Monday morning, 60 hours before the start of the OUA Wilson Cup playoffs, with teams and athletic departments arranging travel and for Wednesday playoff games, the report from Mark Wacyk dropped that the York Lions have been bounced due to using an ineligible player for nine games.
In other words, two August exhibition games, the ones that Windsor used Raheem Isaac in before he enrolled at York, are affecting the playoffs in March. Over to the oracle:
... the Lions used 6’1″ Raheem Isaac for 9 games earlier this season before he was released from the team. Isaac had also played in two games for Windsor in August during Lancers NCAA/CIS series vs. Indianapolis at the St. Denis Center. By allowing Isaac to play for them after suiting up for a different OUA team in the same season, apparently by ruling, York forfeits at least the 9 games Isaac played in and as such U of T finishes third in the OUA Central. Still no word on why Toronto will go to Queen’s: clearly with U of T in the playoffs instead of York, RPI- calculated seedings are very likely change, throwing the entire bracket into uncertainty. With it being Monday morning and games on Wednesday and the other 6 playoff teams already preparing for their initial opponents, OUA likely was trying to think practically in the adjusted bracket. (CANhoops.ca)Quelle clusterfudge! It goes without saying OUA is following the manual, adhering to protocol, and trying to do as little harm as possible to teams' prep for playoff opponents. Not to be Mr. Negativity, since it is always better to be prescriptive ... but if it was not determined until 2-3 days prior to the playoffs that York was in the wrong by using Raheem Isaac, then, well, it's too late to do anything about it that affects the outcome of the 2015-16 season.
This presumes using Isaac was all that was wrong. It might not be prudent to bring this up now, but York guard Shane Reader did not play any games after Feb. 6. He played 30 minutes in his last game, and that typically means someone was healthy.
Sanctioning York and levying a fine would have been much more of a direct punishment to the alleged offender, which is the men's basketball program. Isaac has already been punished with his release. The Lions players have done nothing wrong. Moreover, coaches and players on seven to 11 other playoff teams shouldn't have the distraction of wondering if they are playing or going somewhere else.
Updated: The big takeaway from the OUA release is that, fortunately, the recalculated RPI after York vacated the three wins that Isaac played in, didn't affect any other teams. Toronto went into the No. 10 seed:
The University of Toronto Varsity Blues, who previously finished tied for third with York, finish in third place in the OUA East Division and qualify for postseason play.
With the updated division standings, the Varsity Blues were included in a recalculation of the Rating Percentage Index (RPI) resulting in amended playoff matchups. Toronto will enter the playoffs as the tenth seed, a position that was previously held by York. (OUA)Well, then, everything has been wrapped up a in neat little package. Sorry if it came out sarcastically.
Anyone want to take bets on whether we see some tweaks to RPI come OUA AGM time?