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Friday evening DIII clubs in the Empire GU found out that Old Blue is free to use DI players in its DIII playoff game if the club wants to.
Clubs began asking as early as Tuesday about eligibility for the DIII playoffs, but didn't receive confirmation until 8:30pm Eastern Time on Friday of Old Blue's status.
In fact, for many years DIII clubs have had few regulations governing lineups. A club that fields a team in DI or in the old Super League could, theoretically, put those DI players on their DIII playoff team. There are documented accounts of some clubs doing that in some positions - certainly not all and certainly not with a large number of regular starters.
|But DIII clubs that are exclusively DIII continue to be displeased with the practice.
But whether the practice is right or wrong, what has really rankled the teams is that a question was asked by Syracuse Chargers club president Jeff Devennie on April 22:
"What is the process and procedure for CIPP checks for the weekends games, if any. Also how does any club determine what OB players are eligible to play in a D3 game? I am certain that there is criteria based on number of games a player has been on the roster for a higher division game. What are the rules and how will they be enforced?"
OB here means the Old Blue club, which has teams in DI and DIII.
This question was not answered in any official capacity until 8:30pm on April 25, when JC Whipple informed all teams of Empire GU President Mike Crafton's note that there is only one restriction for DIII clubs - the player must have been CIPP'd before March 15, 2014.
There is little expectation that Old Blue, which has a DI playoff game against Life coming up, will load up their DIII team with DI players. But they could if they wanted to.