Tsk Tsk UBC
After an impressive 6-2 record in their 2011 season, the UBC Thunderbirds are instead chalking up an 0-8 finish, self-reporting their use of ineligible player.
This unintentional administrative error was discovered by the athletic department during a standard year-end review, resulting in the forfeiting of all Thunderbird wins.
The error occurred in 2009 (involving none of the current coaching staff) when one player, believed to be now fifth-year Connor Flynn, was incorrectly told he was eligible to play three years of varsity football.
Canada West Universities Athletic Association (CWUAA) has placed UBC on probation for one year, meaning any additional violations could result in big penalties.
To keep the oversight from happening again, UBC’s athletics announced they’ll be “hiring a new compliance officer to ensure consistency and accuracy in eligibility verification.”
Both Canadian Interuniversity Sport and the CQUAA said the mistake was clearly unintentional.
Head coach Shawn Olson told the Vancouver Sun, “obviously the guys are disappointed. We talk about accountability and how it makes us better. We’re confident that this doesn’t change anything we did this year as a team.”
The player in question has not been officially named, but Olson relayed that the individual feels horrible for letting the team and the school down.
Although the Thunderbirds’ accomplishments are being overshadowed by this administrative error, Olson brought the club up from their 2-6 finish last season, and was named Canada West Coach of the Year – an honour that will not be revoked.
Quarterback Billy Greene will also remain the player of the year as 2011 Hec Crighton trophy winner.
Olson offered some insightful words of wisdom on the unfortunate event, outlining that all the team can do now is accept what has happened and learn from the mistake.
“There are a lot of lessons in life.
You always learn more from failure and from tough situations than you do from good ones.”