It's probably the right call, but it might put the lie to Waterloo imposing collective punishment because nine adverse tests, quoth the Winnipeg Free Press, connoted "a program where doping was becoming the accepted way of doing business." The university was punishing the players together. They win as a team, they lose as a team, plus as Gary Lawless put it ...
" ... Don't tell us the coaching staff and the rest of the players in the Warriors locker-room were oblivious to what was going on. We don't believe it.CIS CEO Marg McGregor called "the biggest doping situation in CIS history" and the university's punishment connoted that the players were complicit.
"Neither do the folks running the show at the University of Waterloo."
Most of those same players are going to be eligible for this season, but Waterloo won't let them play for it this season. The collective punishment is out the window the second a Waterloo player finds a new team.
That makes one think this was a calculated decision by Waterloo to save money by not having to fund football, even if only for one season. The governing body, for good reason (potential litigation), is not adhering to one of its member institutions' quote, unquote punishments.
Someone needs to ask if this was all a smoke screen, cancelling the season. It sounds like a way for Waterloo to arrange the facts to meet its needs and wishes, helped by a Canadian media which has jumping up and down waiting its turn at steroid-paranoia sturm und drang).
That's not saying it was the wrong call to let players transfer and play in 2010. It's the right one, by the book. CIS should not want to bring on a legal action over something it didn't do. The rules state a player is allowed to play immediately at another school if a team folds. The NCAA rule which lifts the one-year waiting period for an athlete whose team has been placed on probation, like USC football was last week.
Still, if Waterloo was so concerned about doping in sports, you'd think they would stand in the way of anyone of the Drug-Free Fifty-Three getting to play CIS football this year. They don't, because their dirty work is done.
As a sidebar, it's too early to speculate which Warriors might find a spot in the OUA, let alone at which school. It is unknown which nine players had adverse tests. Linebacker Jordan Verdone would probably be in the most demand.
Carleton was the last school to discontinue football in 1999 and several Ravens did play elsewhere. The difference then was the call was made in March, not mid-June, with a little more time to get settled into a new school.
The Facebook protest group is at almost 4,600 members. Is it wrong to wonder if UW would have gone this route if it could have 4,600 people at every football game?