All Posts Tagged With: "Athletics"
Sportsnet & The Score will broadcast games to 2018-19
Fans of university sports learned Wednesday about a new six-year deal between Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) and Rogers (which also owns Maclean’s) that will bring games to more viewers on Sportsnet and The Score’s television, online and mobile platforms through to 2018-19.
Football’s Vanier Cup, which will be held on Nov. 23 in Quebec City, is one of 13 big events scheduled for the upcoming season, along with men’s and women’s hockey and basketball championships. The rest will soon be announced.
Andrew Bucholtz of the blog Eh Game sees the deal as a logical and positive partnership, writing:
The Canadian university basketball and hockey championships (both men’s and women’s) will be a far better fit on Sportsnet and The Score than on TSN, and when considered as an overall picture, this makes a lot of sense for CIS. It’s very beneficial that CIS basketball’s now in a place where it will be taken seriously.
Pierre Lafontaine, Chief Executive Officer of CIS, sounds excited too. He said in a press release:
“This expanded, long-term partnership with Sportsnet will help elevate the CIS brand and provide our 11,000 student athletes, 700 coaches and 54 member institutions the recognition they deserve. It will serve to shine a light on the many outstanding accomplishments of our student-athletes who will move on to become future leaders in this country and around the world.”
Addition to Vancouver campus a North American first
The University of British Columbia has unveiled the first campus skatepark in North America. “Key park features include an open snake-run bowl, a cantilevered quarterpipe, an angled slappy bank, and stair set, complete with handrail and ledge,” says the press release. The addition to the Vancouver campus gives new meaning to the words ‘hitting the books,’ since it’s built on a stack of metal and concrete tomes engraved with words from Vincent van Gogh. There’s also a gnarly sustainable stormwater management system to hydrate nearby plants. Click below for a closer look.
U. of R. Cougars will be only Canadian squad
C-O-U-G-A-R-S. Let’s go Cougars!
The University of Regina cheerleading team is hoping that chant will help lead them to a big W-I-N at a world championship event.
The 27-member team is heading to Florida for the International Cheer Union World University Cheerleading Championship next weekend.
“We’re going to be the only team there representing Canada, so it’s really exciting especially since there’s going to be good representation from the U.S., as well as some Asian countries and (Australia),” said head coach Thomas Rath.
The Regina team got to this point by winning the small coed division at the Canadian National University Cheerleading Championships in Brampton, Ont., in December.
Junior hockey team fined $2,000
A hockey coach in Newfoundland was suspended for a year and his team was fined $2,000 after he allowed players to skip a tournament’s opening ceremonies to study for their university exams. Brian Cranford, the coach, has volunteered for the Mount Pearl Junior Blades for 20 years. Several of the 23 players, aged 18 to 20, were writing exams in April when the Don Jonson Cup was held. Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador (HNL), which issued the fine and suspension, said they did so because they expected at least a representative of the team to attend the cup ceremony, but none came. Cranford told The Toronto Star that he will appeal the decision to Hockey Canada.
Reminds us why we’re lucky to be Canadian
The cost of university is a touchy subject in Canada. Just look at Quebec, where students have declared war over a tuition fee increase pegged most recently at $254 per year.
At times like these, higher education budgets of American universities can offer some perspective—at least Canadian universities spend your tuition on academics instead of football.
The latest outrage: Daily Mail reports that Sean “P. Diddy” Combs’s son Justin will get a $54,000 football scholarship to the University of California Los Angeles. That’s free tuition for four years at a public institution where residents without athletic ability or dire finances pay $12,686 per year.
University strikes task force after second alleged assault
Boston University has created a task force to study the “culture and climate” of its men’s hockey team after a second player was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a female student.
Max Nicastro, 21, a BU Terriers defenceman and Detroit Red Wings draft pick, was charged on Feb. 19 with two counts of rape.
That came after the Dec. 11 arrest of former teammate and Toronto-bred centre Corey Trivino, 21, who allegedly forced his way into a student’s room and groped her against her will. Trivino has pleaded not guilty.
