Earlier this week, Gloucestershire Gladiators Head Coach, James Wilford, launched a Change.org petition asking BUCS to reconsider their enforcement of regulations that has seen the Gladiators themselves miss out on postseason football entirely, and the UCLan Rams lose their 1A Yorkshire title, and drop from second to sixth seed in the Division One North playoffs.
The petition comes after a small number of league fixtures, played out on the field of play during the season, were voided rather than recorded by BUCS due teams having missed the deadline to confirm results. However, in the case of both the Rams and Gladiators, the primary responsibility for submission of results in both instances was that of their opponents, the Leeds Gryphons and Oxford Lancers respectively, as hosts.
The Rams saw themselves stripped of a crucial 32-20 Week Twelve victory over Leeds that secured them the Conference Crown, while the Gladiators saw their 37-7 Week Eleven win over Oxford struck from the slate, reducing them from four wins to three and meaning they miss out on the postseason entirely!
While many in the British American Football community and beyond appreciate the need for regulations and adherence to said regulations in competitive sport, at the same time few feel it is appropriate to essentially punish the student-athletes themselves for an administrative error, primarily by admins not even at their own institution.
To date, the petition has garnered more than 3,500 signatures and climbing, and yet the Gladiators claim they’ve heard nothing directly from BUCS in response to their appeal to reconsider the situation.
— Gladiators (@Gloucesterglads) March 1, 2018
In response to what we are given to understand was similar negative feedback from other sports with submission deadlines earlier in the month, BUCS CEO Vince Mayne had previously shared a statement with all BUCS-affiliated universities. Within, he emphasised that BUCS will review the specific regulation that led to these situations over the summer, during their annual regulation review.