Football team forfeits win

The ruling four weeks in the making finally came in late last night, and with it came bad news for Laurier’s football team.

The Sports Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada (SDRCC) upheld the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) decision that deemed fifth-year Hawk David Montoya ineligible for this season. Montoya returned to Laurier this year after a five-year hiatus, which put him in violation of a CIS rule that stipulates players complete their five years of eligibility within seven years of finishing high school.

However, the rule came into place this past summer and according to Laurier athletics director Peter Baxter had an “ambiguous” explanation, leading the team and Montoya to believe he was eligible having enrolled at WLU in January, before the rule existed.

“We presented those arguments, we had coaches from around the league who were involved in the initial decision who testified that there was intent to grandfather those student athletes in the system,” explained Baxter, “And the CIS argued on process in terms of the decision being made by the organization and ruled in favour of the CIS.”

As a result, the Hawks have forfeited their week-three win over the University of Toronto, the only Laurier win Montoya played in this season.

“Obviously it’s really disappointing, but we can’t control what goes on in the boardroom, our focus has to be out on the field,” said Hawks’ manager of football operations and head coach Gary Jeffries. “But most of all I’m disappointed for David Montoya and all the other kids across the country who have had the chance to play taken away from them.”

Now sitting at 2-4, today’s game versus the Queen’s Gaels has become a must-win for the Golden Hawks.

“It was big before and it’s big now,” said Jeffries of the crucial match-up. “We have to come out here and compete in all three phases and avoid shooting ourselves in the foot.”

Six of the nine Ontario University Athletics (OUA) teams qualify for the playoffs and as of now, the Hawks are tied with the Gaels and the Windsor Lancers (Laurier’s opponent next week) for the final spot.

-With files from Alanna Wallace