Despite the permanent suspension due to boxing threats, the women’s hockey coach is still on the ice

Warning: This story contains graphic language.

An Ontario women’s hockey coach was recently permanently suspended for insulting violence and inciting violence. His young players are still on the ice, bypassing the Canadian Ice Hockey Association’s inability to enforce the ban.

On March 6, the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association (OWHA) suspended Jenya Feldman for at least 15 years after determining that Jenya Feldman harassed and bullied his players during an intense December 2020 team meeting.

The Disciplinary Committee’s decision based on a recording made by a player found that the 45-year-old coach had violated the association’s code of conduct, and his behavior “is tantamount to inciting and condoning violence” and “extremely inappropriate under any circumstances” . “

According to the terms, Feldman will not be eligible to apply for reinstatement until at least May 31, 2036.

The results of the investigation showed: “Only subject to the right to reapply described in this decision, Jenya Feldman is permanently prohibited from participating in all hockey and activities approved by the OWHA/Canadian Hockey Association.” “The OWHA Disciplinary Committee believes that in the OWHA program, adults , Especially the coach, there is no place for emotional abuse of players.”

But the long-term ban has little or no obvious effect on Feldman, who runs his own sports boarding school hockey training academy west of Barrie, Utopia, Ontario.

Former HTI player Naida Duffett recorded a meeting with Feldman in December 2020 because she wanted adults to know how the coach talked to his players. (Matthew Theriault/CBC)

He continued to work with the students of the college, the college’s tuition and fees per season was about $35,000, and then went to Florida with the traveling team in mid-April, trying to show his players to American college recruiters.

Feldman declined CBC News’ request for an interview and did not respond to written questions about his suspension. His lawyer, Michael Kishinevsky (Michael Kishinevsky) sent an email stating that “the allegations are wrong.” He did not provide details and did not answer follow-up questions.

It is not clear whether HTI plans to operate in Canada or the United States next season, but the college’s website continues to advertise its upcoming summer projects.

Threats of violence and heavy swearing

CBC News obtained a recorded copy of his meeting with a group of players between the ages of 14 and 18 on December 5.

It records a blasphemous and angry Feldman, expressing his dissatisfaction with the bursting of the college’s COVID-19 bubble and the disagreements among team members. In slightly more than 33 minutes, the coach used f-word or its variants 156 times and used derogatory terms to describe people with mental disabilities because he reprimanded his players. He repeatedly suggested that some girls should receive a punch.

“If you are on the men’s team, do you know what will happen? You will be hit in the face. So you are lucky you didn’t get that,” Feldman said once, focusing his anger on a specific player. “You are lucky… If she is a man, I will let her slap you in the face. Do you understand?”

Later, he said: “I will explain to you that before you reach a certain point, you are all fucking nothing.

“This is how the team works. So what the hell do you think, why do you think you have the right to say something? Who do you think you are?”

Listen | Hockey coach Jania Feldman scolds young players at a team meeting:

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation News0:22Hockey coach slammed

In the audio of the December 2020 team meeting recorded by one of his players, Jenya Feldman, the head coach of the ice hockey training academy near Barrie, Ontario, scolded a group of teenage girls. 0:22

The OWHA disciplinary decision stated that Feldman held a second team meeting on December 6, 2020 to apologize for his actions. But the team refuted his claim that his outbreak was “unreasonable and abnormal” and criticized the coach’s “deeply disturbing efforts to give up responsibility for his actions.”

The 18-year-old Ottawa player Naida Duffett who recorded this recording told CBC News that this is not the first time Feldman has angered this group of people. She wants to prove his behavior to her. Parents and other adults.

“He is very, I want to say, insanity. He seems very angry,” Duffett said. “A lot of them are very vulgar. He picked the players. He made them demoralized.”

Feldman, the back center, wearing a red cap, has been in Florida with the HTI travel team since mid-April, despite a permanent ban on coaching in Canada. (Instagram/Hockey Training Academy)

Duffett, the goalkeeper who will play for Carleton University next season, said Feldman’s words and behavior shocked her.

“Never in my life. I have never experienced it,” she said. “I have played men’s hockey, women’s hockey in Alberta, just like I have played at most levels, high school, everything. I have never met anyone, ever talked to children, or even adults, like that. .”

‘I’m yelling’

Another player, the December roaring teenager who was the first to question the captain’s leadership, said that the night was the climax of a tragic fall. Feldman repeatedly criticized her weight and accused her of exaggerating her hip injury during her training And time on ice.

“To be honest, I wish I did more to defend myself than I did. It made me very angry at the time,” said the 16-year-old girl, who requested anonymity because of concerns about her hockey future. “I left, I cried a lot, I called my grandfather and my aunt and they told me I would be fine.”

After the December incident, both girls were taken away from the Hockey Training Academy by their parents as part of the exodus of six players.

But Feldman and his remaining students persevered, and after a few weeks of suspension, his HTI All-Star team moved to Florida. Since then, the college’s Instagram feed has provided glimpses of pool parties, beach outings, and Sea-Doo hikes. There are also shots of Feldman on the ice while reviewing shots in practice and post-match meetings.

Donna Duffett, the mother of a former HTI player, said she couldn’t understand how Feldman continued to coach with a lifetime ban. (Matthew Theriault/CBC)

Nida’s mother, Donna Duffett, said she could not understand how the coach was permanently suspended by the Canadian hockey team-strictly speaking, he and his team are prohibited from participating in most leagues and tournaments- But still business as usual, both in Ontario and south of the border.

“This should be a punishment, but it doesn’t seem to be a punishment for him. It doesn’t seem to affect him at all,” Duffett said. “I think this system is a bit broken… There is no mechanism to enforce any type of supervision or any form of accountability for what he does in his own business.”

The hockey agency says they have no solution

Flandreide, president of the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association, declined to accept an interview request, but admitted in a short email statement to CBC News that “OWHA and the Canadian Hockey Association and its members have no jurisdiction over private hockey events in the United States or elsewhere. “

The Canadian Ice Hockey Association also declined to be interviewed, but spokesperson Spencer Sharkey confirmed that the national regulatory agency is aware of Rider’s 49-word statement and that “the information is completely accurate.”

US Hockey Public Relations Director Dave Fischer said that Canada faces similar problems in maintaining a ban on coaching in the United States, especially when training in private academies and playing on rented ice.

Watch | Despite a lifetime suspension, the women’s hockey coach is still on the ice:

An Ontario women’s hockey coach was suspended for life after a recording of verbally insulting a player appeared during a team meeting. Since the suspension, the coach has transferred his team and private hockey events to Florida, where Canadian officials have no supervision. 2:01

“The authority of American hockey is only within the sanctioned items, and we have no authority to manage items other than U.S. hockey (ie HTI),” Fisher wrote in an email to CBC News. “In addition, American hockey does not manage ice rinks.”

The March disciplinary decision made reference to the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association’s two suspensions against Feldman-the first in 2014, when he was coaching a women’s team under the age of 20, and then in February 2020 with His HTI team.

OWHA did not answer CBC’s questions about the nature of the crime or the duration of the penalty.

The whole experience made former HTI student Naida Duffett feel that her efforts to expose her mistakes and protect teammates from Feldman had failed.

“They are still training, they are still exercising. He is there for training,” she said. “They posted all of this on social media. It’s like nothing has changed.”

Jonathon Gatehouse can be contacted via email [email protected], or via CBC’s digital encryption Securedrop system

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