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Lindenwood Sanction Decision Expected Soon

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Lindenwood Sanction Decision Expected Soon

Dan Adams Jr photo.

The final ruling on a sanction of Lindenwood University's men's rugby team could come down as early as next week as DIA voted to punish the program for a series of actions.

At the DIA meeting last month members discussed the widely-distributed video which showed portions of two Davenport v. Lindenwood games, highlighting several examples of foul play by the Lindenwood players. The video was eventually removed from the internet, but not before many saw it, including most in leadership positions in DIA rugby. While the video was posted outside of the 72-hour window needed to cite a player or team for foul play, it was still discussed at the DIA meeting.

In addition, members discussed the fact that Lindenwood had petitioned for a very large number of eligibility waivers, including waivers for at least one player who was clearly not eligible to play collegiate competition rugby. According to the DIA minutes obtained by Goff Rugby Report:

The quantity and tone of eligibility waivers suggest a systematic effort to build a rugby program based on “exceptions to the rule” and are not within “the spirit” of the college game. 

 

Lindenwood Men's Rugby had already received some punishment from the university during the season. However, DIA also voted to sanction the program under World Rugby's Regulation 20, which covers bringing the game into disrepute. The initial punishment was to ban Lindenwood from postseason play for the 2016-17 season, which would include the national 7s championships.

The Lindenwood rugby program has appealed, and the issue is currently being deliberated by an independent review panel, with a decision expected soon.