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Claremont Colleges Head Coach Releases Statement On NMHU Story

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Claremont Colleges Head Coach Releases Statement On NMHU Story

Claremont Colleges in action this past January. Brian Jackson photo.

Following Goff Rugby Report's more detailed look into the issues surrounding New Mexico Highlands and NCR's decision to vacate NMHU's 2019 7s small-college championship, the team that the Vatos beat in the 7s final has issued a statement.

NCR Strips NMHU Of 2019 7s Title

Claremont Colleges Head Coach Jeremy Ognall issued a statement speaking to, in part, the fact that his team was not awarded the national title after NMHU was found to have used ineligible players. Ognall's statement also addressed NMHU's statements that they made mistakes, but will learn from them and move on.

The Story Behind The New Mexico Highlands Eligibility Row

Here is the statement:

"We appreciate Alex Goff and Goff Rugby Report for further highlighting the egregious nature of this matter. There is no justification for this behavior and certainly the response of the coach can’t be accepted as mere failed oversight on his part. It’s a key part of the “coach” designation and he ignored it. Many programs and teams were affected by the decisions made, over more than one season, and our beautiful game deserves way better. The consequences handed down to the team, the multiple players involved and most likely the coaches responsible, are appropriate and well deserved. To have a championship vacated is a significant decision and has rightfully been administered, and all involved in that fraud should feel embarrassed. Walking off the pitch with a fraudulent victory is an insult to those that truly went about it the right way. We remain proud of our young men and look forward to their further successes, on and off the pitch."

After New Mexico Highlands had their 2019 7s title taken away, Claremont Colleges, which lost on the last play of the final 17-12, was not awarded the championship. It will remain vacant, according to NCR CEO Steve Cohen.