Has the inception of CLax created a problem for OLA Jr. A?
A source confirmed that this past weekend's Jr. A Council meeting had a lengthy discussion on the pending CLax Pro league that is planning to start this weekend. With players receiving remuneration from CLax the discussion centered on the increasing number of Jr. A players in the NCAA becoming co-mingled with "professionals" of CLax and NLL.
Given the NCAA's harsh stance on paid players (even though they have a long documented history of boosterism paying under the table in the money sports of basketball and football)could the beginning of CLax actually harm the Jr. A League? Quite possibly it could, but let's look at some details.
This past season the Orangeville Northmen had both Jason and Jeremy Noble at NCAA institutions. They also had Rob Hellyer on the roster of the Toronto Rock of the NLL. Whitby had Matthews, Cockerton and Lintner among their large NCAA contingent while John Lafontaine played with the Edmonton Rush. So the current system seems to point to NCAA acceptance of co-mingled amateurs and professionals in a non-professional league.
Does the NCAA overlook this because the number of professionals in Junior A is limited? Do they overlook it because they just don't have the time to check it out? No one knows but it's worth investigating.
Where does CLax impact the delicate balance? Well if we presume that the NCAA is merely looking at the few pros playing in a large amateur league and choosing to ignore it as a limited problem, then adding more pros from CLax to the Jr. A League may spur them to change their mind.
If the NCAA decides that Zach Palmer (Johns Hopkins) or Brad Gillies (RIT) would be ineligible for the respective schools if they played Junior A lacrosse that would be a catastrophe for Junior A. No player will give up a chance for a subsidized, quality education to play Junior A Lacrosse. This is obviously of great concern to the Junior A teams here in Ontario and one that bears further monitoring.
More to follow.