Football: Is WLU's Montoya an ineligible player downfield?

Probably the only thing worse than losing to the Varsity Blues is forfeiting your 31-point win over them.

Fifth-year (or not...) defensive lineman Dave Montoya, who played for Laurier from 2003 to 2006 and was the defensive MVP in their Vanier Cup win in '05, might not actually be eligible to play CIS football anymore due to the new "five in seven" rule.

Montoya was registered at Laurier in January of this year before he withdrew (to satisfy obligations at his day job) and then re-registered for "a pair of online courses and a night business class." If he was back in school in time, then he should be exempt from the new rule, and therefore eligible to play a fifth year, the Hawks argue.

Admittedly, there are a few snickers here about a 27-year-old football coach claiming that he should be allowed to play university football for Laurier, four years after his last game, because he enrolled in some courses just before the implementation of a new rule devoted to stopping people like him from doing that. He would be following the letter of the law if not the spirit.

But that doesn't mean his argument isn't valid. If he was enrolled at Laurier in time, and if he has eligibility remaining, he has every right to play for the team. (Curiously, his profile on the Laurier site says 2006 was his fifth year of eligibility, but that appears to be an error, since 2003 was his first.)

It's that second conditional statement that hasn't been verified as I write this, though there's supposed to be some news this morning.

If you're wondering why it's taken more than a week to figure out when Montoya was actually enrolled, a) you've never dealt with academia, where "three months" is a tight deadline; and b) you've already forgotten about last year's Canada West gong show.

A week actually represents quite the brisk pace when it comes to resolving eligibility issues. And as long as Dave Montoya's arguments hold up, this may not be much of an issue after all.

LACK-OF-UPDATE UPDATE via @tieja_mac: Montoya won't play against Guelph, since "there will be no verdict" before the game.

Football Hawks await CIS decision [The Cord]
WLU football player awaits eligibility ruling [The Record]
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  1. I'm surprised you've taken a position, based on the CIS rules instituted, that Montoya is actually eligible.

    Not being rostered in 2009 and likely not enrolled full time in January are the bare requisites for grandfathering in the elder to continuing "living the dream".

    The new rules are long past due. Let's just hope the CIS enforce them.

  2. I actually didn't take that position...most of my statements are conditional, or are what the team/Montoya believe, not what I believe.

    Personally I think this is silly and that Montoya should move on from university ball. But if Laurier can argue otherwise, and get around this rule, good for them.

  3. Here is a smoking gun, from an article Mr. Monty Mosher wrote a while back when Saint Mary's had 2 players ruled ineligible.

    "Players in the midst of their careers were grandfathered in, meaning they could finish their eligibility according to the rules in place when they entered the CIS. But the exemption doesn’t apply if they are re-entering the CIS and didn’t hold an eligibility certificate in 2009-10." (emphasis mine)

    It looks like Laurier might have been mistaken in its belief. There is some short-term pain since this rule came in late (June), after most teams were done recruiting.

    Simple question: Did Montoya have an eligibility certificate before the fall '09 deadline? No one has produced one since he was not on the team. Case closed, says I.

  4. That is quite the italicized sentence, Mr. Sager.

    Also, so much for getting an answer today. Tieja MacLaughlin says "there will be no verdict today so the team will have to play tmrw w/o Montoya." You'd think that they would try to give WLU an answer in time for the next game.

    (I know I'm basing this on a single source, but I'll take the risk of Pat Burnsing the site into oblivion: anyone who willingly sits through OUA baseball on a regular basis is okay in my books, and gets the benefit of the doubt.)

  5. Rob i'll also vouch for Tieja as a source, i worked with her for 2 years at The Cord, her and Justin are thorough

  6. I know. I was just taking any excuse I could to make a Pat Burns joke, and also to mention OUA baseball (terrible quality, great fun).