CIS Top Ten (#9): A New #1 - OTTAWA (CIS) – For the first time in 17 years, the University of Calgary Dinos are the team to beat in CIS men’s hockey. After spending the last two weeks ...
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“The decision to cancel the women’s varsity hockey program last week, in response to budget pressures, was wrong and we deeply regret it,” university president Colin Dodds stated in the release. “We are taking several initiatives to earn back the respect lost so as to ensure that our students, alumni and friends continue to be enriched by the tradition and contributions of our female athletes.”It is great that the a business like Canadian Tire stepped up this time; too bad that couldn't have been the case with the UNB's women's hockey team three years ago.
Halifax city councillor Sue Uteck, the wife of the late Larry Uteck who was the football coach and athletic director at SMU for many years, was livid at the news the women's hockey team was falling under the axe.Saint Mary's AD Steve Sarty is quoted saying it is "awful" this came to pass. None of us are so simple to be looking for a villain. There is just no getting past believing this was done because it's an easy cut. It also leaves Saint Mary's with exactly zero full-time coaches who are women, which would seem to be a microcosm of the Canadian zeitgeist (we've gone from seventh to 25th in the world in gender equity since around 2006). It is not not gender equity when 60% of varsity athletes are male at a university whose enrolment is 65% female, as graduating SMU defender Seyara Shwetz argued:
"That women's hockey program was his pride and joy to get off the ground and put it to where it was today," she said. "To me, this is a fundamentally wrong decision."
Uteck said the decision had not yet been ratified by the university's board of governors and that she was going to exert pressure to get the program reinstated.
"My husband has a golf tournament in his honour, the Larry Uteck Golf Classic, and that raises money for student athletes as Saint Mary's," she said. "I'm not just alumnus. I give a huge amount of time and dollars to Saint Mary's in the form of fundraising.
"I will be removing his name from that tournament. That hockey team was his pride and joy."
Saint Mary’s University is composed of a 65% female presence in the student body. However, we only have 110 female varsity positions available to women athletes, where as men have 165 positions available. Our Head Coach, Lisa Jordan, was the only full-time female head coach at SMU; she was also the only coach with experience at the National Level.
Saint Mary’s University today announced, as part of the university budget process, that it has made the difficult decision to discontinue the Women's Varsity Hockey Team.There is no schadenfreude for me on this one. I'm somehow a lightning rod for folks who still want to bitch about UNB demoting their women's program to club status, and maybe that is what will happen to the SMU program. I hope so. I don't like to see anyone lose an opportunity to play varsity, or at least club, sports while going to school. There are all sorts of individual benefits to the student-athlete, and schools win by having those personalities in their classrooms.
Athletics and Recreation Director, Steve Sarty, said the difficult decision was made as a result of the budget deliberations that are currently underway and following a detailed review of the university’s sports programs.
“I spoke today directly to Coach Lisa Jordan. The players have been notified. I know the news has saddened them and, no doubt, it is upsetting,” said Sarty.
Over the coming weeks, athletics staff and student services staff will work with any players who want to transfer to another university.
"We controlled our destiny for two weeks and didn't get it done," said Taylor, who noted the Ravens deserved the wild-card spot ahead of Regina based on the criteria used by the CIS. "That's why you don't want to go in the back door. Sometimes the back door can be slammed in your face."
With Canada West teams having won the last 19 championships, many expected that conference's runner-up, the Regina Cougars, to get the wild card but Charles said the selection criteria, which included regular-season winning percentage and winning percentage against teams with good records, favoured the Ravens. "The numbers do show that we had a better year than Regina."