February 5, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 70  

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Lancers’ men’s hockey team uses ineligible player

By Ian Denomme

Gazette Staff

The race for first place in the Ontario University Athletics men’s hockey Far West division just got tighter.

The Western Mustangs led the division with 32 points after their weekend split with Lakehead University, who were in second place with 30 points.

However, the standings had a change after an announcement from the Windsor Lancers on Monday.

The Lancers announced that they used an ineligible player in a Jan. 17 game against Lakehead. That game ended in a 5-5 tie.

As a result, Windsor was forced to forfeit the game and take the loss. The win for Lakehead now moves them within one point of Western in the standings with only five games remaining.

“We would like to extend our apologies to [Canadian Interuniversity Sport], the OUA and Lakehead University. This was an administrative oversight that we are responsible for and wanted to correct immediately,” said University of Windsor athletic director Gord Grace.

The player in question, David Halliwill, was in violation of CIS rule, which states that any athlete who has completed their eligibility with another school is ineligible for CIS competition.

Halliwill played for three seasons with the University of Alabama-Huntsville men’s hockey team in the NCAA and part of a fourth, which therefore completed his four years of eligibility.

Despite the added point, Lakehead head coach Pete Belliveau said he wasn’t concerned about where his team finishes.
“It’s not my business [what happened in Windsor]; it’s their loss not ours. It was just an oversight. I’m not too concerned about whether we finish first or second,” Belliveau said.

All the stats from that game will remain valid except for those of the ineligible player.

The situation is somewhat familiar to Belliveau and the Lakehead team. Last year, the Thunderwolves were forced to forfeit two games against Western, which they had won.

The player was a transfer from Laurier who ended up having the improper number of credits and was therefore ineligible.
Western head coach Clarke Singer said he didn’t think anything similar had ever happened at Western, and he felt for Windsor.

“You certainly don’t expect it. But, I feel bad for Windsor. They worked hard for that point and it could end up costing them a playoff spot.”

There may be even more sanctions to come for Windsor. The CIS is currently reviewing the incident themselves and will determine if any more sanctions will be imposed.

Despite the fact that this situation has been occurring a little more frequently, Singer still believes it’s not common in university sports.

“It’s definitely a fluke. As coaches and players we have a good idea of the eligibility rules. It’s always a mistake and never intended, and it doesn’t happen a lot,” Singer said.

While the situation obviously affects Lakehead and Windsor directly, it also affects Western in the standings.



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