A player on Jack Eichel’s college team has been suspended by Boston University for gambling, and a report says departed teammates from the 2014-15 squad also took part in last year’s activities. The Sabres have three of the nine former players in their organization, but a Boston University official told The Buffalo News that Eichel and the others have not been investigated.
Boston University junior Nick Roberto will not play for the school this season, with CollegeHockeyNews.com reporting Monday that he violated the NCAA’s policy against gambling. The report says other Terriers who are no longer with the program were involved.
“The only investigation that took place was focused on Roberto,” Assistant Athletic Director Brian Kelley said Monday night in an email to The Buffalo News. “Any involvement of Eichel or other former players is speculation at this point.”
The Sabres are aware of the report. In addition to Eichel, Buffalo has former Boston University forwards Evan Rodrigues and Cason Hohmann in its organization. Rodrigues plays for Rochester in the American Hockey League, while Hohmann skates for the ECHL affiliate in Elmira.
“Beyond confirming that Mr. Roberto will not play for the Boston University hockey team this season, federal privacy laws prevent us from discussing his status,” the school said in a statement. “However, we can say that several months ago, we heard rumors that a BU hockey player had engaged in gambling. Although the rumors did not involve gambling on either college or professional hockey games, we nonetheless immediately conducted a thorough investigation and turned the results over to the appropriate authorities at the NCAA.
“Based on that investigation, the NCAA made its own findings and took remedial action, and we would refer you to that organization for further information.”
The NCAA declined comment to The Buffalo News.
CollegeHockeyNews.com reported there are no signs any BU players are part of a criminal investigation. It did note, however, a multimillion-dollar sports gambling ring involving a former Boston College hockey player was broken up in the Boston area last month. Keith O’Connell, one of 33 men indicted, was charged with registering bets.
The NCAA has strict rules against legal and illegal gambling, with players suspended for at least year if they’re involved with sports wagering.
“Sports wagering includes placing, accepting or soliciting a wager of any type with any individual or organization on any intercollegiate, amateur or professional team or contest,” NCAA bylaws state. “Examples of sports wagering include, but are not limited to, the use of a bookmaker or parlay card; Internet sports wagering; auctions in which bids are placed on teams, individuals or contests; and pools or fantasy leagues in which an entry fee is required and there is an opportunity to win a prize.”