Manitoba Bisons football head coach Brian Dobie and Bison Sports athletic director Coleen Dufresne addressed the eligibility issue on Tuesday surrounding an athlete who previously played in several games. Two of the team’s previous wins this season were overturned and another game declared “no contest” due to Julian Hardy not being eligible to play under the terms of a previous suspension in 2001 when he tested positive for unregulated supplements.
The team says they had no knowledge of the situation until it came across an online message board. A fellow coach brought the Internet posting to coach Dobie’s attention and he immediately referred the matter to Dufresne.
“The football program never knowingly played an ineligible player. There was no attempt to cheat. Julian believed he was eligible, the University believed him to be eligible and when it was discovered that he wasn’t we took the necessary steps to rectify the situation,” Dufresne said in a statement.
This unfortunate ending has cost the Bisons a playoff spot, which ends their season.