Sport

Saint Mary's University calls for reinstatement of Loney Bowl

Saint Mary's University calls for reinstatement of Loney Bowl”

AUS announced Thursday that it has cancelled the Loney Bowl and handed the title to Acadia University over an alleged eligibility violation involving Saint Mary's University's football team. Saint Mary's had to forfeit one victory over St.FX and one pre-season win over Acadia due to use of ineligible players.

Friday morning, SMU said the Ontario Superior Court released a decision granting the school a interlocutory motion in the ongoing court proceedings between the school and U Sports.

The university says it and U Sports, the national governing body for university sports in the country, reached an agreement on October 27 that weren't any outstanding player eligibility issues. After assessing the issue, U Sports sent a memo to SMU the next day and received a reply with the school's interpretation, via a law firm, on October 26, he said.

At a news conference on Friday afternoon, U Sports said it has no authority over AUS and it has no say in whether the football game goes ahead. "We are so uncertain of the direction that it is going to go so we felt that this was the only thing we could do to ensure that we have backed up our integrity and policies and our values".

"It's between U Sports now and Saint Mary's and I don't have all the details and one of the reasons this has been delayed in terms of the decision is because of that".

Acadia University will host the Ontario University Athletics conference champion Saturday, Nov. 18, in the 2017 U SPORTS Uteck Bowl.

Head coach of the Axemen Jeff Cummins said his players were looking forward to playing this weekend, but they'll now focus on getting ready for either the Western Mustangs or the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks next Saturday.

Murphy doesn't understand the actions taken by the AUS.

The court action was filed in Ontario because that's where U Sports is based.

According to media reports, the player in question is Huskies wide receiver Archelaus Jack.

The CFL confirmed with CTV News Friday that Jack was released October 11, 2016, bringing into question his eligibility for the five games he played for SMU between August 25 and September 30 this season. A U Sports eligibility rule allows for a player to return to the university level if he's no longer listed on a CFL practice roster after August 15.

Brown stressed that while U Sports did not have plans to pursue the matter, that did not affect the possibility that one of its members may come forward. Prior to October 11, 2017, he played in five games for the Huskies this season.

Saint Mary's finished in second place in the AUS standings with a 5-3 record, just behind Acadia at 6-2.

The Axemen were scheduled to host the Huskies on Saturday at Raymond Field in Wolfville, N.S. But the AUS declared that Acadia, as the first-place team during the regular season, will represent the Atlantic conference in the November 18 Uteck Bowl.

Currie doesn't see the decision by the AUS as a black eye for the organization.

"We were kind of forced into a corner here", said Currie "We are less than 48 hours from hosting a championship and we have no resolution from a national perspective on this eligibility issue".

"This is the most hard decision of my career", continued Currie, "but it's the best thing for the organization and supporting our principals and demonstrating integrity".

Executive director of Acadia Athletics, Kevin Dickie, said the school is disappointed they won't get to host the game. "To those competitors who played fairly, and the universities and fans who support them, we know this is an unfortunate ending". "Cancelling the AUS Loney Bowl is unfortunately the only avenue we feel we can take, as a conference, at this time".



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