The University of Regina was penalized earlier in October for fielding an ineligible player during five games of the regular season.
Now, the results of an appeal are in.
The appeal found that while the U of R will allow that player to return to the Rams football club, the team’s wins will not be coming back to the program.
Graham Brown, president and CEO of U Sports, said the University filed for a compassionate appeal regarding the player.
“A compassionate appeal enables a group of their peers, so we assemble a committee to look at the compassionate appeal, to look at the situation and to see whether or not we could grant dispensation for the athlete to continue to play,” Brown said.
He said based on the punishment the University has faced for the ineligible player and that it was an administrative oversight, the committee looked at the player moving forward. While the committee voted to allow the individual to play on the team, the ruling did not impact those five games.
“We cannot grant compassionate appeal which is retroactive, so you can’t go back and suggest that while we’re allowing this player to continue forward, he was, in fact, ineligible for the period of time leading up to the self-disclosure by the University of Regina,” Brown said.
He said the rules are ones that have been set by members of U Sports and that the organization simply administers the policies and procedures put in place by its members.
Brown said the University would not be able to appeal the loss of five games because of the rules surrounding an ineligible player.
“Had they possibly identified this situation and brought it forward in August, our committee could’ve looked at it then and deemed whether or not they would grant this player eligibility under the compassionate appeal grounds,” Brown said.
He said the number of games was based on how late in the season the error was reported, indicating if the University had found this after two games, they would’ve just been penalized for two games.
“There’s a great deal of integrity that’s taken place through this by the University of Regina, this was not, I’m sure, a very easy situation to have put themselves in.”
Brown said he understands this can be perceived as a very stiff sanction but says the current rules and regulations do not allow for flexibility, interpretation or application.
He said the University of Regina can bring up concerns about the rules and punishments, but that would be a conversation that needs to happen between the U of R and their members.