Bishop's forfeit three victories
By Ian Ross
The Ontario and Quebec Inter-university Football Conference announced Wednesday that the Bishop's University Gaiters will be forced to forfeit their only three victories this season due to a violation of player eligibility regulations.
Stephane Roy, a fourth-year starting wide receiver, played during all three team victories while holding only 15 of the CIAU and OQIFC-required 18 credits.
The issue was brought to light by Bishop's registration department on Tuesday afternoon, during the routine preparation of CIAU required-eligibility roster forms.
"It is completely unacceptable for [registration] to even need to double check on this issue," Tom Allen, Bishop's director of athletics said. "We should know the status of our players."
The school brought the issue to the OQIFC and commissioner Harry Zarins the next day and accepted their punishment for the offence.
"It was a black and white issue," Eddie Pomykala, Bishop's sports information director said. "We were in the wrong and in fairness it was necessary to bring it to the attention of the proper officials."
Roy stated that he had personally accepted a one-year suspension from CIAU varsity athletics, leaving him ineligible to play in his fifth and final season next year.
"I thought the summer courses I had taken two years ago were good for my eligibility this year," Roy said. "Both myself and [head coach] Ian Breck thought they were supposed to count but apparently they don't. If I had known, I would have taken summer school again this summer."
Allen feels the blame should not only be placed on the shoulders of Roy but also points to the duties of the head coach.
"It is the direct responsibility of the head coach, Ian Breck, to make these internal checks," he said. "This is normally something that is carried out in March by the coach for all his returning players."
Breck agrees with and accepts the statement from Allen.
"I did not go through the full process of checking my player's eligibility. The failure was mine and I am ultimately responsible," said Breck, the 1992 CIAU coach of the year. "I have decided to remove my presence from the team so that I will not create any distractions while the team attempts to get back on track."
Allen, who has accepted the interim head coach position until the end of the season, said the university has accepted Breck's voluntary leave until a proper review of the team's administrative structure can be made.
The forfeit of all three victories against Concordia, McGill and Laval, will give the team a, 0-5 record, dropping them from CIAU rankings, where they sat tied for 10th with the University of Toronto Varsity Blues. Any playoff hopes have been eliminated.
"The players and the students of Bishop's are devastated from this news," Pomykala said. "Many of us where looking forward to a strong playoff run."