According to the Omaha World Herald, Nebraska-Omaha head coach Dean Blais and junior defenseman Jaycob Megna have each been suspended three games apiece for violating NCAA benefits rules.
Reportedly, Blais reimbursed Megna $400 after Megna’s wristwatch was taken from the CenturyLink Center locker room in October 2012 during a game against Bemidji State.
Both Blais and Megna will be out for the UNO games at New Hampshire on Jan. 3-4 and at home against Minnesota-Duluth on Jan. 10. The Mavs’ program won’t be subject to sanctions, the report said.
“I don’t believe that it was malicious on Dean’s part,” UNO athletic director Trev Alberts said to the paper. “I honestly believe Dean’s an old-school coach and felt bad for the kid and was trying to help him. But it’s a violation … We could’ve reimbursed him through the NCAA if we had just filled out a few forms.”
“I totally support the university’s and the NCAA’s decision on my suspension,” added Blais.
UNO assistant coaches Troy Jutting and Alex Todd will coach in Blais’ place, while Megna, per NCAA rules, won’t be allowed to travel.
“My frustration is for the player,” Alberts added. “Here’s a kid that has done everything right. He’s an amazing student. He’s from a great family. … Now he’s paying a price frankly for some university mistakes.”