The Dinos men's volleyball team was in for a surprise Monday afternoon at practice when immigration officials came knockin' at the door.
"It was bound to happen sometime," said Head Coach Greg Ryan, looking obviously stressed. "I knew that day would come, but come on; we're right in the middle of playoffs!"
Dinos star and Kazakhstan native Denis Zhukov forgot to fill in his student visa forms and overstayed his official welcome in Canada. But when eager customs officials (who were probably tipped off by the University of Alberta) came to collect and deport him, Ryan wasn't willing to let him go.
Rumours and speculation were reaching fever pitch Tuesday when Dinos fan Ernie Astete spotted Zhukov at practice, and noticed that the team was one man short. While Zhukov was tightlipped about the incident, we slipped a little something into Ryan's Pepsi and he finally offered an explanation.
"Denis is only in his second year with us I didn't want to let him go," smirked Ryan. "I wanted to give them Andy Holland instead, but he wasn't around."
"So then I saw Wes (Mont-gomery) warming up and he seemed ripe for the taking. Wes is fifth year," continued Ryan, now in full grin. "He's done with the program anyway."
The scene went down like this.
When Ryan saw that the future success of his team was at risk, he decided to fool the Canadian government and switch one v-baller for another. He quickly pointed at Montgomery and in true McCarthy-esque fashion yelled "That's him! Get that commie agent!" Customs officials plugged Montgomery with tranquilizer darts just as he was turning around, completely ignoring the cries and protests of his teammates. Montgomery only had a chance to utter "Tell my mom I love..." before being taken away in a wooden box marked for Almaty, Kazakhstan.
"It was harsh," said senior Bill Byma with a tear in his eye. "They just gunned him down like he was some sort of a duck. I understand Wes is fifth year, but jeez!"
"And why did they just put him in a box?" lamented Dinos setter Lee Czernick, obviously distraught over his teammate's fate. "It really makes me think. Any one of us can be next."
Ryan had a different take on things.
"Wes is probably happy in Kazakhstan," he said. "It's the best situation for all of us.
"He always told me he wanted to travel when he was done with volleyball--I guess I just sped up the process a little."
Though unconfirmed, Wes Montgomery's future is likely quite bleak.
"They'll probably make him work in the salt mines," said Byma, wiping the tears from his cheeks. "Do you know what they do to guys like him down there?!?!"
The Dinos and coach Ryan, who promised to set things right after Zhukov's fifth year, will travel to Université de Havard next week to take on les Mighty Canards in exhibition action.