The head coach of the Acadia Axemen football team says the turmoil surrounding whether his team would play in the Loney Bowl is putting his team at a disadvantage.
The Axemen will play the Saint Mary’s Huskies on Tuesday at 2 p.m. in Wolfville. The game is only happening because the Nova Scotia Supreme Court ruled on Sunday that it must go ahead.
The two teams were scheduled to play each other last Saturday, but Atlantic University Sport (AUS) abruptly cancelled the game four days ago over eligibility concerns about one of Saint Mary’s players.
Acadia has not played a game since Oct. 21 and Acadia head coach Jeff Cummins said that’s a “huge” deal.
“We’ve never had this situation before. When I was in college, we had a bowl game, but we knew who we were playing for 30 days,” said Cummins.
“In this situation, it went from possibly Mount A to to St. FX to Saint Mary’s to none of them and playing an OUA [Ontario University Athletics team and then] pointed back to Saint Mary’s, so it’s been an interesting week and a half, two weeks.”
Player safety is top concern
Cummins said his biggest concern is his players’ safety because if they win, they would only have four days before their next game against Western University, the Ontario champion. The Uteck Bowl will happen Saturday and be hosted by the winner of the Loney Bowl.
While NFL teams sometimes play in games that are only four days apart, Cummins said this isn’t the same thing.
“The difference between us and the NFL is they have all the money in the world and they start their therapy and treatments before they ever get on the plane, as they walk off the field and put on ice boots and ice tubs and all the rest of that stuff,” he said.
Cummins said the university will do its best to ensure the players are healthy and ready should they get the opportunity to play another game on Saturday.
Cummins declined to comment on Archelaus Jack, the Saint Mary’s player whose eligibility is being questioned. Jack is a wide receiver who was on the CFL’s Saskachewan Roughriders practice roster until Oct. 2016.
U Sports, the national governing body of university sport in Canada, says any former CFL player, or anyone who remains on a CFL team’s practice roster after Aug. 15, has to wait one year before playing for a university team.
According to court documents, Saint Mary’s interpretation of the rule…