Football: NCAA D2 team cancels game for lack of equipment

Simon Fraser has a two-possession lead over UBC early in the fourth quarter of its final season opener in Canada West. Meantime, did you hear about the NCAA Division II team which had to cancel its season opener because it did not have any equipment?
"Two days before St. Paul's College was supposed to open the 2009 football season, the Tigers canceled Saturday's contest with West Virginia Wesleyan. The reason, West Virginia Wesleyan athletic director Ken Tyler said Friday, was a lack of equipment.

" ... Tyler said St. Paul's AD Leroy Bacote called him with the news Thursday, less than 24 hours before the Wesleyan team was scheduled to travel 341 miles to play the game in South Hill, Va.

"Division II St. Paul's had ordered helmets and pads -- but the shipment hadn't arrived yet.

"... Tyler said he asked Bacote how the team practiced without helmets and pads and was told the players did calisthenics in shorts and T-shirts."
To be fair to Simon Fraser, the players' shorts and T-shirts were first-rate. Sorry, could not resist.
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  1. Football: CIS cancels season due to lack of competition.

    CIS die-hards desperately want to believe someone other than Laval will win the Vanier. There is a colossally uneven playing field that will manifest itself yet again this November with Laval winning blow-outs in London, ON and Quebec City, QC. Get yer freakin' heads out of the sand!

  2. OK
    So what makes Laval so vastly superior to the rest of the CIS?
    Why is Laval winning Vanier Cups any different than Victoria or Carleton winning all those basketball championships?
    Are you implying that Laval cheats?
    Please explain more fully.

  3. So a D-2 school cancels a game due to lack of equipment...sounds like some bush league, semi-pro outfit, rather than NCAA Deux.
    So this is what Simon Fraser wants, eh...."the big time".
    Hope they enjoy it.

  4. I give up...

  5. Well, to give the first poster a fair airing, no one looks at Carleton's basketball team and says, "Geez, these guys are huge and 2-3 years older on average than most teams."
    Who knows what goes through some OUA fans' heads when they read in Le Soleil that Laval's QB owns a home and has a family.

    (At the same time, who are we to judge. The normal course of progression that you see in the States where football players graduate from high school at 18 or 19 and have a 5-year window to play 4 seasons has never been followed in Canada.)

    No one believes Carleton has an advantage which is institutionalized (I already said this once today), they just see them as a program with a brilliant coach who has a special facility with finding the right players.

    When people call Laval the semi-pro team from Quebec City, you have to concede their point a bit. At the same time, was Laval ever disingenuous about what it wanted to do on the football field? No.

    They are a model program. The problem might be that no one has tried to do the same quite as effectively, certainly not in Ontario.

    I do believe Laval will win the Vanier again, but it's always going to be fun to see if someone can knock them off their perch, like Saskatchewan and Saint Mary's have done. Besides, the last we looked, the CIS football season was 13 weeks long, not one or two.

  6. So then why doesn't the CIS tighten the loopholes?
    Do they not have the political will or clout to do so...or do they even see the Laval situation as a problem?

  7. What problem or loopholes are you talking about exactly? And what's wrong with having a family and a house at 24 years old? Groulx is in his fifth and final year at university level and his eighth year after graduating from high school, thus respecting all applicable CIS rules.

  8. The point went more to competition, not judging how anyone leads her/his life, which I would never dream of doing (my parents were 24 and owned a home when I came into the world!). No one has done anything wrong, it just comes back to people's nature to be resentful.

    One analogy with Laval vis-a-vis the OUA schools comes from an article Sports Illustrated did many year ago about the Brigham Young Cougars being the most hated team in U.S. college football.

    BYU, then as now, had a practice of redshirting players who would then go on a two-year Mormon mission ... as S.I. noted (and the piece was a bit of a hatchet job), "In some cases, this can mean that the Cougars are matching a 25-year-old player against an opponent's 18-year-old." They were still respecting the rules, as Laval is, but people did not care for it, necessarily, especially if their team was losing Brigham Young.

    If you are in Ontario and are sick of seeing Laval win — and I am not siding with that attitude, I'm just saying be aware it exists — you might believe the field is a little tilted. That's not fair to Laval, necessarily, and it's not their issue.

