Four Harvard players leave team amid ‘academic scandal’

According to a story in Harvard’s student newspaper, The Crimson, four players have reportedly left the team, with one returning to junior hockey.

The four players — defensemen Max Everson, Patrick McNally and Mark Luzar and goaltender Stephan Michalek, who left school in early November for the USHL’s Cedar Rapids RoughRiders — did not play last weekend against Merrimack or on Monday night against Massachusetts-Lowell.

“Some guys had to take a year absent,” Harvard goalie Raphael Girard said in the Crimson. “I won’t say any names, but like any other team, we might have some problems with the academic scandal. Some of them just want to take leaves to get more playing time and come back later because they were younger guys, but overall, they’re going to come back; they’re still part of our family and still part of our team.”

A Harvard spokesperson confirmed to USCHO on Tuesday that all four players are believed to be eligible to return to the team, but that their plans are not known at this time.

In a news story in the Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Gazette on Thursday, Michalek was asked whether he felt “outed” by a former teammate.

“I know there was a lot of speculation when I left,” Michalek said. “I wasn’t playing this year. But I didn’t really want to have that reputation of leaving my team. It’s fine now. I’d almost rather have it this way. It kind of looks bad, but I didn’t want to be known as a quitter. I also didn’t want it to look like I messed up and everything.

“But it got out. Whatever. I made a mistake.”