Mere hours prior to the Northeastern men's hockey team's Friday evening Beanpot final rematch against Boston College, the school announced that head coach Greg Cronin and assistant coach Albie O'Connell would be suspended indefinitely due to recruiting violations.
In a late Friday afternoon press release, Northeastern athletic director Peter Roby announced the sanctions, saying that the school was taking these steps now, prior to any NCAA sanctioning. The release noted that the violations in question had to do with telephone and text message contact with recruits. Northeastern reported the violation to the Colonial Athletic Association, which is considered its all-sport conference. The hockey team plays in Hockey East.
Cronin has been the coach at Northeastern for six seasons, drastically turning around a hockey program that had fallen on hard times. In 2009, he got the Huskies to the NCAA Regionals for only the fourth time in school history. He was named the Hockey East Coach of the Year that same season.
In what the release notes is the last comment on the matter until the investigation is closed, Roby noted that the suspensions were necessary:
"It is imperative that we conduct our activities in full accordance with NCAA and conference rules. We are dedicated to that effort, and we are taking all appropriate steps to ensure that is the case."
Filling in behind the bench in Cronin's absence will be assistant coach Sebastien Laplante.