BU president Robert A. Brown said in a statement Thursday that the task force reflects “a University-level judgment that the two incidents indicate something systemic or habitual may foster a team climate that does not comport with the highest standards of conduct we seek to maintain…”
Accused of recruiting on campus
Four members of the Delta Kappa Epsilon (DKE) fraternity have been charged under the University of Alberta’s Student Code of Conduct for attempting to recruit pledges on campus, reports The Gateway. That’s in violation of the five-year suspension DKE received in January after alleged hazing. The investigation and charges came after the apparent recruiting was recorded by students, who then gave their recordings to the Dean of Students. Universities have been taking incidents of hazing very seriously lately. St. Thomas University’s new code of conduct allows for punishments as harsh as expulsion for off-campus hazing. The tough new rules were in response to the death of Andrew Bartlett, who hit his head after being at a party where hazing took place. The University of Guelph’s men’s rugby team was suspended in October after an off-campus party where an “initiation,” though not hazing, apparently took place, according to the athletics director.
Lack of female leaders continues
Gender equality in Canadian varsity sports is improving, but there are still problems to tackle, shows new research from the University of Toronto’s Centre for Sport Policy Studies.
The good news, according to the report, is that there were almost as many varsity women’s teams (425) as there were varsity men’s teams (431) in 2010-11. The bad news is that there were only 7,815 team roster positions for female athletes—44 per cent of the total—despite the fact they make up 56 per cent of university students.
The truly “disturbing” news, according to the study’s authors, is that women make up less than one-fifth of the senior leadership. Women hold only 19 per cent of head coach jobs and only 17 per cent of athletic directorships.
Former player rescues team with $2.5-million gift
Football fans in Ottawa will soon have one more team to cheer for. Carleton University will launch a new varsity team in 2013.
It’s all thanks to a philanthropist — entrepreneur and former Carleton Ravens defenceman John Ruddy — who gave the proposed team a $2.5 million boost, matching other fundraising for a total of $5-million in start-up capital.
The Carleton Ravens were axed in 1998 due to financial shortfalls, which came after a poorly played season.
The new team will be controlled by an alumni association called Old Crows Football Inc., which will include community members and the university’s administrators. The university plans to refurbish the old stadium, add new seating, a new press box, a new locker-room and fitness facilities.
Joining American league would bring higher quality sports, permit full-ride scholarships.
At many institutions the decision on whether their sports teams would join the NCAA would set the campus buzzing.
At UBC? Students care about as much as they do about the football team—which is to say, there’s athletes who care, friends of athletes, about a hundred sport nuts . . . and that’s about it.
Despite this, the university is beginning what it promises is the final round of consultations to decide whether to join NCAA Division II, or stay in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS), of which it is a founding member.
UBC had held prior consultations about joining NCAA in 2008 and 2009, but they were inconclusive. The administration then spent the next year attempting to work with the CIS to change rules around scholarships (UBC would like to offer full-ride ones) and conference tiering (UBC plays too many games against small schools they blow out), to no avail.
Of course, for most schools, the NCAA isn’t appealing. According to UBC officials, only Alberta, McGill and Ryerson have expressed interest—though none of those schools have said so publicly. Simon Fraser joined last year, but they were founded with the intent of competing against American schools, and only joined the CIS in 2000 after too many of their US rivals joined the NCAA, which banned international schools until 2008.
Even if you’re philosophically fine with full-time scholarships for athletes (as a growing number of schools, frustrated with the athletic brain drain, are), the travel costs combined with the scholarships make joining the NCAA prohibitively expensive for universities. But UBC’s athletic department, which has wanted to move to the NCAA for many years, is close enough to the border and has teams in sports that the CIS doesn’t even offer, including baseball and golf. In others like field hockey and swimming, there’s simply not enough competition within Canada. When it comes to the CIS, UBC is a big fish in a comparatively small pond.
That’s not to say it’s a slam dunk for UBC to join. Far from it. In the 2008/09 consultations, 52 per cent of respondents polled in a survey were against moving to the NCAA, despite a concerted attempt by the athletic department to get as many of their athletes as possible to fill out the survey. Though there are no plans for any clear “vote” this time around, UBC will end this final consultation making a decision one way or another—the deadline for application to Division II is June 1st.
