SMU football season may be in jeopardy due to possible ineligible player
Published Friday, November 3, 2017 6:09PM ADT
Last Updated Friday, November 3, 2017 6:24PM ADT
CTV News has learned Saint Mary’s University’s football team is being investigated for allegedly fielding another ineligible player.
U Sports, the national governing body of university sport, started its investigation Friday and is striking a committee to look into the allegation.
SMU is hosting the Atlantic University Sport semifinal on Saturday. U Sports says the game will go ahead because there isn't time to complete the investigation beforehand.
This is the second time this season the Saint Mary's football team has been investigated for fielding an ineligible player. Last month U Sports stripped the Huskies of one regular season win and one preseason win after determining an ineligible player had been on the roster for those games. SMU was also fined by U Sports and placed on probation for 18 months.
U Sports won't say what player is being looked at, but a CTV News investigation has revealed a player who may be ineligible – starting receiver Archelaus Jack.
Jack was listed on the practice roster for the Saskatchewan Roughriders last year. According to U Sports eligibility rules, a player with CFL opportunities can return to the university level if they are no longer listed on the player roster after Aug. 15. Otherwise, they can't play for 365 days.
The CFL confirmed with CTV News Friday that Jack was released Oct. 11, 2016, bringing into question his eligibility for the five games he played for SMU between Aug. 25 and Sept. 30 this season.
In a statement late Friday afternoon, SMU spokesperson Margaret Murphy said, “Saint Mary's University is aware of the questions raised around player eligibility and has been diligent in its response to U Sports to affirm our position that there is no issue.”
Meanwhile, the head coach of St FX tells CTV News his players and coaching staff are only focused on preparing for Saturday’s big game and aren't looking for any distractions.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kelland Sundahl.