24-year-old Canadian university football players have final year of eligibility taken away by U Sports

Photo courtesy: U Sports

U Sports has unilaterally decided to take away the final year of eligibility for football players who are currently 24-years-old.

TSN’s Farhan Lalji reports24-year-old U Sports players missing this year will not get an opportunity to play as a 25-year-old next year. Sportsnet’s Arash Madani reports up to 300 student-athletes can be affected by the decision.

U Sports cancelled its football season and 2020 Vanier Cup in June due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision came as a result of the on-going uncertainties with student-athlete health and safety, travel and public health restrictions that affect parts of the country and different curriculum delivery models being proposed on the campus of its 56 member universities.

As a national multi-sport organization that is based in an academic setting, U Sport made changes to exemptions and qualifications pertaining to athletic scholarships (officially known as Athletic Financial Awards, or AFAs) and eligibility. However, the 24-year-old student-athletes who were planning to play their final season on the gridiron won’t be able to do so through no fault of their own.