Once admitted students must demonstrate academic progress
If grades make you a longshot for college, you’re much more likely to get a break if you can play ball. An Associated Press review of admissions data submitted to the NCAA by most of the 120 schools in college football’s top tier shows that athletes enjoy strikingly better odds of having admission requirements bent on their behalf.
The notion that college athletes’ talents give them a leg up in the admissions game isn’t a surprise. But in what NCAA officials called the most extensive review to date, the AP found the practice is widespread and can be found in every major conference.
The review identified at least 27 schools where athletes were at least 10 times more likely to benefit from special admission programs than students in the general population. That group includes 2009 Bowl Championship Series teams Oregon, Georgia Tech and Alabama, which is playing Texas for the national title Jan. 7.
At Alabama, 19 football players got in as part of a special admissions program from 2004 to 2006, the most recent years available in the NCAA report. The school tightened its standards for “special admits” in both 2004 and 2007, but from 2004 through 2006, Crimson Tide athletes were still more than 43 times more likely to benefit from such exemptions.
Alabama coach Nick Saban offered no apologies. “Some people have ability and they have work ethic and really never get an opportunity,” he said. “I am really pleased and happy with the job that we do and how we manage our students here, and the responsibility and accountability they have toward academics and the success that they’ve had in academics.”
The NCAA defines special admissions programs as those designed for students who don’t meet “standard or normal entrance requirements.” The NCAA says such exceptions are fine as long as schools offer the same opportunities to everyone from dancers, French horn players and underrepresented minorities as they do to fleet-footed wide receivers and 300-pound offensive linemen.
Texas was one of seven schools that reported no use of special admissions, instead describing “holistic” standards that consider each applicant individually rather than relying on minimum test scores and grade-point averages.
But the school also acknowledged in its NCAA report that athletic recruits overall are less prepared. At Texas, the average SAT score for a freshman football player from 2003 to 2005 was 945 — or 320 points lower than the typical first-year student’s score on the entrance exam. School officials did not make coach Mack Brown or athletic director DeLoss Dodds available to comment.
Federal government kicks in $20 million to develop Maple Leaf Gardens
Ryerson’s Rams are finally getting a new arena just a few blocks from campus, as the federal government kicks in $20 million to revamp Maple Leaf Gardens. The historic arena was purchased by grocer Loblaw Companies Ltd. in 2004 but has remained largely unused for various operational reasons. The arena will reopen in 2011.
The Gardens will be home to a grocery store on the first floor, with an athletic facility occupying the second. The top floor will largely be dedicated to a hockey arena, the same size as the original, and with the capacity to host 5,000 fans. Volleyball and basketball will also be played on the third floor, the Globe and Mail reported.
Earlier this year, Ryerson students voted to pay an extra $126 per year in athletic fees for new facilities that will help fund Ryerson’s portion of the deal, also $20 million. The remaining third of the $60 million project will be raised through donations. A $5 million donation has already come from Loblaw’s Weston family.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, Transport and Infrastructure Minister John Baird, Ryerson president Sheldon Levy and Loblaws chairman Galen Weston all made the announcement jointly.
Maple Leaf Gardens opened in 1931, hosting its first Maple Leaf game on Nov. 12 that year, when the Maple Leafs lost 2-1 to the Chicago Blackhawks. Loblaws has said it will maintain the existing facades of the arena, as well as existing rooflines “with the majority of development taking place within the building’s interior.”
This story has been updated
With files from the Canadian Press
League will give their students a unique opportunity, says school’s athletic director
Simon Fraser University will begin play in the NCAA Division II in the fall of 2010, one year earlier than originally planned, in a move that will save the school money while offering athletes a unique opportunity, athletic director David Murphy said Tuesday.
“We have the ability to provide a great Canadian education and we can also combine that with an NCAA athletic experience,” Murphy told a news conference. “No one else can do that.”
SFU is the first non-U.S. member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The school’s varsity teams will become the 10th member of the NCAA’s Division II Great Northwest Athletic Conference.
