As someone not very familiar with hockey, yet who had multiple hockey-lovers among my circle of friends growing up, the classic “I went to a wrestling match and a hockey game broke out” joke got beaten like a drum. Still, all joking aside, we knew there were some lines you didn’t cross in hockey fighting (or sports fighting, in general) — you know, like punching out referees. Brett Cook, a (now former) defenseman for Nipissing University in Canada, pissed part of his on-ice career away thanks to a whopper of an uppercut to a defenseless linesman in late February.
Ontario University Athletics acted swiftly in the aftermath, and dropped the ban hammer on Cook:
Upon review by the OUA men’s hockey review panel, consisting of the OUA men’s hockey convener and a representative of the OUA Sport Committee, Brett Cook has been banned from participating in any OUA-sanctioned competition for the remainder of his university career.
Cook did apologize for his actions, but the irreversible damage had been done:
“What I did was wrong, plain and simple. My actions were unacceptable and I take full responsibility. My teammates, coaches and I are thankful that Mr. Piche was not hurt. I am deeply sorry for my actions, for embarrassing my university, the OUA, the CIS and the dignity of the game of hockey and I fully accept the sanctions determined by the OUA.”