"A team will play in Canadian Interuniversity Sport for the first time in 13 years if the board of governors can reach its fundraising goal of $5 million and convince senior administration the team is financially sustainable in the long run. The university made a highly unpopular decision to scrap the team in 1999 because it was draining a large portion of the athletics budget without producing a lot of wins.The Lansdowne plan winning approval would probably be a real shot in the arm, although Carleton has stated it isn't essential to play there. It seems to be good news for CIS football that a university which once discontinued football not only back in, but is very much living in the now when it comes to running a program. Carleton director of athletics Jennifer Brenning said as much two months ago:
"This time around, alumni are helping out with the budget. Former Ravens cornerback John Ruddy has pledged his support as the lead donor and the board has already raised at least half of the $5 million required to bring the team back." (Ottawa Citizen)
"You think you can operate a program on $300,000 a year, you just double that. Teams that used to have one full-time coach, now have 2-3 full-time coaches. The training is not four months, it’s all year... the game has really grown and developed in the CIS, the requirements are so much greater.”Covering the NHL draft (livechat at noon ET Friday!) takes priority, so tracking down some details (like when a formal app will be made to the OUA; end of summer was previously mentioned as doable) might have to wait. Needless to say, this is good news for CIS and OUA football, especially in the wake of you-know-what.
"[Laval has] taken it right to an NCAA level. That's where we need to go with our sporting events in Canada."
A couple other notes:
- Devil's advocate: Is Ottawa-Gatineau a better two-team town than Kitchener-Waterloo, which also has three other CIS football teams in close proximity? Just saying.
- One of our esteemed commenters pointed out that if Carleton comes in and Waterloo leaves, it would be possible to revisit the old O-QIFC concept -- an eight-team Quebec league with the two Ottawa schools.
The big question is what that would do for recruiting. Concordia recruits well in southern Ontario because it's an established program, but how would a new team fare at convincing players to come to a school? Being in the O-Q arguably hurt Queen's recruiting in the 1990s.
- An 11-team OUA, should Waterloo return, would likely make a nine-week, eight-game regular season permanent. That's the only way to accommodate a 44-game schedule.
- Would Carleton's return influence Waterloo's decision whether to resume football?
- One would hope the CFL supporters who plan to rally at Lansdowne Park on Sunday also have a little time for the university game.
- The Citizen notes dropping football was "hugely unpopular" when Drew Love made the call in 1999. It would nice not to have to hear it described in such a way ever again. Having read archived news stories from that time, there was a huge stink. However, Carleton's success in basketball and establishment of hockey in the years since show it worked out, and it would be nice to hear it described as such.
(Your agent was covering sports for the campus fishwrap at another Ontario university in those days and recalls a colleague from Ottawa expressing disgust with the decision and questioning why Carleton would put its focus on basketball.
Someone politely replied that Dave Smart would have a team win a national title within five years of becoming head coach. Of course, that was way off. They did it in Year 4.)
- One school that might cash in on Waterloo's withdrawal: The Guelph Gryphons. The hometown Tribune, the weekly, scooped the daily with a report eight Warriors have applied to Guelph.