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Football Gaels forfeit victory for using an ineligible player

September 10, 2014

Queen’s Golden Gaels have forfeited their Ontario University Athletics season-opening football victory at Windsor after the university discovered a player who participated in that game was academically ineligible to do so.

The violation was verified Wednesday. The university has not identified the player, who played in both of the Gaels’ games to date.

According to Canadian Interuniversity Sport regulations, the Gaels will forfeit all the games in which the player participated, but the second game is moot, at least as far as the standings are concerned, because they lost it anyway, 37-30 Saturday to Ottawa.

The Labour Day victory in Windsor, however, is gone, and Queen’s will go into its game Saturday against the Western Mustangs 0-2.

Individual statistics from both games will stand.

In addition to the forfeiture, an undisclosed fine will be assessed to the university, and it will be placed on probation by the CIS. There may also be supplemental disciplinary measures.

“We are profoundly disappointed for our team, our student-athletes and program staff,” athletics director Leslie Dal Cin said, in a release. “We regret very much that this has happened, and the impact it will have on our team.”

In the same release, coach Pat Sheahan called the situation “unfortunate.”

“The players are obviously disappointed,” he said, “but we stand together as a team and we will put this behind us and focus on the games ahead.”

According to the release, the athletics department checks the eligibility of 1,000 student-athetes each year, and this is the first eligibility infraction in “more than 15 years.”

The last time it happened to the football team was in 1995, when Steve Bird, a backup receiver in his fourth year, was found to be academically ineligible. That was also discovered after the team’s second game, and that team also lost a season-opening victory—coincidentally to the Concordia Stingers, then coached by Sheahan.

What became an 0-2 start that year didn’t deter the Gaels, however, as they went on to reach the Dunsmore Cup final, where they lost 8-3 to the Ottawa Gee-Gees.


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  1. Midweek news – Sept 10/14 | Gryphons Football Blog

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