(It is important to note, however, that the first year of Miller’s Track and Field Fellowship will be honored by UND if he stays in school. According to NCAA guidelines, during the first year, the UND must honor scholarships, except in cases of gross misconduct during If a student-athlete withdraws from UND or is not enrolled full-time, they are no longer honored.)
It’s a steep price to pay for something he did four years ago. Is it too high? Well, when you don’t really show a lot of remorse for your actions, maybe not. And maybe the reason Mitch Miller didn’t show remorse was because the hockey people kept making excuses for him and giving him the privilege of playing for them because he was talented enough. to improve their teams. They all knew – or should have known what Miller was doing – but chose to have him on their teams. And we’re talking about high profile organizations like Detroit Honeybaked, USHL and Sarnia Sting, which drafted him in 2017. USA Hockey has had Mitch Miller on three national teams in the past two years.
Announcing that Miller would no longer be part of the UND hockey program, University President Andrew Armacost said, “We expect our students to live by our values in the classroom, in the community and when they represent the world. university in the field. Well. But if so, why offer him a spot on the hockey team in the first place? Nothing has changed with this situation from the time Miller committed to UND and now except for the fact that the story has made its way into the public domain. Miller enlisted in North Dakota more … than two years ago when he was playing midget hockey, so it’s not as if the university didn’t have time to know if it represented its values. And for the UND and the Coyotes to bring Miller into their organization knowing his past without a clear plan to address his past is reprehensible. Tossing Miller like the garbage from last week when his past became public is even worse.
I’ve spoken to three current and one retired chief scouts and none of them would have picked Miller in the draft just because of Miller’s past. One said he really cared about Miller and spent hours of his time making calls with coaches and teammates who all had glowing things to say about the player. But he also interviewed Miller on more than one occasion specifically about the incident and that’s when he decided Miller would be taken off their draft roster. “I didn’t have the feeling that there was remorse,” he said. “Now I’m not saying he’s a sociopath or a psychopath, but deep down he said, ‘Yeah, I did. It was stupid, it was wrong. But it was more than that and you wanted to tell him that he realized it was more than that.
When the Coyotes took on Miller, a scout who also decided to take Miller off his roster, was surprised he went as high as he did, saying Arizona could probably have picked him lower in the draft. But he was also intrigued. “When they drafted Miller the first thing I thought was they had a plan,” the Boy Scout said. “I was like, ‘This is going to be interesting because there is going to be a flashback.’ I was like, “They’re going to integrate this with the Hockey Diversity Alliance, they’re going to integrate this with what (Coyotes owner Alex) Meruelo and (team president Xavier) Gutierrez are doing. Wow, that gives them an advantage. And then nothing.
Almost nothing good has come of this situation. There are no winners. Not one. And as ugly as it is, there are parts of the hockey establishment that have managed to make it work. It turns out that recruiting and writing Mitch Miller was a mistake. The Coyotes and North Dakota having no plan of action, then turning their backs on him, was even worse.