Morning rounds ...

  • Montreal Alouettes middle linebacker Shea Emry (UBC) is getting a reputation as one of the CFL's hardest hitters. Apparently it caught the ire of Winnipeg Blue Bombers coach Mike Kelly, although it's fair to wonder if Kelly was just amazed to see a defender making a tackle. His own don't do that too often. (Montreal Gazette)

  • The U of S Huskies expect tailback Tyler O'Gorman back from injury this week. (Star-Phoenix, Huskies Football Outsider)

  • Wideout Seydou Junior Haïdara is having an impact at Laval in his first season, plus he's a candidate for the all-name team. (Le Soleil)

  • McGill athletic director Drew Love and football coach Sonny Wolfe get some praise for "throwing the baby out with the bathwater" (figurative translation) two years ago to rebuild the Redmen.

    For those who read French, Love has some choice quotes about the challenge of recruiting with McGill's admission standards. It is never going to be easy, but at least they're going for it, the way the NCAA's Football Bowl Subdivision's resident eggheads such as Northwestern, Vanderbilt and Stanford do while playing in major conferences.

    Granted, then there's schools such as Rice and Tulsa, which are too small and academic for the Big 12, but get to have their moments in Conference USA. We'll never get that kind of alignment in Canada, though. (La Presse)

  • Always OUA is airing grievances over Laurier being ahead of Guelph in the CIS/UFRC Top 10.
  • Mark Wacyk turns his focus to the wide-open OUA West (the WOW division) and the Waterloo Warriors, who might be flying a wee bit under the radar but probably have more experience than most of their reials. Whichever team(s) the OUA West sends to the Final 8 will be stress-tested.

    Waterloo has a solid big, 6-foot-9 Matt Hayes, but apparently 7-footer Owen Coutts has opted to focus on academics. There's some "Two Towers" joke in there. (

  • The Western Washington University student paper examines Simon Fraser's move to the NCAA.
  • Brock's Mark Yetman is "as good as any first-year goalie coming into the CIS," in the iew of Badgers coach Murray Nystrom.

    Another notable is that the new two-division alignment in the OUA has created some excitement, well, mainly because it is new. (Brock Press)

  • Former Sam Bloom (McGill) has been assigned to the ECHL's Cincinnati Cyclones, who are an affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens. That team is famous for being good before the NHL had an entry draft, he added, like a true Leafs fan (pot, meet kettle). (press release)

  • Ryerson's women's team is scheduled to join the OUA in 2010, but in here and now is struggling to find enough players for its city league. (The Eyeopener)
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  1. Just a quick rectification Neate, the article about McGill was in "La Presse" they so rarely talk about CIS football, that maybe you forgot about them... :)

  2. Merci beaucoup. Don't suppose I can blame that on being unilingual? Oh, I suck.

  3. I was stunned to see that piece in La Presse about McGill - a nice change from the mindless, pointless hockey drivel that usually pollutes that paper.

    Note: all problems in hockey can be solved by a) going hard to the net and b) shuffling the lines.

  4. I do like La Presse's design, very colorful and easy to read, unlike many papers in the ROC.

  5. @Anonymous 7:47 - Yes but what about Sergei Kostitsyn? lolll

  6. I'd really like to see another NHL strike. All the major sports outlets in this country are dominated by the NHL "news" 11 months of the year; everything else is squeezed out.

    I mean, do we really need a bloody front-page story in July in La Presse about why the Habs must re-sign Steve Begin?

  7. The explanation about high standards keeping McGill from getting their best players is a dumb one. We've heard this for U of T football before, despite the fact that many other programs at Toronto are very good. Waterloo isn't 0-3 because Waterloo is so hard to get into (it isn't). Waterloo is 0-3 because Waterloo does not have good players, fan support, or recent success.

    Not to mention that using this argument is insulting to the student-athletes, who are typically more committed than your average student. The "leading athlete" can't get into McGill? Please.

    Good or bad varsity sports teams are not a result of high or low admission standards. Let's stop pretending they are.

  8. Rob,

    No, they're not a result of high or low standards. But admission standards are something schools must manage.

    The "dumb jock" stereotype is definitely a myth. And I never pretend that being academic means a school cannot win in sports (see Rice, Stanford, Northwestern, Syracuse).

    In football, though, you need so many players. Plus, why should someone who can get into McGill or Toronto and also play football have to go there, when they can get their BA/BComm anywhere and have a better shot at being on a winner?

  9. Queen's isn't exactly a school for dummies...right, Neate?...but they have always, or almost always had a good football team.
    As for Toronto, the Blues have won 25 Yates Cups in their history and their last national championship was 1993.
    So I agree with Rob that this stuff about high academic standards means poor on field performance is rubbish.
    Getting back to Queen's, the men's basketball team is probably the least accomplished in the OUA next to RMC but it isn't because of high academic standards.
    It's because of the culture of sport at Queen's.
    Apart from football, mediocrity just seems to be accepted...not unlike Carleton up until a decade ago.
    The irony with the Gaels is that while the men's basketball results year to tear has ranged from only fair to usually poor, the cream of the crop amongst Kingston's HS players leave in droves.
    You can't tell me a guy like Rob Saunders wouldn't have the academic chops to make it at Queen's.
    Or any of the other Kingston area players who have contributed heavily to Carleton's dynasty.
    I read a piece on Dave Smart and he said he once asked Queen's for an assistant job and was turned down flat.
    Well, there you go...

  10. ... exactly. Cripes, I remember where I was in 1997 when I found out someone not named Dave Smart had been hired as Queen's men's basketball coach. It was a major bringdown.

    To be clear, what I said wasn't an endorsement of Love's comments, but a way to direct eyeballs to the story.

    It is the culture of the school.

    A school's admissions standards help shape that culture (one factor among many) since it determines who applies and who is accepted. It's all inter-related.

    One small note about Kingston: The popular belief has long been that relatively few Kingstonians go to Queen's, compared to how many other people attend a hometown university. Not sure if that's true, though.

  11. @Neate (11:14) - I was referring to the article, where Love is quoted as saying (roughly translated): "Our admission requirements likely prevent us from recruiting leading athletes."

    As if the best of the best can't get into the fabulous, unparalled McGill.

    And as for students who could go to McGill/Toronto but would rather play for a winning football team...yes, exactly my point. For athletes who think that way, it's about how good the team is, not how good the academic reputation is. And a team doesn't automatically get better or worse when admission requirements are raised or lowered; I would bet there is no causal relationship there whatsoever.

  12. Probably not ...

    When Carleton had the unfortunate and thankfully for it now shed reputation as Last Chance U and Cartoon u in the '90s, what was its record in football? A couple 5-3 seasons, but you would hear people say its problem was it could get dodgy students into school, but could not keep them in school.