Football: SFU stripped of two wins

Simon Fraser is out of the football playoffs after being stripped of two wins over the use of an ineligible player, dropping its record to 1-6. What a way to go off to the NCAA.

Jim Mullin at CKNW 680 in Vancouver has done the gumshoeing with the questions over QB Caleb Clark's eligibility. (It's been touched on previously and has percolated online for quite some time, but it seemed judicious to wait until a decision was at long last announced.)

Clark played sparingly at Western Michigan last season and he was supposed to be in a masters program (MBA) and thus free of the one-year sit-out period for transfer. SFU is calling it an "an inadvertent administrative error" (Vancouver Province) that Clark wasn't considered a masters' student from the start of the season.

A jumping-off point is whether Simon Fraser moving to NCAA Division 2 played a part in the punishment. It's also strange it took this long to get a decision; that much we can agree on without taking sides. Howard Tsumura's above-linked article notes the Saskatchewan Huskies used an ineligible player in the 1999 playoffs vs. UBC and were not stripped of victories, but as some dot-orgers point out, nowhere does it says the rules have changed in the past 10 years.

Manitoba comes out as the big winner, although coach Brian Dobie noted his inconsistent team is "not in a position to be celebrating anyone's misfortune."

The now 3-3 Bisons' have the easier remaining schedule vs. UBC (now 2-5) and Simon Fraser. Alberta and Regina each play No. 3 Calgary and No. 5 Saskatchewan. What a gong show.
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  1. Wow this makes things that much more interesting in the Canada West playoff race. If the Bears and Bisons end up tied for the final playoff spot with identical records the Bisons will have the tie-breaker since they beat the Bears in the two teams lone contest - this added win for the Bisons is huge as they are now tied with Regina and Alberta for third place.

  2. On the one hand, it's a pretty silly reason to dock SFU two wins (and give them to teams who did not score more points than the Clan). One infers pettiness from Canada West here.

    On the other, you have a quarterback who played in the U.S. last year, so you should be on top of everything with regards to his eligibility.

    Nobody comes out looking good here.

  3. Sadly the real behind the scenes stuff has yet to come out and maybe never will.

    SFU really dropped the ball on this one, and in all due fairness Rob, I will have to disagree with the Can West looking bad if people knew all the facts. Clark was ineligible from Day 1 and the inability to get him into a real graduate program is why he ended up at SFU as Calgary and Manitoba passed on him despite his obvious talent.

  4. The GNAC will be welcoming Simon Fraser into the conference next year either way. No point punishing SFU for making a move that benefits their athletes and their school out of pettiness.

    On a seperate note, any SFU fan that's interested in Division 2 NCAA football and the other teams in the GNAC that play it, should check out

  5. One guy, among many, not benefitting from the move is Clark. Career now over or he has to transfer yet again. Also, tell women's basketball team seniors thanks for coming out and making/keeping us a national power, now get lost for your fifth year.

    And for god's sake, SFU flagrantly broke eligibility rules and are lucky they got away with very little in the way of additional penalties. Not that it would have mattered anyways as they jumped ship a year early without so much as giving the CIS a heads up.