When does 65-10 equal 1-0?
It does in the BCFC when the guys with 65 have an ineligible player in their lineup.
The junior football league announced Tuesday that it has taken away a victory from the Kelowna-based Okanagan Sun and given it to the Valley Huskers, who play out of Chilliwack.
On July 27, the Sun beat the visiting Huskers, 66-10. However, the BCFC has ruled that the Sun used an ineligible player, thus the game has been forfeited to the Huskers, by a score of 1-0.
According to the BCFC, defensive back Curtis Kelly played for the OFC’s Hamilton Hurricanes last season and wasn’t granted his release.
“Other teams cannot recruit, register or dress players while their rights are held by their current team,” the BCFC said in a news release.
The Hurricanes are believed to have filed a complaint with the BCFC office after that July 27 games.
Dino Bernardo, the president of the Kamloops Broncos, was quick to react.
“I think it’s a travesty,” Bernardo said yesterday afternoon. “I think the league is over-exaggerating what the penalty is. The reality of this is that the league has to decide on appeal if it’s a major infraction or a minor infraction. And I think it’s a minor infraction.”
According to Bernardo, Kelly “barely got out of the first quarter. I think he got hurt in the first quarter. The kid had no bearing on the game whatsoever.”
Kelly was credited with one assist in that game. A week later, he had one more assist in a 17-3 victory over the visiting Vancouver Island Raiders. Kelly didn’t play Saturday when the Sun beat the Westshore Rebels 37-26 in Victoria.
The conference made the forfeiture decision under BCFC Rule and Regulation 4.2 (b) that reads: “Should the player be ruled ineligible due to a major breech of eligibility rules (overage, suspension, unregistered and/or other similar situation) the offending team shall be subject to a fine not to exceed ($3,000) and forfeit game(s) in which the ineligible player is on their roster.”
The Sun has said it will appeal the decision.
Should the forfeiture not be overturned, as Bernardo said, “The forfeiture of the game has severe ramifications for us and (the Rebels).”
The loss drops the Sun to 2-1, while the Huskers improve to 2-0-1. Each of the six teams plays 10 regular-season games.
Four teams will qualify for the BCFC playoffs and it is generally conceded that the defending-champion Langley Rams (3-0), the Sun and the Raiders (1-2) will get the top three spots, with the Huskers, Broncos (0-2-1) and Rebels (0-3) left to scrap over the final berth.
The Huskers, who earned a 29-29 tie with the visiting Broncos on Aug. 3 and then won 33-30 in Kamloops on Saturday, now are riding high in second place.
The Sun, no doubt angry and disappointed, is to meet the Broncos at Hillside Stadium on Saturday, 7 p.m.
“It’s a question of using an ineligible player,” Bernardo said, “but it wasn’t done maliciously. I think the fine is deserved; I just don’t think they should have to forfeit the game.”