Richard Hannan, the conference’s commissioner, said SFU was a logical choice.
The conference has institutions in five states, including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska.
“They are a prestigious, quality institution, academically and athletically, ” said Hannan. “Geographically they are a great location for us.
“We needed another member. We need to get to 10, then hopefully we can get to 12.”
SFU currently has 19 teams competing in the small-college National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics in the U.S. and Canadian Interuniversity Sports.
Murphy said joining the NCAA will save SFU money in travel and membership fees. It costs about $500 to belong to the NCAA, while CIS fees are “quite a bit more,” he said. “The savings in memberships will be over $40,000.”
SFU currently plays in the CIS’s Canada West conference, where they sometimes must travel as far as Winipeg for games – a trip of about 1,870 kilometers by air.
Another major difference is the NCAA pays to travel to any championship. In the CIS and NAIA, individual schools pay the travel costs. Under CIS rules, scholarships can only cover tuition and school fees. An NCAA scholarship covers tuition, room and board, which could give SFU an edge when recruiting athletes.
Originally, SFU had planned to compete in the CIS next season and move on the NCAA in 2011-12.
All varsity teams will compete in the organization’s Division II starting September 2011
Simon Fraser University has been approved as the first non-U.S. member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), which is the world’s largest college sports organization. The announcement comes on the heels of a decision by the University of British Columbia to defer joining the organization by at least one year.
The school says all of its varsity teams will compete in the NCAA’s second division in 2011, after a two-year transition period, according to a press release issued July 10.
“This is a first for a Canadian university, and it reflects SFU’s long history of competing in U.S. varsity associations and conferences,” says SFU president Michael Stevenson.
“It means a high level of competition and challenge for our athletes. As has always been the case, our primary concern is that our athletes succeed as students. The NCAA has strong academic requirements and we will maintain the high academic standards that SFU has always demanded from all…teams.”
For more from the press release, click here.
Stay tuned to Maclean’s OnCampus for continuing coverage of this story.
Unidentified athletes are from Argentina and Uganda
Serbian health officials say two more cases of swine flu have been diagnosed at the World University Games.
Officials said Monday the two unidentified athletes are from Argentina and Uganda. Last week, an Australian swimmer was diagnosed with the virus.
Several people who were in contact with the infected athletes are being isolated to prevent the spread of the disease at the multidisciplinary games, which are attended by about 8,500 athletes and officials.
Since last month, 21 swine flu cases have been recorded in Serbia.
- The Canadian Press
With 212 athletes, 95 coaches plus staff, it’s one of the largest contingents at the games
Canada will be sending a 307-member team to the 25th Summer Universiade, which begins Wednesday in Belgrade, Serbia.
The Canadian delegation of 212 athletes, along with 95 coaches, medical and administration staff, is one of the largest contingents attending the biennial World University Games. Canada is also sending 12 referees and judges to the competition, which ends July 12.
Canada won 16 medals at the 2007 Games in Bangkok. Swimmers led the list with four gold, two silver and four bronze. Canada also won gold in women’s softball, silver in men’s volleyball, a pair of bronze medals in judo, bronze in men’s basketball and one bronze in athletics.
Swimmers will again make up the bulk of this year’s team with 42 student-athletes competing in the pool. Canada will send men’s and women’s teams for soccer, water polo (which is making its Game’s debut), basketball and volleyball.
Canadians will also compete in athletics, diving, taekwondo, archery, tennis, fencing, table tennis, judo and rhythmic gymnastics.
The soccer teams will begin play June 30. The women will play host Serbia while the men battle the Czech Republic.
- The Canadian Press
Students are the hamsters, as schools find new ways to go green
As she pedalled an elliptical exercise machine at the University of Oregon, Wen Lee’s face lit up like the light bulbs she was powering.
“I could run my television with this,” the environmental studies graduate student said between breaths, making the three bulbs on the stand in front of her glow brighter as part of a demonstration of renewable people power.
The University of Oregon – one of its school colours is, after all, green – is the latest in a growing number of college campuses and exercise clubs across the country where workouts produce watts.
