ORONO, Maine — Right winger Andrew Tegeler, who transferred to the University of Maine after spending a year and a half at UMass, will have to wait until next fall to play hockey for the Black Bears.
The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Tegeler, who left UMass last December, was hoping to be cleared to play next month by the NCAA.
The university filed a waiver on his behalf to get his eligibility approved for the second half of this season but it was rejected, according to Eileen Flaherty, the University of Maine’s associate athletic director for compliance and the senior woman administrator.
“If you transfer from one Division I institution to another, you must sit out an entire year at the new school before becoming eligible,” Flaherty said. “But if you earn an associate’s degree at a two-year school, you can become eligible after sitting out one calendar year from the time you withdraw from your first school.
“After Andrew left UMass, he attended Okanagan College in British Columbia during the second semester last year. But according to NCAA bylaws, any international school is considered a four-year school,” even if it is a two-year institution, Flaherty said.
Tegeler did earn an associate’s degree from Gloucester County College in New Jersey over the summer.
But Flaherty said because Okanagan is treated as a four-year school by the NCAA, the 4-2-4 provision (four-year school, two-year-school, four-year school) doesn’t apply so he has to serve a full year in residence at Maine before becoming eligible.
He will become eligible next fall as long as he maintains his academic standing and then will have two years of eligibility remaining.
Tegeler, who is allowed to practice with the team while taking classes at Maine, said he was “heartbroken” when he received the news.
“But I’m good now,” said Tegeler, who played for the Vernon Vipers of the British Columbia Junior Hockey League while he was attending Okanagan and amassed six goals and 15 assists in 28 games.
“Things have been going great. I’m going to keep working hard the rest of the year. I love the team and I love the coaching staff,” said Tegeler. “I’ll get in some extra lifts and skates with the coaches.”
Tegeler scored a goal in five games his freshman year at UMass but played just one game in the first semester a year ago so he left to get more playing time in British Columbia.
UMass coach Don Cahoon, who had recruited Tegeler, retired after Tegeler’s freshman year and was replaced by John Micheletto.
The 21-year-old Tegeler previously played for the Boston Junior Bruins in the Eastern Junior Hockey League and had 23 goals and 24 assists in 58 games.