Football: Laurier shows solidarity with Waterloo

Granted, it's not like Laurier has nothing to worry about, since Waterloo is not the only school implicated in the steroid scandal. This has the feeling they are closing ranks:
"(Laurier athletic director Peter) Baxter's thrown his support behind the University of Waterloo’s administration, staff and students in the wake of the football scandal down the street.

"Last week, a UW player was charged with possession of steroids for the purpose of trafficking along with several counts of breaking and entering and possession of stolen property. Another UW player and a former teammate were also charged with multiple counts of breaking and entering and possession of stolen property.

"The arrests sent shockwaves through UW's administration offices and into the Ontario football conference.

"Baxter’s voice on the phone was one of the first UW's athletics director Bob Copeland heard after the cataclysmic news roared across the internet and into newspapers across the country.

" 'Peter's been a big help through this,' says Copeland."
UW's long road to hoe: Laurier football knows the way (Christine Rivet, Waterloo Region Record)
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  1. I took a gander at Rivets piece too and was kind of struck by the tone of the article. I'm not saying there was anything wrong with the piece; it effectively communicated the importance of ties that bind and solidarity in the university athletics community. However, the article spent little time telling the tale of why Laurier, and now UW, was on the wrong side of what is deemed acceptable. Rivet's tone portrayed the brotherhood of the athletic community, during times of trouble, but not the responsibility those communities had for being in the wrong type of light. From my opinion, the article made the schools seem like victims, diminishing the fault they were culpable for.

    The Righteous Happy Slide

    PS. I’m not one to scream for anyone’s head on a platter (I was one of the few who was willing to let Dunk’s F-bomb go unpunished) but this article, and the way the KW steroid thingy is being downplayed, smells. Funny, its easier to pick on the kids when they transgress on the field; it’s a different story when the adult, who are supposed to be monitoring the programs, are given a free pass when they miss a step.

  2. Slide,

    I might go back and add something about how it feels as if they are closing ranks, trying to spin the news around.

    This all depends on where you stand with what's called institutional control. The coaches cannot watch all 75 or 80 players like Hawks 24/7, so to speak.

    Plus, you tend to assume the better of people, or assume that their rough edges are innocuous.

    A great example of what I mean by the latter ... right before the Super Bowl in 2006, Deadspin published photos of Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger drunk off his ass in a bar, wearing a T-shirt that said, "Drink Like A Champion Today."

    We all had a pretty good laugh and I recall I included in the column I was writing for the Simcoe Reformer that Big Ben acted like any 23- or 24-year-old guy who had landed a well-paying job straight out of collge ...

    Now we know better about the real Roethlisberger. Getting back to the point, how much falls on a coach to screen out people who are engaged in activity which is illegal, but sadly pervasive in our society?

    It is hard to believe no one at Waterloo had any idea what was happening.

    I don't know how a coach would stop it, but clearly this does show the testing program is seen as a joke.

  3. Good points, but the NCAA and their ADs have little problem defining issues of institutional control and what is expected from the grown-ups. Granted, I'm not a big fan of much of the draconian style of bureaucracy the NCAA is famous for, but accountibility is always expected and demanded in their system.

    Perhaps issues regarding the talent pool in Canada, compared to the American reality, is why the bosses at CIS schools are treated with kid gloves in these instances.

  4. Chris Schultz of TSN said earlier this year, during a retransmission of a CFL game, that he believes that between 20 and 30% of the CFL players were taking performance enhancing drugs...

  5. I understand that things will be difficult for some players who didn't do anything wrong, but Rivet's article does have a strange tone. "People forgot the criminal charges once they won the Vanier" is especially icky. I don't think the "University of Waterloo student" who received "a savage beating" was feeling much better that day.

    If they're downplaying this story, it's because hometown papers are defensive about this stuff. Especially when it seems (to them) that Waterloo is being unfairly targeted. But it's an odd tightrope they're on over at The Record: vividly-worded headlines and ledes need to be written, but they're also desperate to be positive about the local boys (two of the charged players are from Waterloo; not sure about the other one) and how the just-good-folks at the school will come back from this.