Splitting the $14,000 cost with the local utility, Eugene Water and Electric Board, the school has retrofitted 20 Precor elliptical machines to generate electricity using technology from ReRev.com of St. Petersburg, Fla. The power from each machine in the Student Recreation Center goes through a converter that turns DC into AC, and a meter to keep track before it flows into the grid.
The amount of electricity produced is small. The university estimates that 3,000 people a day on 20 machines would generate 6,000 kilowatt hours a year, enough to power one small energy-efficient house in the Northwest. But it fits in with other sustainability projects, such as solar panels on the rec centre roof, and a high sense of being green among the student body.
“Oh, wow! It’s awesome! That’s cool!” said sophomore Eileen Donnerberg when told the machine she chose for her workout was producing electricity. “I never thought of that. It’s a good thing.”
The machines are even making their way into the run-up to one of the school’s biggest events: the annual Civil War football game with Oregon State University. OSU connected 22 exercise machines to the grid last February and will compete with Oregon to see who can generate the most electricity.
The power is a drop in the bucket compared to the University of Oregon’s overall electricity consumption, which is equivalent to 2,280 houses, said sustainability director Steve Mital.
And Northwest electricity rates are so low it would take 28 years to recoup the investment, but Mital said that isn’t really the point.
“We’re not going to get off Middle Eastern oil by connecting up all the ellipticals all over the country,” said Mital. “We bought it and installed it mostly because it’s an educational opportunity. People will be on those things sweating away and it gets them thinking.”
Plan to become the first Canadian university in the main U.S. college sports league is delayed for at least a year
The University of British Columbia will wait until at least next year before deciding if it will join the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division II in the United States.
The NCAA, the main U.S. college sports league, opened membership beyond the U.S. for the first time in January 2009 as a pilot project with Canadian schools. UBC is currently a member of Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS).
A report by a UBC committee did not recommend for or against a UBC application to join the NCAA.
“A lack of answers to critical questions means deferral until at least 2010 of a decision on whether or not to apply for membership,” the university said in a release Thursday.
One of the reports co-authors said respondents to surveys and open houses were divided on the benefits of joining the NCAA. David Farrar, the UBC’s vice-president academic, also said there remains insufficient information to allow the university to determine NCAA suitability before a June 2009 window for application.
“There are some critical unanswered questions that leave open options as to whether or not NCAA participation is the appropriate way to go for the university and its student athletes,” Farrar said.
Among the questions is whether or not UBC could receive an exemption from the NCAA for its academic accreditation requirement.
Further unresolved issues revolve around discussions about the level of competitive opportunities and financial support for student athletes that UBC and other universities are having with CIS, the main body in which most UBC athletes currently compete.
It is also unlikely to be clear until after the June NCAA deadline whether or not CIS will allow universities to compete in both the CIS and the NCAA.
- The Canadian Press
$10,000 award goes to top female and male athletes from Canadian universities
An Olympic gold medallist and a world-record swimmer are among this year’s nominees for the top honours in Canadian university athletics.
McGill goaltender Charline Labonte, who helped the Canadian women’s hockey team to gold at the 2006 Olympics, and UBC’s Annamay Pierse, who broke a short-course world record in the women’s 200-metre breaststroke last month, are the BLG award female nominees from their respective conferences.
The BLG awards recognize the top female and male athletes from Canadian universities. They will be handed out in Toronto on April 27. Each winner will receive a $10,000 post-secondary grant.
Other female nominees announced Tuesday are Ghislaine Landry of the St. Francis Xavier women’s rugby team and University of Guelph runner Lindsay Carson.
Marc Rancourt of the Saint Marys hockey team, Laval football lineman Etienne Legare, York soccer player Francesco Bruno and Joel Schmuland of the Alberta volleyball team were nominated on the men’s side.
Labonte led her team to its second straight Canadian university hockey title as well as a 36-0 record against CIS opponents this season.
It’s already been a busy year for Labonte, who is currently in Finland playing at the women’s world championship as Canada continues its preparation for the 2010 Olympics.
The physical education student from Boisbriand, Que., says McGill has always accommodated her national team commitments.