  9. I don't see the relevance of the comparison with BYU. Laval has a few 25 year-old players and a few 19 year-old players, just like any other team, and overall pretty much the same average age for its players. The same rules with regards to age apply to all CIS teams and Laval respects them to the letter.

    The only advantage I see compared to Ontario is the Cegep system, which provides one or two more "mandatory" years of football training to kids before going to university, while junior football is "optional" in the rest of Canada, but still a fairly popular possibility from what I understand.

    But if you don't like the Cegep system and consider it an unfair advantage, don't blame Laval because all the other Quebec teams are in the same situation. And if you absolutely want a culprit, it's the Quebec Ministry of Education that established it back in 1964. So nothing new there...

  10. Two. They had two 19-year-old players last season and neither has any stats listed.

    Like you say, no reason to blame Laval, unless someone wants to be irrational. There's nothing but respect for Laval and the Quebec league behind what I am saying.

    In that case I cited, BYU at the time of that article's publication had 13 players who were at least 24 years old.

    Guess how many players on Laval's 2008 roster were born in 1984 or earlier (i.e., would have been at least 24 years old during 2008)?

    TWENTY out of an 85-player roster. Fifty-five players were at least 22 years old.

    Since you're saying Laval has "pretty much the same average age for its players," I thought I would look at the age distribution of Laval vs. 2 Canada West teams, Calgary and Saskatchewan (most OUA teams don't list birthdates).

    Again, this is not to cast aspersions on any team or any player. It's just to say "what is."

    Here are Calgary, Laval and Saskatchewan's 2008 rosters broken down by year of birth:

    '80: Saskatchewan 1, Calgary 0, Laval 0
    '81: Saskatchewan 2, Calgary 1, Laval 0
    '82: Laval 5, Saskatchewan 3, Calgary 0
    '83: Laval 6, Calgary 2, Saskatchewan 1
    '84: Laval 9, Saskatchewan 7, Calgary 6
    '85: Laval 15, Saskatchewan 9, Calgary 8
    '86: Laval 20, Calgary 10, Saskatchewan 4
    '87: Laval 21, Calgary 9, Saskatchewan 6
    '88: Saskatchewan 10, Calgary 7, Laval 7
    '89: Calgary 15, Saskatchewan 9, Laval 2
    '90: Calgary 7, Saskatchewan 3, Laval 0
    '91: Saskatchewan 1, Calgary 0, Laval 0

    Now, just to show them as a percentage of the whole since Laval lists 85 players and Saskatchewan only listed 56:

    Players 24 or older: Saskatchewan 14 of 56 (25%), Laval 20/85 (23.5%), Calgary 9/65 (14%)

    Players age 22-23: Laval 35/85 (41%), Calgary 18/65 (27%), Saskatchewan 13/56 (23%).

    Players age 20-21: Laval 28/85 (33%), Calgary 16/65 (29%), Saskatchewan 16/56 (29%),

    Players 19 and younger: Calgary 22/65 (34%), Saskatchewan 13/56 (23%), Laval 2/85 (2%)

    Obviously, Laval does not have pretty much the same average age as most teams. Junior football is also a less common option in the OUA than Western Canada.

  11. Alright, you showed your point, Laval has more 22-23 year-old players and less 18-19 year-old players than teams in Canwest (and probably in OUA and AUS as well). You would find the same results with Sherbrooke and Montreal, and to a lesser extent Bishop's, McGill and Concordia, i.e. all teams who recruit in Quebec. Simply because it can't be any different! Kids must go to Cegep after high school before going to university, it's mandatory! Again, it's got nothing to do with Laval but the Quebec school system, as designed by the Quebec Ministry of Education.

  12. To our great displeasure (it's against our principle to defend Qc city :) ) we must concur with Anonymous 4:01.

    In Qc province, only Cegepians finishing in two years (and usually football players finish in three) so, if nothing happens they arrive at an University at age 20... even for English Universities, if they come from the Province of Qc, they'll take the same path... and if they don't loose a year because of an injury, they will end their University career at 25...