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ASU Hockey: All players to keep eligibility going into NCAA season

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Every ASU hockey player will enter the NCAA season with the same number of years of eligibility they have now.

Courtney Pedroza/House of Sparky

When ASU hockey begins play as a Division I team next season, it could theoretically do so with the same players with the same amount of eligibility it has now.

Per NCAA rules, players have five years to complete four seasons of playing their sport, with the fifth of those being their redshirt year. The players are still on the team while redshirting and are able to practice, but are not eligible to play. Typically that redshirt year is used on freshmen to get them acclimated to the program, but it is not a requirement.

That clock begins when they enroll at a four-year university, whether they play NCAA hockey, ACHA or not at all.

When the NCAA announcement was made, House of Sparky published a story saying that Connor Schmidt and Ryan Belonger would enter the 2015-16 season with junior eligibility because this season counts as their redshirt. Their five-year clock began in 2012, so their last year of NCAA eligibility would be 2016-17.

But that same logic can be applied to every player on the team. For example, Sean Murphy has the ACHA eligibility of a sophomore, having enrolled at ASU in time for the 2013-14 academic year. This is his second year of playing, but that five-year window to play four seasons expires for the 2017-18 season. Murphy can use this ACHA year as his redshirt, and be eligible for his three remaining years at ASU.

This also means a player like Ed McGovern, who is a freshman this season and would only be able to play three more ACHA seasons after this one, can use this as his NCAA redshirt year and be eligible for an entire four-year career at the NCAA level.

It also means that seniors Liam Norris and Faiz Khan would be eligible for one more season if coach Greg Powers elected to bring them back.