Wednesday, November 05, 2008

CIS Corner: A GG-to-be in a football firestorm

One could say Steven Hughes might have figured he was done with gridiron gong shows when he left the York Lions.

The OUA all-star receiver is now at the centre of a little football firestorm. There was talk last week he would suit up for the Ottawa Gee-Gees against Queen's. Instead, he played the following day for the junior Ottawa Sooners in their semi-final win over the Ch√Ęteauguay Raiders -- and there are apparently questions over whether he participated enough in the regular season and if Ottawa had got a release from his Ontario Football Conference team. As it stands, Ottawa has been declared ineligible.

If it is possible, the league should replay the semi-final. It removes any what-ifs for both teams.

Protest could sack Sooners from Manson Cup vs. Riders (Chris Stevenson, Sun Media)
Spurned Sooners lawyer up; QJFL drops team from final for using ineligible player (Ottawa Citizen)


Anonymous said...

It's a shame that the QJFL season has been made a shambles by this controversy.
Worse yet for the Sooner players who played all season just to get to the Manson Cup, only to have the opportunity ripped away from them.
Apparently the Junior Rider blog on their website was shut down temporarily because it was flooded with angry messages from Sooner players and supporters.
However, the JR Riders did not file the protest, the Chateauguay Raiders did.
I suspect the game will go ahead with the Raiders as planned on Saturday, although that's a lousy way for the season to end.
With or without Hughes in their lineup, the Sooners were the better team by far.
The Sooners may or may not have broken a rule, but it is a crime that the Chateauguay team benefits from that.

Dennis Prouse said...

It is looking like the semi-final will be replayed. At least, that's what I gleaned from the Sun article this morning. It seems like the easiest solution to this mess, although it leaves the Junior Riders cooling their heels for an additional week through no fault of their own.

It strikes me that the Sooners should have known the rule, or sought clarification if they weren't sure. We aren't talking about a backup guard here - this kid was playing two ways in the Raider game. For a player to stroll on to a team and immediately be an impact player on both sides of the ball tells you that he was a special player.

I was on the receiving end of this once, as a Midget coach. The other team dressed a high school stud running back for the Final whom they "officially" put on their roster at the beginning of the year, but who in reality hadn't played for them all year. They did it so they could airlift him on once the high school season ended. That didn't taste very good, so I certainly understand why Chateguay was miffed.

Anonymous said...

What is suprising is why the Sooners felt they needed to bring in a player (whose eligibility was suspect) for a game they should have won in any case.

This game is not going to be replayed and it is silly to even consider this option. There are no 'do overs' at this level.

Chateauguay is not at fault here, nor are the Riders or the QJFL. The Sooner brass who allowed this to happen must answer for their decision. Their players deserve that much.