From a playoff position to the bottom of the standings – just like that.
The University of Regina Rams have been stripped of three wins after it was discovered the team had fielded an ineligible player.
The university discovered the error earlier this week and disclosed it to its governing body U SPORTS.
As a result, the Rams Football team must forfeit all three of the games they won this season. Instead, the wins will be recorded as losses and the team now sits at 0-5 in the Canada West conference standings. The team’s previous record was 3-2.
“First of all, we’re gutted and devastated for our Rams family and our football community,” Athletic Director Lisa Robertson said Friday afternoon.
Robertson explained that it was an academic issue that made the player ineligible and it happened during the intake process months earlier.
The University would not disclose the name of the player citing privacy concerns but 980 CJME has learned it is running back Tyree Range. His name has been scrubbed from the Rams roster and removed from the box score on the Canada-West site as well.
The U of R has committed to an internal review of its student-athlete intake process. According to a release form Canada-West, who oversees university athletics in western Canada, the U SPORTS discipline panel will be setting parameters on any review and required structural changes.
“It was not a mistake that was unique to the University of Regina. It’s happened at other institutions across this country,” Robertson noted. “Eligibility is complex … we’re doing a review and from that review, we’ll be informing our policies moving forward as well as our processes moving forward to eliminate to the best of our ability errors like this happening again.”
Robertson further put the error on her own shoulders on the administrative side, adding the Rams were not responsible for what happened.
She and head coach Stephen Bryce met with the team to let them know the news, adding the players were devastated.
“There are no words. There are no sorrys, there are no ways to make it better. I was a student-athlete and I know how hard they work. I know how hard it is to balance school and elite athleticism at the university level,” Robertson said. “Frankly there is nothing I can say to make it better, all I can do in the days going forward is take the steps to support them, take the steps to investigate as deeply as we can.”
Players and coaches for the Rams were not available for comment Friday, as Robertson noted they were spending time together as a team.
The U of R said it will provide support and counseling services to the team as it works through what happened.