The University of Pretoria, guilty of fielding too many non bona fide students in 4 games this season, will again get away with a slap on the wrist, and this disgusts Tank Lanning.
The Varsity Cup Exco declared a dispute against Tukkies after a Bona Fide audit revealed that they had transgressed the tournament rule that requires a minimum amount of bona fide students in a match day 23 in 4 games this season.
The relevant rule in terms of number of players is the following:
4.2 At least 18 players of the 23 players on match day must be bona fide registered students at the university for which they are playing to be eligible to play in the Varsity Cup or – Shield
The dispute was scheduled for Monday 11th of March, but was postponed to Thursday the 14th of March 2013. Adv Jannie Lubbe SC, called in as an independent to investigate the matter, found Tukkies guilty of the charge, and advised that the penalty against them be a ‘strong reprimand’.
This result was delivered on Friday evening.
Tukkies and the Varsity Cup Exco agreed that they would have until 13:00 on Sunday to decide whether or not to appeal the finding.
The Varsity Cup Exco and board do believe the sanction from Lubbe to be “Extremely light” given the options available to Lubbe, and were thus very keen to explore the option of appealing the decision.
The rules governing the penalties are the following:
4.12 Where member universities transgress any of the rules laid down in points 4 or 5 a dispute will declared against them and they stand the chance to:
- 4.12.1 Lose all points gained for that match, and/or;
- 4.12.2 Also give full points to the other team, and/or;
- 4.12.3 Also lose 5 league points from the log as a penalty.
As such the Varsity Cup board called in some heavy hitters in the legal space and were prepared to spend any amount of money needed to follow the legal process.
A clause in the Varsity Cup bye Laws says that “Any party that feels prejudiced by the finding and/or penalty imposed upon him, will have a right of appeal against the finding / penalty.”
And these exact words are significant in that they imply that a right to appeal exists only when a penalty is imposed. So after much deliberation, the Appeal’s Committee found that the Varsity Cup do not have a right to appeal in this regard.
They were also advised that it is standard practise in most cases where a dispute is declared that the prosecuting party do not have a right to an appeal.
So Tukkies, because of a loophole in the Varsity Cup constitution, and a weak ruling from Lubbe, will again get away with cheating in the Varsity Cup, and I find that disgusting!
The Varsity Cup motto is INTEGRITY TRUST FRIENDSHIP TRANSPARENCY HONESTY but we are seeing anything but any of that from Tukkies. Having not been able to enforce the rules 12 months ago for the same reason, it is amazing that the Varsity Cup board has not been able to tighten things up so as to prevent this happening again, but Tukkies remain the bad guys here.
They are devaluing the fundamentals of the tournament, and should do the honourable thing by admitting their indiscretion and withdrawing themselves from the tournament.
But there is more chance of me turning anorexic I am afraid …
With Tuks being so obstinate, the only 2 solutions are for this to slide as it did last year, or for the other Varsities to come together and threaten to withdraw from Monday’s games until Tuks admit their transgression and give up the points acquired in those 4 games.