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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, March 15, 2016 10:34 pm

Legitimacy of USF opponent questioned

Greg Jones | The Journal Gazette

Some serious questions have arisen about the legitimacy of one of Saint Francis' football opponents this season.

According to a Sunday report from WVEC-TV in Virginia Beach, Va., three football players were "duped" to play for a "fake college team." The team was revealed to be Redemption Christian College.

Saint Francis is schedule to play Redemption at noon Nov. 7 at Bishop D'Arcy Stadium.

The players – Bernard Walker, Keishay Harvey and Robert Brown – heard about the fledgling football program in Virginia Beach through Willie Williamson.

Williamson said in the television report Redemption is a "sister school" with Century International College. The report also stated Redemption was an "online" university.

On the Redemption web site under the header of "REDEMPTION 2015 Dragon-Slayers Football Schedule," there is a notice that reads: "Due to temporary technical adjustments football season is being rescheduled to spring practice in 2016 and game participation in fall of 2016. Dates to be announced."

Saint Francis athletic director Mike McCaffery said late Monday he was unaware of the situation and would consult with coach Kevin Donley on Tuesday morning.

"We have a contract so if they don't have 50 guys who don't get on a bus and come play football, we are going to have to figure something out," McCaffery said.

Because of some changes to the membership of the Mid-States Football Association, the Cougars' 2015 schedule took some major overhauling from past years.

McCaffery said the game with Redemption came about after finding the two schools had open dates on a legitimate website and then making some calls to get it scheduled.

"Coach D (Donley) has been doing this long enough that if he talks to someone, I think he knows what he is doing," McCaffery said. "We needed a 10th game, and coach got it but we would have rather played someone else. We didn't know this would happen."

Saint Francis will open its season at 7 p.m. Sept. 5 at home against Olivet Nazarene (Illinois).

gjones@jg.net