University Football

SMU, AUS back in court to finish Loney Bowl case

Both parties disagree on how final proceedings should be handled

Huskies Stadium is home of SMU’s football team.   Bethanee Diamond

Saint Mary’s University and the Atlantic University Sport Association have returned to court to wrap up the Loney Bowl case.

The two sides met at the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia in Halifax on Jan. 22 and Jan. 29 and disagreed over how to proceed with the legal process. SMU wants an application in chambers, but AUS wants an application in court. An application in chambers is usually faster and does not require a trial.

Neither SMU nor AUS are saying much about the case at this time. Margaret Murphy, Saint Mary’s associate vice-president of external affairs, said they are just finalizing proceedings.

“We’re going back and legally crossing the ‘t’s and dotting the ‘i’s,” Murphy said in an interview last week.

Both parties need to follow up with the interim injunction, granted in November, which allowed the Loney Bowl to be played after AUS cancelled it. An interim injunction is a court order that only lasts for a limited period of time.

Phillip Currie, executive director of the Atlantic University Sports Association, agreed that the two groups are just finalizing the original injunction. He said last week the outcome of these proceedings won’t change what AUS does going forward.

“Nothing is at stake for making this permanent. It has no effect on us,” he said.

Acadia University was scheduled to attend the motion of direction on Jan. 22, but withdrew. Scott Roberts, director of communications for Acadia University, said “this is an ongoing case and we are not prepared to comment on the decision for our withdrawal.”

Currently, there is no scheduled time for SMU and AUS to appear in court again.

How the Loney Bowl case began

This Loney Bowl case goes back to November, when four AUS members complained that SMU’s Archelaus Jack was an ineligible player due to playing with a professional team.

U Sports, the governing body for university sport in Canada, struck a deal with SMU back in October. But after the complaints came in, U Sports decided to take further action and landed in court with SMU.  

SMU won that case, with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruling that the two sides had already made a deal. Meanwhile, AUS cancelled the Loney Bowl two days before it was scheduled to be played on Nov. 11. This meant that Acadia University would advance to the national semifinal game by default.

In an emergency hearing at the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, SMU asked for an injunction that would prohibit AUS from cancelling the Loney Bowl. On Nov. 12, Justice Deborah Smith ruled the Loney Bowl game should go ahead within 48 hours.

The game was played in Wolfville on Nov. 14. Acadia Axemen defeated the SMU Huskies in the Loney Bowl game with an overtime interception. The final score was 45-38.