It is good an OUA football coach went on record about the Laurier War-hawks setting a bad precedent for the conference's always delicate competitive balance. It is just that people will scoff since the coach at Western said it right before a 46-1 win.
"The Hawks also benefited from the suspension of the Waterloo Warriors football program with seven players making the trip to the other university in the same city. All seven will make the dress roster with all-star receiver Dustin Zender and free safety Mitch Nicholson probably starting.There is a point there, at least in the abstract, so don't dismiss it entirely.
"That's an issue that doesn’t sit will some of the other coaches in the league.
" 'I don't like the situation,' said Mustang coach Greg Marshall. 'I don't think it was fair to the other teams in the same conference with the competitive balance.
" 'On the other hand, I feel for those (Waterloo) kids and I am glad they have a chance to play.'
"The only other thing Marshall said was that he felt the entire situation dealing with the suspension of the program should have been handled a little differently."
— London Free Press, Sept. 1
That means avoiding a tangent where anyone calls anyone Transfer U. The Freep's Morris Dalla Costa had the insight to ask the right question and Marshall was enough of a straight-shooter to answer it.
Never mind that people who saw that quote might recall how a starting Waterloo receiver who was second in the OUA in yardage in 2008, Joshua Svec, transferred to Western right before the start of the season to begin a masters' program. They might note former Laurier placekicker Chris Mamo, now in Western law school, is toying with crossing to the other side of the 401 rivalry. Da'Shawn Thomas' one-and-done stint probably came to mind, too.
Everyone has transfer players. Other might recall the Mustangs basketball teams, like many of their opponents, are making good use of transfer athletes from NCAA Division I schools and former CIS schools.
Coming to count on veterans who have been somewhere else to fill key spots is a cynical strategy, even in exceptional circumstances. It can affect competitive balance some schools have more grad and post-grad programs for a someone who wishes to play a fifth season.
There is much to be said for winning a championship in a CIS team sport with a core group who together the whole way through their degrees. Some of that did get lost amid the happy-happy-joy-joy coverage this summer of Waterloo players moving down the street.
It is good Marshall said it; it just happened to come before Laurier had a result against Western that Waterloo more typically has against Western, a 45-point loss.
Hmmm. Perhaps the displaced Warriors are having more of an impact than anticipated.