The big old Bisons

Boy, Brian Dobie's team is sure taking a beating lately, and all for playing well within CIS rules. The league has already instituted a new rule to limit the number of ageing junior football veterans in CIS, something that's being grandfathered in and will ensure Manitoba's the last of a dying breed.

But for now, the team is what it is.

And just to add a few more voices to the debate, I asked Dobie about a few of the team's success stories, off the field moreso than on, for a piece in tomorrow's paper.

"I do get riled up when I hear this," said Dobie, whose inbox was flooded with ugly messages from disgruntled Mustang fans after Saturday's win. "I say everybody has a right to go to university at any age and everybody has a right to participate in anything that school offers.

"Elitism in education is ugly. It's unfair and it's ugly, and that is what comes out of this."

I won't take a side here, but I will say that there are some great stories among the older players, many of whom never imagined they'd ever go to school or get a degree, and many of whom wouldn't have if not for football and the University of Manitoba.

Saint Mary's coach Steve Sumarah said he also felt there were times when older players should be allowed in CIS, and that 25+ players on his team had made significant contributions.

It was interesting, too, to get the perspective someone like 29-year-old running back Karim Lowen, who said he supported the rule change.

He added that he didn't see what the fuss was about. "After you hit a certain age, when you play on these teams, you’re all adults. It’s not really better to be older, other than just the maturity part. I don’t really understand why everyone’s making such a big deal out of it."
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