UBC Thunderbirds forfeit winning season
Bethany Lindsay, ctvbc.ca
Published Tuesday, December 20, 2011 3:01PM PST
The University of B.C.'s football team has been stripped of all its wins this season and pushed from second to last place in the conference as a penalty for using an ineligible player.
The Thunderbirds were stripped of all six wins after the university revealed that an unnamed student athlete had participated in eight regular season games and two playoff matchups after playing more than the maximum number of years allowed by Canadian Interuniversity Sport.
"We are extremely disappointed with this situation and take full responsibility for this error," Theresa Hanson, UBC's associate director of intercollegiate and high performance sport, said in a release.
"We will make the necessary changes to ensure accuracy and efficiency in our eligibility verification process moving forward."
According to the CIS's eligibility rules, athletes are only allowed to compete for a maximum of five academic years. The university says the violation began before the 2009-2010 season, when the player was incorrectly informed about how many years he had left to play, but was not discovered until recently. The school says the error "was specific to misinterpreting the junior football playing rule at the time."
The ruling from the Canada West Universities Athletic Association gives the Thunderbirds a 0-8 record for the season, marking a huge drop from the team's stellar six wins and two losses. The season will go down in the record books with the Thunderbirds losing each game by a score of 1-0.
The team has also been fined a total of $1,250 and will be on probation for the entire 2012-13 season.
The athletics body acknowledged, however, that the violation was unintentional and the university cooperated fully with its investigation.
The Thunderbirds' season was ended this year after the team posted a 62-13 loss to the University of Calgary in the Canada West Hardy Cup conference final. UBC's two playoff games will be removed from their record because of the eligibility violation.