“McGill is a very understanding school,” Labonte said during a conference call. “Our athletic program is really supportive. They understood the situation.”
She’ll be away for a month in the middle of exam time.
“It’s not easy,” she said. “It’s really not an easy thing for them as well but they’re really helping me to be successful at school.”
She says her national team experience is among the assets she brings to the Martlets.
“Being on the national team obviously gives me a lot of experiences that are extremely enjoyable as a hockey player and as a person,” she said. “That’s the kind of confidence I’m trying to provide to my teammates.”
Pierse has also had a few balls in the air this season. She swept all the breaststroke events at the 2009 CIS swimming championships, setting Canadian records in the 100-and 200-metre races. A few weeks later, the Edmonton native broke the short-course world record in the 200 at the Canadian spring nationals.
Having an understanding university behind her has made all the difference, says Pierse.
“It’s great being part of a university program that understands not only that you want to represent your university but you do have the higher goals at representing yourself and your country at the international level,” she said. “It’s a balance that you do with your coaches and with your school.”
Landry, from Toronto, is a the reigning two-time CIS women’s rugby MVP while Cambridge, Ont., native Carson was named the CIS female track athlete of the year after winning three gold medals at the nationals. She also captured bronze at the national cross-country championships.
Schmuland was named CIS men’s volleyball player of the year as the Golden Bears claimed their third title in five seasons.
“I’m riding an unbelievable high right now,” said the Calgary native. “I don’t think I actually fully understand what has all happened so far. Hopefully over the summer I’ll be able to reflect and think about what a great team season that I was able to be a part of.”
Rancourt, the reigning CIS men’s hockey MVP and scoring champion from Ottawa, led the Huskies to their first University Cup championship appearance since 2002.
Legare, a St-Raymond, Que., native who was named CIS lineman of the year, guided the Rouge et Or to their second Vanier Cup victory in three years and is one of the top prospects going into the 2009 CFL Canadian college draft.
Bruno, a Toronto native, was named the CIS men’s soccer MVP after leading led the Lions to their first national title since 1977.
The BLG awards are based on athletic accomplishments, outstanding sportsmanship and leadership. Each of 52 CIS schools selects one female and one male athlete of the year. From these nominees, one female and one male athlete are chosen within each of the four regional associations.
The awards have traditionally been handed out in Calgary but the ceremony has been moved to Toronto this year.
“It was felt that it was a great national award and we should give it national exposure,” said Doug Mitchell, national co-chairman of BLG LLP, the law firm that sponsors the awards. “We’re having it in Toronto this year, it will be back in Calgary next year and then the following year it will be in Vancouver.”
- The Canadian Press
With endowments suffering, 13 percent of admin and service staff will be cut
Stanford University has announced it will cut 21 positions in its athletic department because of the economic downturn, while keeping all 35 of its varsity teams and its coaches.
Stanford has one of the biggest athletic departments in the nation, but said the 13 per cent staff reduction from administrative and service areas was necessary because of decline in endowment value and fewer contributions during the recession.
The cuts will take effect this week.
Last month, Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby said he expected layoffs to deal with a projected $5 million in lost revenue over the next three years.
Bowlsby said Wednesday that $1.5 million has already been eliminated from the current budget, primarily in administrative areas.
The school has also identified $2.5 million in potential savings from reduced maintenance and travel and by freezing open positions.
In total, the department is cutting $5.4 million, about nine per cent of its operating budget excluding scholarship costs. Bowlsby didn’t rule out future cuts that include eliminating teams or coaches if necessary.
“We are making every effort possible to preserve opportunity for our student-athletes and to protect the quality of our programs,” Bowlsby said in a statement.
“As is the circumstance throughout the Stanford campus, we will continue to assess our budget projections and will make further adjustments as needed which may include programmatic, staff and sports reductions.”
Last year, Stanford captured its 14th consecutive Division I U.S. Sports Academy Directors’ Cup. The recognition is presented annually to the best overall program in each athletic division in the country.
In December, Stanford announced senior administrators would take salary cuts because of the U.S. financial crisis. The university is anticipating a 20 per cent to 30 per cent decline in endowment value this year.
- The Canadian Press