Penn State's NCAA recruiting efforts hit their first major speed bump this past week, as 2012 RW recruit Jessi Hilton is no longer PSU-bound. The primary culprit, not surprisingly, is his participation in 12 Western Hockey League games during the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 seasons. The major-junior WHL is considered a professional league by the NCAA.
According to recruiting guru Chris Heisenberg, because Hilton's WHL games took place before his high school graduation, he still had options, like petitioning the NCAA for eligibility. But there's a price to doing so.
"Even if his petition is granted, the current rule would render him ineligible for one season plus the 12 games he played, halfway into the 2013-2014 season," he said.
That's a tough pill to swallow.
In an attempt to soften the blow, Penn State apparently tried to get Hilton the ability to redshirt while the process was playing out, but the idea was shot down, according to Hilton, via Twitter.
While there are a lot of reasons to hate the NCAA, it's hard to take too much issue with them in this situation, as a redshirt would circumvent their rules.
Regardless, Penn State is now out of the Hilton business - a shame, since he looked to be one of the more productive members of the 2012 class and seemed genuinely excited about coming to Happy Valley.