The Gophers worked hard to recruit Chris Rial, a 6-5, 205-pound defenseman for the Kenai River Brown Bears of the NAHL.

"[Assistant coach] John Hill came up here three times," Kenai River coach Oliver David said. "We are grateful for his time and efforts."

Rial visited the U in February and publicly committed in late March.

He de-committed this week. "It was purely a financial decision," David said. "His older brother was a double major and as a family they couldn't make it work [for Chris]. ... They exhausted every option."

That brother was not an athlete and  the Rials could not afford to help another son attend college at this time. The Gophers had asked Rial to walk-on, meaning he would have had to pay the higher out-of-state tuition. He is from Las Vegas, Nevada.

"The University [of Minnesota] was unable to help him financially, so he is looking elsewhere," David said.

After Rial had committed to the Gophers, other colleges stopped recruiting him and by now most teams have their rosters set. Returning to the Kenai River is not an option. Rial will be too old to play in the NAHL next season.

So far, St. Norbert's College of De Pere, Wis., has shown the most interest in Rial. The Green Knights were the Division III NCAA champions last season.