- Jeff Hicks of the Waterloo Region Record used the wording "should the program resume" in a column where he spoke with former CFL commissioner Mike Lysko, a Waterloo alumnus. Lysko, coincidentally if not ironically, works at SMU at Dallas, the same school whose football team received the death penalty in the late 1980s.
"Any future recruit, Lysko says, would be reluctant to commit to Waterloo knowing that, should a teammate test positive for banned substances, the entire program could be scrapped.It's worth noting that Lysko and another former CFL commish, McMaster AD Jeff Giles, have expressed misgivings about the decision. Having been in the pro game, they're well-aware what this means from a marketing perspective. Perhaps this will all be forgotten once the season gets underway, but it feels like it killed a lot of the momentum generated by the great finish to last season, with the tense Yates Cup, Mitchell Bowl and Vanier Cup.
" 'That's a helluva recruiting pitch, isn’t it?' said Lysko who believes Waterloo severely overreacted to the drug scandal in shelving the football program for a year after testing the entire 62-man team to reveal nine cheats.
" ... the Warriors’ season-on-the-sidelines was imposed by the school, not the governing-body of Canadian Interuniversity Sport. Lysko wonders why Waterloo administrators chose to put their own team in a coma.
" 'This sort of self-sanctioning happens in the U.S., where schools attempt to sanction themselves in the hope the governing body is lenient on them,' Lysko said.
" 'Waterloo took the CIS off the hook on this one. They gave themselves a far more severe punishment than the CIS would ever have had the guts to do. The CIS would never have gone that far. If they had, their school would have appealed it and probably won, with good cause.' "
- Allan Maki reported the University of Waterloo is trying to retain incooming recruits but won't say exactly what it can offer.
"The letter, signed by Waterloo vice-president academic and provost Feridun Hamdullahpur, outlines the university's stance – 'one that relates to what we stand for, and our obligation to take a leadership position against performance abuse in university sports for future players everywhere.'Does that sound like a school which is committed to resurrecting its team -- or one that wants to be able to say, "Look, we tried," when it folds the program?
"And yet the letter states the university is encouraging the football team to 'train, scrimmage and take advantage of other opportunities available to University of Waterloo student athletes.' There is no mention of what those opportunities are.
" ... Hamdullahpur writes the university is developing a plan to include 'special intrasquad games on our campus and in our community, and we are currently in discussions with the CFL, who are interested in supporting the program through additional training opportunities and partnerships.'
Again, there is no mention of what those opportunities might be.
Maki also noted one coach's name was conspicuously absent:
"(T)he recruits are invited to contact athletic department staff, athletic director Bob Copeland and coach Marshall Bingeman, an assistant to head coach Dennis McPhee. There is no mention of either McPhee or his assistant head coach and former CFL head coach Joe Paopao."
Carleton cutting football in 1999 seemed to work out pretty well for its athletic problem and the university; then-AD Drew Love was downright visionary. The rub is Love had a a transition plan. What does Waterloo have in place to become more prominent in basketball and hockey?
Incidentally, Warriors women's hockey coach Geraldine Heaney could be elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame on Tuesday. Good luck to her.