Western coach Greg Marshall is stumping for a standalone Vanier Cup, not held the same weekend as the CFL's Grey Cup, and would like the Mustangs to host one at TD Waterhouse Stadium. Hey, the combined attendance for Western's three playoff games would almost make a decent-sized Vanier crowd, but it might be worth taking the event to a smaller city. The big stumbling block is that CIS wants it in a major city, where it's easier (and less expensive) to make travel and hotel plans.
John Kernaghan's Hamilton Spectator column on Marshall -- he coached in the Hammer or something? -- dishes on the going rate is for coaches: "Both Marshall and Constantin stress coaching salaries are getting competitive with the pros. It is speculated the pair are paid in the $125,000 to $150,000 range." A lot of athletic directors are going to be getting asked about raises.
The Spec's look at Laval puts the focus on its defence, while Western is playing the underdog card.
(Or, as one of the nogoodniks at Out of Left Field suggested, Queen's could host the 2009 Vanier since it's against having big football crowds.)
Speaking of which, Father Raymond J. de Souza, the Queen's team chaplain, looks at the loss of Queen's Homecoming in his National Post column: "You can arrange a reunion anytime, but homecoming without the current students is not homecoming. Alumni will be coming back to an empty house." That sounds awfully familiar.
Queen's tailback Mike Giffin, the OUA's most outstanding player, played all his cards with the Kingston Whig-Standard's Patrick Kennedy Wednesday:
"First they change our name, now they take away Homecoming. They're ruining 100 years of football tradition, just like that.The Fredericton (N.B.) Daily Gleaner caught up with Ottawa QB Josh Sacobie about his post-university plans.
"The Homecoming game was one of the main reasons I played this year. The crowd, the noise, the opening kickoff - players at our level will probably never experience anything like it again.
"It's unbelievable that they just cancelled it. They wouldn't even have a problem if they did a better job of policing the party in the first place. How can you let 5,000 people run wild in the streets?"
Western backup linebacker Rob Hennessey gets some love from his hometown Peterborough Examiner. (One angle: Hennessey has type-1 diabetes. Once upon a time, it was noteworthy for a diabetic to be a competitive athlete -- now it's accepted.)
About that game in Montreal ... Alouettes d-back Paul Woldu, who was on the short end of a Vanier Cup with the Saskatchewan Huskies, is trying to get that elusive ring on Sunday vs. Calgary.