Fitzgibbon and Sigerson teams throughout the country, including DCU, look likely to be affected by a new ruling introduced by Comhairle Ardoideachais regarding student eligibility.
The rule, outlining the requirements a student must satisfy in order to participate in Higher Education competitions, will come into effect for the forthcoming season.
According to the GAA’s Higher Education AGM report of September 21 last, a student’s participation in Comhairle Ardoideachais competition shall be subject to the following limits: (i) a maximum number of six academic years while registered and studying on a recognised course(s), and (ii) the duration of no more than two recognised courses of study.
GAA spokesman Gearoid Devitt told College View Sport that the new rule stems from a review of the Higher Education championships which took place three years ago.
“As a result of that report, the new rule was outlined at the 2011/2012 EGM and that it would come into effect for the 2012/13 season.”
Not surprisingly, a number of college’s took umbrage with the ruling and two separate amendments were put to the floor at the AGM a fortnight ago. UCC proposed that a student’s participation shall be subject to the following limit: A maximum number of six academic years while registered and studying on a recognised course.
UCD, meanwhile, proposed that a student’s participation shall be subject to the following limits: (i) a maximum number of six academic years while registered and studying on a recognised course(s) and (ii) the duration of no more than two recognised courses of study, with the exception that where a student has successfully completed an undergraduate course at Level 8, he shall remain eligible to play for a maximum of two postgraduate courses where he has successfully completed the first of these postgraduate courses.
Both proposed amendments were defeated and consequently, the initial ruling will come into play when the senior football and hurling league’s commence on October 17/18th.
“There will be an EGM next Friday, October 5, which will discuss the eligibility of students competing in the Division 2 and Division 3 championships. The law school, for example, would have a lot of students who would have spent more than six years in college which effectively means this rule would hit them very heavily”, said Devitt.
“The Higher education committee are keen not to see any club drop-off. A motion was put forth by the committee that players playing in Division 2 and Division 3 championships would not be affected by this ruling.”
College View Sport has also learned that the new rule will prevent Cork dual star Aidan Walsh from playing either Fitzgibbon hurling or Sigerson football with DCU.
The Fresher football side begin the defence of their league title away to NUI Maynooth on Tuesday next, October 9, while the Fresher B side host Queens University Belfast on Wednesday, October 10. Also that day, the Intermediate football team face UCD in Belfield. The fresher hurlers kick-start their Division 1 league campaign away to NUIG on Thursday, October 11.
IMAGE CREDIT: Sportsfile
Eoghan Cormican is our Sports Editor