and one game of eligibility. He will be able to start his collegiate career with UMD on Dec. 28, 2002 against Union.

Caig, 21, joined the Bulldogs at winter break and was cleared to play by the school. Two WCHA teams, however, questioned his eligibility because of his involvement with Kamloops of the Western Hockey League. Playing in games in a Tier I league — even exhibitions — is against NCAA rules.

UMD coach Scott Sandelin said it wasn’t the outcome he was hoping for.

“[But] we also knew that was a strong possibility, even through the whole recruiting process,” Sandelin said. “At least we know. That’s a good thing. We know where it’s at.”

Caig had 76 points in 36 games with the Cowichan Valley Capitals of the
British Columbia Hockey League before leaving for UMD.