Tuks responds to Varsity Cup dispute

Posted on March 20, 2013

The actual facts are as follows: The player concerned enrolled for a degree programme at the beginning of last year. Early in the year, he was selected for the National Under-20 training squad with a view to participating in the Under-20 World Cup – a dream opportunity for any young rugby player. As a result, he was required to attend training camps in the Cape and could therefore not continue with his studies. He subsequently cancelled his studies in an attempt to concentrate on preparing for and being included in the Under-20 SA World Cup team. He was not selected for the national team and returned to the University, enrolling for a programme of his choice in which he could be accommodated at that stage. He passed all his subjects at the end of 2012.

At a dispute proceeding between UP and the Varsity Cup the independent presiding officer found that a player may not interrupt his studies in this manner. There is no explicit rule in either the Constitution or the Regulations of the Varsity Cup dealing with this issue. It was based on the interpretation of the presiding officer and the University accepts the finding. The chairperson in his finding pertinently stated that there had been no malicious intent or negligence on the part of the University and Tuks was sternly reprimanded.

It is disappointing that the University’s actions in this regard are questioned. The problem stems from the Varsity Cup’s vague rules and the interpretation thereof. The University of Pretoria will never intentionally transgress any rules – neither in the Varsity Cup nor any other competition. Yes, the University’s aim is to win, but definitely not at the expense of the integrity of the game or the University.

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