This is Division III athletics where academics comes first and it doesn't matter how good/bad a team is....(TIC)
Funny you say that Steve. We had a parent take their kid to a different organization because he wasn't on the "A" squad last year. So he went to the other organization this year, pays twice as much, a less competitive team and didn't make the "A" squad there either. The parent went on a tirade and the end of last year trying to accuse our team/organization of all these false allegation charges, and turning us in for inaccurate paperwork yadda yadda. He son is actually 1 year younger then what should have been playing at the teams level last year, but didn't understand how her "star" wasn't on the "A" team.
I do somewhat understand what Pete is saying that because the player isn't as good or doesn't turn out to be player the coach thought he would be he shouldn't be let go or replaced. Sometimes a player doesn't have the on ice skill but can be a contributor off the ice and in the locker room.
Luckily in DIII they allow players to transfer with no penalty. And I'm sorry, people can spout the "we chose school X because of their great academics" until you're blue in the face. Parents can say it, but if you ask the majority of the players.....we loved the school, we loved the town, but the team is a winner.... Most of these top players at your top programs are not picking the schools because of the academics....politicians are truthful and criminals don't lie either...you do get some kids who go for an academic program here and there, but most are going to WIN. Norwich is a unique place, but ask potential players if the hockey program was canceled, would they stay? Or if you had a career injury before you stepped foot on the ice, would you still pick that school? If it was all about academics wouldn't they all say yes? So that takes care of the "DIII is academics first" manure that people try to use. They might want it to be, but I don't the the majority fall into that category as players.
As far as coaches "over recruiting" or cutting upperclassmen....for younger more talented players.....I'm with you Steve. Kinda a "Ya-Duh" thought. But again it goes back to the fact if you believe DIII is ALL about academics only. These coaches want to win, and want to have a successful program. Now I am also a firm believer that some coaches just are not good recruiters and or good "coaches" and can't get the best out of their players they originally recruit. Some have to have these big recruiting groups to give them more apples to pick from. Or they go out and get multiple DI transfers so the work was probably already done for them. I know for us, Bob has had his share of players who he has "coached" to become team leaders....Dave young comes to mind.
Having said that, I know a couple of the Junior programs have a "do not call" list when it comes to college programs and their "recruiting" policy and try to steer their kids away from those schools - yes more so DI schools because a lot of kids have no idea about DIII till their DI hopes get dashed with the "you're not good enough sorry"....meaning a lot of kids know going in. I also don't think these coaches are promising kids spots. Most coaches tell the "fence" kids, your playing time will depend on your hard work and effort. I've sen some pretty talented kids sitting in the stands because they don't work as hard as those on the ice.
I also think there is a difference in doing this once every few years (especially if your program is struggling and you need a shake up) and doing it every year because you and your coaching staff have failed at recognizing talent and potential talent, and getting it out of the player and your team struggles. I do also know that Emery will normally always help a player find a different school if he is not happy with his playing time and has put forth an effort to get better.
So in short, I'd have to say "what's the big deal" if coaches aren't promising positions for 4 years. In my view of things, you recruit for what you lost AND the at least 3-5 extra for transfers, injuries, competition. Sometimes bringing in that new freshman can push those 4th line/bench players a little more. If I have a chance to upgrade my roster, am I going to tell little Joey to go to my arch rival because I might not have a spot when he would be a 2nd line starter?? Crazy.