Not only is it still viable, it may be a better option that the MkIII if he's not interested in video. TheIt cracks me up when I see this. The upgrades for video for the 5DIII were basically no moire, a choice of codecs, and a tiny bit more resolution. Everything else is a stills upgrade (since video doesn't use the 61pt AF, dedicated AF processor, the 6fps, etc). A video person probably wouldn't spend double the price for a 5DIII, where as an event shooter/wedding photog would. The 5dIII is basically a dream wedding camera, not a dream video camera.
price difference in the two will buy a great lens (or two) or even a second body. Canon is seeming
to bend over backwards towards the video imaging crowd lately at the expense of the still shooter,
packing their offerings with (for me at least) unnecessary, unwanted and unused features that have
to drive the price up.
Anyway, to answer the OP, the 5dII is excellent for its price point, especially if you can get it through Canon Loyalty for $1400+tax. Or through the various Ebay deals that have had it well below $2000. I have no problem shooting kayaking with my 60D (essentially the same as the 5D AF), I just know I won't always nail every shot. But the trade off will be you'll get great landscapes compared to the 7D, and more useable low-light. So unless you're doing more than 50% sports stuff, it's worth it.