Volleyball: Laurier Axes Varsity Volleyball Programs

Earlier today, the ongoing saga that has seen varsity programs across the country come under threat enjoyed the writing of a new chapter.

In a statement announced today, the Department of Athletics and Recreation at Wilfrid Laurier University has indicated its intention to discontinue both the men's and women's varsity volleyball programs at its school, effective as of the upcoming 2011-2012 season.

The decision comes on the heels of a departmental review process which found the programs to be particularly uncompetitive with their Ontario rivals. According to the department's internal review, both volleyball squads would require a virtual doubling in funding to approach levels necessary to place them on par with provincial counterparts.

The Golden Hawks volleyball outfits have also struggled for results in recent years, a fact which no doubt aided the department in their decision to discontinue them. Laurier's men's team has enjoyed only one winning season since 2005, and finished their 2010-11 campaign by placing seventh among eleven teams with a record of 8-12. That mark earned the Waterloo outfit a rare playoff berth, but they were swiftly beaten by the McMaster Marauders in the OUA quarterfinals.

The Golden Hawks women's team was similarly unsuccessful in recent years, and posted a record of 8-11 this past season to finish fifth in the OUA West rankings and eight points adrift of the playoffs.

Laurier officials explain that cuts to varsity expenditures were necessary if they were to accommodate an explosion in demand for intramural and recreational activities. The funding freed up by the discontinuation of the volleyball program will be reallocated in part to the school's basketball, hockey, football, and soccer squads in an effort to boost Laurier's profile in the remainder of what the internal report deems the "Market Driven Sports". Facility time vacated by the volleyballers will henceforth be used for intramural purposes.
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  1. Both programs are "particularly uncompetitive"?
    The men were 8-12 and 7th out of eleven teams.
    The women 8-11 and 5th.
    Not great...but obviously, there are worse.
    Is it really a question of being not "competitive" or is it really because these two varsity sports aren't popular?
    Would the athletic dept. deep six the basketball teams if they were similarly unsuccessful?
    The answer is...of course not.
    The men's team was horrible for years before Peter Campbell was hired to restore respectability to the program.
    Apparently the Laurier athletics dept. isn't prepared to do the same for volleyball.
    Of course, dropping both v-ball programs prevents Laurier from being accused of gender discrimination as was the case of SMU trying to drop women's hockey.
    But it is obvious volleyball was the sacrificial lamb slaughtered for the financial good of the rest of the athletic budget.

  2. Interesting how the WLU iPad app doesn't have any stories on the vball cuts but quite proudly touts having raised $60,000 for the football team at a recent dinner... I believe I will make my feelings known on this decision the next time an alumni fundraiser contacts me...

  3. A comment -- not about this post, but...
    How about updating your banner? I'm tired of looking at Chris Dyck and Shawron Glover. How about some more recent/current players?

  4. Not my call, but maybe that could be a project for September when the new season starts? And we shouldn't forget about Showron Glover any time soon.

  5. LOL...I'm a Carleton fan and I am DEFINITELY sick of seeing Showron Glover's face!
    Replace with Tyson Hinz...STAT!