Head Coach of the Northern Michigan University Wildcats hockey team Walt Kyle was placed on administrative leave on Monday, Jan. 19.
The administrative leave was confirmed by Derek Hall, Vice President of Identity, Brand and Marketing. He sent Marquette Social Scene this statement:
“I confirm that both Walt Kyle and Bridget Berube Carter were placed on administrative leave on Monday. No timeline is in place. It is NMU’s standard protocol to not comment on personnel matters.”
There has been no confirmation that the two administrative leaves are related.
Upper Michigan Source was the first media group to report on the issue. They said that while Kyle is on administrative leave, Rob Lehtinen and John Kyle will co-coach the Wildcats.
Walt Kyle has been the head coach for 13 years after coaching at various professional levels. He also played at Northern Michigan and was an assistant coach with the Wildcats for their only national championship in 1991.
Berube Carter is the Associate Director of Compliance and Senior Woman Administrator. She primarily works with NCAA compliance, student-athlete affairs and the oversight of sports information. Berube Carter received two degrees at NMU.
She is also on NCAA regional ranking committees for women’s soccer and women’s basketball.
Sports Information Director Anthony Reynolds said that any further statements will come from Athletic Director Forrest Karr. Since Berube Carter was the person that sent out the statements regarding NMU women’s basketball coach Troy Mattson’s suspension, it will be interesting to see how information is released as the issue is dealt with.
An email has been sent to Karr requesting further information as it comes up.
UPDATE: SB Nation’s College Hockey blog has picked up the story and wrote the connection no one local wanted to bring up: Karr putting the compliance officer on administrative leave.
The article was written by Chris Dilks, who said:
It is worth noting, however, that among Berube Carter’s primary duties is NCAA compliance. That would potentially be a hot button issue with Karr, who was AD at Alaska-Fairbanks during the time period in which the Nanooks had a number of players fall out of NCAA compliance, subsequently leading to harsh NCAA penalties.
In our previous email to Karr, we asked who would be taking over Berube Carter’s duties while she was on leave. She does more for the NMU athletic department than compliance issues, but Karr complimented her diligence in a Mining Journal article after Alaska-Fairbanks was hit with the sanctions.
“Our associate AD for compliance (Bridget Berube Carter) is very experienced and respected,” Karr said on Nov. 7, 2014 to the MJ’s Ryan Stieg. “She regularly meets with staff about financial aid, financial services, advising, admissions and the registrar’s office to review NCAA rules and go through rules of education.”
UPDATE #2: Karr has responded to Marquette Social Scene’s email about this issue.
He explained that due to the university’s standard practices, there will be no general statement or press release regarding Kyle’s or Berube Carter’s administrative leave.
Karr said that he will handle day-to-day compliance functions while Berube Carter is on leave. He believes that NMU’s compliance protocols and responsibilities are completed by many members of the university’s faculty and staff.
“It isn’t just one persons job,” Karr said in a follow-up phone interview. “Coaches are involved as well as people across campus. There are good, solid systems in place. We are always going to be very diligent when it comes to compliance.”