By Ashton Chugh, October 2 2014 —
The University of Calgary announced on Sept. 29 that the Dinos football team will forfeit its Sept. 5 victory over the University of Alberta because two student-athletes were not eligible to play.
The problem was caused by an academic administrative error in the athletic department. The discovery of the football program’s error was reported to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport and Canada West, where automatic sanctions include forfeiture of competitions in which ineligible student-athletes played. Additional punishments will be confirmed once the CIS has concluded its disciplinary process. However, the U of C elected to take this initial step.
The error stemmed from anomalies in the recognition of course credits from last academic year. Student-athlete must take take a minimum of six half-course classes over the academic year to be eligible to play under CIS regulations. The courses the two players took did not qualify for the 2014–15 season. This wasn’t caught when the athletic department performed its eligibility checks for the football team.
“Our football program has a reputation for excellence, and in this situation we failed in our responsibility to our players, coach Nill, the coaching staff and everyone associated with the program,” said Dinos athletic director Ron Wuotila. “We are profoundly disappointed by this regrettable mistake, and we will work diligently to re-evaluate our compliance systems to ensure a situation like this does not happen again.”
The University of Alberta Golden Bears head coach Chris Morris defended Calgary’s mistake and said it could easily happen to any team.
“It’s not a straightforward process,” Morris told the Edmonton Journal. “It seems like a simple process, but it’s not. There are a million rules about which courses count and which courses don’t. There’s a lot of minutia involved, and there’s a lot of stuff to chew through. It’s clearly something that just slipped under their radar.”
The players in question have not participated in any of the Dinos’ subsequent games.
The result of the game, originally a 71–3 victory by the Dinos, is now officially recorded as a 1–0 win for the U of A Golden Bears. All statistics from the game remain intact, except those recorded by the ineligible players.
The forfeiture ends the quest for an undefeated 2014 Canada West campaign by the Dinos. The second-ranked university football team in Canada has made three Vanier Cup appearances in the last five years.