The United States Hockey League has learned that Corey Tropp, added last week by the Sioux Falls Stampede, plans to return to Michigan State University and serve the suspension that was originally handed down last week. Tropp will serve a 10-game suspension with the Spartans and then be reinstated at that point. He is returning to Michigan State after discovering an NCAA rule could have potentially jeopardized his college eligibility.
"We of course understand Mr. Tropp's decision to return to Michigan State," said USHL Commissioner Skip Prince. "I'm sure this has been a difficult time for him and he's had to make some difficult decisions. With him returning to school, it is therefore unnecessary and inappropriate for the USHL to take any further action in this matter."
When Tropp came to Sioux Falls last week Michigan State officials told him it was within his rights to play for the Stampede. However, after compliance staff at Michigan State and the NCAA discussed the situation, they were unsure if he could retain his college eligibility if he would have played one game with the Stampede. Because Tropp had already enrolled in spring semester, the NCAA said Tropp would become ineligible if he played with any other team, potentially jeopardizing his college eligibility for the rest of his career.
With this new information, Tropp, his family, and family advisor felt it was in the best interest of Corey to return to campus at Michigan State and finish his spring semester. He will then reevaluate his situation at the end of the school year. Tropp's advisors told Stampede officials that Corey's college eligibility is the most important issue at this time.
"Corey informed me tonight that he had a conversation with Michigan State head coach Rick Comley prior to Stampede practice today (Monday) and was told he would be reinstated once his suspension is served," said Stampede CEO Gary Weckwerth. "Corey added that the change in heart came after some of his Michigan State teammates met with Comley and asked them to reconsider Corey's situation. This is the right thing for Corey. We are very happy for him and that he can start putting this incident behind him."
USHL officials had scheduled a hearing to discuss Tropp's pending league suspension for Tuesday morning in Sioux Falls. That meeting has been canceled. Tropp was suspended by Michigan State nine days ago after an on-ice incident occurred against the University of Michigan.
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)