The University of Regina is facing its second student-athlete ineligibility issue this year.
On Monday, the school announced a member of the Cougars men’s basketball team was found to be academically ineligible, following an internal audit earlier in the fall.
That review of all U of R student athletes was prompted after a Rams football player was deemed ineligible in October, due to a human error.
Because of it, the football team had to forfeit five regular season games, three wins and two losses, dropping their record at the time to 0-5.
Lisa Robertson, the university’s director of sport, community engagement and athlete development, called the basketball team’s situation “very different” and much more “complex” than the football team’s.
“The (Rams) issue was very cut-and-dry — this one is an interpretation issue,” she said.
Since the university caught the eligible player early on in the season, he didn’t play in any regular-season games, meaning the Cougars’ 7-3 Canada-West record remains unchanged. Only the team’s preseason games, which that student-athlete played in, were forfeited.
Now, thanks to a compassionate appeal, the player will be allowed to participate in the rest of the season.
U of R doesn’t see recent ineligibility issues as ‘a black mark’
Despite identifying a second ineligible player in the same year, Robertson said she doesn’t see it as a “black mark” on the university’s athletics.
“I see it as something that we can grow from. We’ve struggled and we’ll emerge,” she said. “At the end of the day, these are the life lessons that we are trying to emulate for these student athletes.”
Robertson noted the recent ineligibility issues speak to how broad and diverse the U of R’s sports recruitment is.
“We have a lot more transfer students coming from various different institutions across the country, and from various levels of the NCAA — south of the border, international students,” she explained. “I think it’s just a sign of the times.”