U SPORTS FB: Eligibility decision adjusted, providing “one-time relief” to pandemic-impacted players

Vancouver, BC- It’s official, U SPORTS has overturned the eligibility ruling that eliminated current 24-year-old football players losing their senior seasons. 

When U SPORTS announced the cancellation of the Vanier Cup on June 8, the organization stated that no eligibility would be charged to student-athletes. However, they did not address the age cap policy, therefore stripping a senior season from players who will have “aged-out, by turning 25 before Sept. 1, 2021.

Vanier Cup winning QB, Josiah Joseph would have been ineligible to compete. (David Moll)

After frustration and protests from student-athletes, fans, and media, the decision has now been overturned. In a media release on Monday morning, U SPORTS is describing  the decision as providing “one-time relief.”

“After discussions with our membership, we have determined that it’s an appropriate time to explore ways to improve the current safety and participation policies in football with an anticipated completion date of February 2021,” said Dick White, interim CEO for U Sports, and former Athletic Director at the University of Regina.

The original decision would have caused 300+ football players to age out, losing their final seasons but no fault of their own. Although the revised decision is being called a one-time exception, U  SPORTS also announced that it is beginning a consultation process with all stakeholders to review its football eligibility policies.

Football is the only sport to have an age cap in its eligibility policy.  

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