The Varsity Cup has been dumped into controversy ahead of the last round robin games of the 2013 tournament.
Beeld newspaper reported that the University of Pretoria (Tukkies) have been accused and found guilty of breaking player eligibility rules for the competition by another university.
Tukkies was alleged to have broken the rule of fielding a minimum of 18 students in their match-day 23 on four occasions. In their matches against Maties, Wits, Shimlas and Ikeys they only fielded 17 full time students in their match-day 23.
Even though they have been found guilty on all four charges, adv. Jannie Lubbe SC, decided that a wrap over the knuckles in the form of a warning would be sufficient. Other universities however are apparently fuming over the outcome especially since they have been found guilty on a similar charge last year as-well.
It was expected that Tukkies would be deducted log points for the offenses which would have seen them drop out of the second place position they currently hold on the log – in fact, if they were to be docked log points for all those games (three of which they won and a losing bonus point against Maties) they would have been out of contention for a semi-final spot.
In their defence, Tukkies said that they did not attempt to break the rules deliberately, but that it was more a case of not interpreting the rule correctly as set out by the Varsity Cup organisers.
Social commentator and rugby pundit, Tank Lanning, suggested on social media that universities had until 13:00 today to appeal the decision, but one has to wonder why this is even necessary given this is a repeat offense by the same university.
If Tukkies does make it to the final and retain their title as champions, it might just cause the image of the competition more damage than what the organisers currently realise.