A mistake off the field for the Regina Rams has big implications for the U of M Bisons football team.
News broke Friday the Rams would forfeit the first five games of the season after playing an ineligible player.
The Rams — formerly in second at 3-2 — drop to the bottom of the Canada West standings at 0-5. The Bisons are now tied for second at 3-2 and are back in playoff contention.
“For our team, it’s not necessarily the way you want to win football games,” Bisons football quarterback Des Catellier said.
“We would rather go out and outright win the game, but this is exactly what our team needed right now.”
According to a release by Canada West, the Rams became aware of the ineligibility during the conference bye week.
The mistake stems from what Canada West referred to as “an oversight during Regina’s student-athlete intake and eligibility process over the summer” and Regina will be doing a full review of their intake process as a result.
“I’m sad to see a team have to lose all their wins and all their hard work because of a mistake like this,” Catellier said.
“I know how much hard work goes into a season and it’s sad to see it go that way.”
The Bisons now have a strong chance of making the playoffs. The Calgary Dinos have already clinched a playoff berth with a perfect 5-0 record, and a single win may be just enough for the herd.
“This puts us in a very good position for the playoffs and even gives us a track to get a home playoff game,” Catellier said.
“That all being said there [are] three games left in the season and we have to go out there and handle our business. No games are going to be easy and we have to start playing our best football now.”
Manitoba has a tough schedule ahead, taking on the undefeated Dinos Friday, the 3-2 University of Saskatchewan Huskies on Oct. 20, and rounding out the schedule against the UBC Thunderbirds at home on Oct. 27.