St. John’s University senior Anthony Jacoby has been denied a request for an extension of his college eligibility and is appealing the finding with USA Rugby.
Jacoby is asking for an extra semester of competition because he missed the fall term of 2007 due to military training, which ran from May through October of that year.
According to appeal documents provided to RUGBYMag.com, USA Rugby’s Collegiate Eligibility Committee’s reasoning was two-fold: training is not active duty, and waivers are given for one full year, not partial years.
Jacoby’s release papers are titled “Release or Discharge from Active Duty” and the field titled “Type of Separation” says he received his release from “active duty training.”
That term, “active duty training,” may be at the heart of the discussion, as it seems to fall inside something of a gray area.
During his training, Jacoby was stationed at Redstone Arsenal in Alabama and received training in ammunition. He received a National Defense Service Medal and his Army Service Ribbon. He did not play any rugby.
As for the time constraint, sources at USA Rugby indicated the decision might be related to the CIPP cycle. Jacoby was CIPP’d for a year, but is asking only for an extra half year.
The USA Rugby Eligibility Regulations for Colleges says nothing about a minimum waiver time. There’s a maximum – two years – but nothing that says an extension of less than a year is forbidden.
Players have five years from the time they enroll in college to play college rugby. Military service, church service or mission, and pregnancy are the main stated reasons for extensions to the five years. Players can get extensions for injury or illness, or hardship, but have to show that such an issue prevented them from attending college.
Jacoby has already missed two of his team’s five league games while this remains under appeal.