Five days before Christmas, the UBC Thunderbirds’ recently-completed dream season has turned into a nightmare.
The Canada West Universities Athletic Association has stripped the Thunderbirds of all of its wins for using an ineligible player.
The Birds, who had improved from 2-6 and a playoff miss in 2010 to 6-2 in the regular season, topped Regina in the opening round of the Canada West playoffs before losing to the Calgary Dinos in the Canada West’s Hardy Cup conference final.
That loss put the Thunderbirds just two wins shy of playing in the Vanier Cup national championship final, which was staged Nov. 25 at B.C. Place Stadium.
Among ther highlights of the season: UBC quarterback Billy Green won the Hec Crighton Trophy as Canada’s top university player, while head coach Shawn Olson was a finalist for CIS Coach of the Year.
Here is the official release from the Canada West:
Canada West sanctions UBC for eligibility violation
EDMONTON – The Canada West Universities Athletic Association has ruled on a self-disclosed eligibility violation by the University of British Columbia during the 2011 football season.
A Thunderbird student-athlete participated in all eight regular season games as well as two playoff contests after having exhausted his CIS eligibility following the 2010-11 season, a breach of CIS Eligibility Regulation 18.104.22.168 – Maximum Years.
CIS has confirmed the violation, UBC co-operated fully in the investigation and the violation was unintentional.
As per the Canada West bylaws, the following sanctions have been imposed:
· UBC forfeits all games in which the ineligible player participated during the regular season. The Thunderbirds’ record in the 2011 season shall be officially recorded as 0-8, and all games won by UBC shall be credited to the opposing team with an official score of 1-0. A note reading “UBC forfeits six wins due to use of an ineligible player” shall accompany the official 2011 Canada West football standings. All game statistics remain intact, except for the removal of those statistics credited to the ineligible player.
· UBC vacates its two playoff games in 2011, which shall be removed from their record. This action does not impact the records of the Universities of Saskatchewan and Calgary, their opponents in those games, and the final scores of those games shall remain official. All game statistics remain intact, except for the removal of those statistics credited to the ineligible player.
· UBC is fined $1,000, plus an additional $250 for costs associated with the investigation
· UBC is placed on probation through completion of the 2012-13 season, and any further eligibility violation could result in further sanctions.
The revised official Canada West standings for the 2011 football season are as follows:
1. Calgary (8-0)*
2. Saskatchewan (6-2)*
3. Regina (5-3)*
4. Manitoba (4-4)*
5. Alberta (2-6)*
6. UBC (0-8)*
*UBC forfeits six wins due to use of an ineligible player
“We are extremely disappointed with this situation and take full responsibility for this error,” said Theresa Hanson, UBC Associate Director, Intercollegiate and High Performance Sport in a press release on the UBC website. “We will make the necessary changes to ensure accuracy and efficiency in our eligbility verification process moving forward.”