Football: Gee-Gees meet with administration, demanding changes to team — sources

With their season in a shambles, Ottawa Gee-Gees footballers appear to be mutinying against first-year head coach Gary Etcheverry.

Multiple sources confirmed for on Tuesday that Colin Timm, uOttawa sports services' assistant director, played mediator during an approximately four-hour-long meeting between Etcheverry and some of the team's senior leaders. Players also ran a spread offence during a practice where several coaches were absent, instead of practising Etcheverry's double-wing offence, which has yet to produce results amid the Gee-Gees' first 0-4 start in a quarter-century. Ottawa has looked disjointed on each side of the ball, ranking seventh in offence and ninth in defence in the 10-team OUA despite returning nearly all of their starters from a season ago. They are also dead last in pass offence and pass defence.

It's expected there will be restructuring of the coaching staff as soon as Wednesday. Offensive assistant Corey Goff could also be on the hot seat. At this hour, it's not clear what that means for the much-travelled Etcheverry ahead of Saturday's Ottawa-Queen's game in Kingston.

"He'll be gone by the end of the Queen's game... 100 per cent," a source said of Etcheverry.

Luc Gélineau, Ottawa's director of sports services, is on vacation, which further complicates matters. Where this story goes might turn on how serious the Gee-Gees players are about demanding changes. Ottawa, the lone winless team in OUA, is in tough to make the playoffs just two years after many of their veterans came within seconds of winning the Yates Cup.

Etcheverry, throughout his coaching career, has garnered a reputation for being adamant about running his schemes. That was a contributing factor to his departure from the Saskatchewan Roughriders before the 2011 season; he was essentially demoted from defensive coordinator in favour of Richie Hall despite the fact the 'Riders had made consecutive Grey Cup appearances. That makes it tough to picture the Gee-Gees ditching the double wing while Etcheverry remains as coach. In a previous stint with the B.C. Football Conference's South Fraser (now Langley) Rams, he left after three games after refusing to get rid of the double wing.

These reports did not exactly materialize from nowhere. Many Gee-Gees football alumni are reportedly upset about the direction of the program. Suffice to say, a surreal 24-48 hours are ahead in Gee-Gee land.
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  1. Ottawa, the lone winless team in OUA

    I knew this was true but it didn't really register until you wrote it. Yikes.

    How often do you have senior leaders meeting a higher-up to complain about the coach, with the coach right there, for as long as four hours? That's the really big part here to me. If true, it shows this isn't just one person complaining about playing time.

  2. As a long time supporter I am not surprised. I had expected players to quit the team mid-season.
    One only has to sit in the stands with alumni, supporters and parents of players to know how much anger there is. Yes anger!
    Some who donate to the program will withold donations , at least until the signs are there that things are being rectified.

    After this current crisis is dealt with , a lot of damage control has to be done. If thay don't, recrutitng will be next to impossible as well as getting alumni donations.

    One of the problems(Not the only one) is that they have fallen behind in coaches salaries. Unable to attract a top flight coach, they end up with inexperienced ones like Asselin and renegades like Etch.That in turn hurts recruiting.

    There has bben lots of hints that they will up the budget and pay competive salaries at the end of this season. this plan is all very hazy at present.

    To mollify supporters, and potential recruits, and raise confidence that they will not let the football program die, they need to come clean and release a plan, in more detail, as how they plan to resuurect the program. And do it now. If they do not recruiting for next season will be next to impossible and donations will dry up.

  3. I said I'd be surprised if Etch lasted the season. I still can't believe he hasn't changed the offence at least spreading things out "at times".

    Regardless, a well known alumni of Ottawa joked to me saying he was seriously considering removing his tatoo. He won't be supporting the program until a real coach is hired.

    Ottawa 0-4.......who could have predicted it?

  4. Sad to see a decent program fall. Hope they rebound fast! The last team to rebound from 0-4 to start the season was Western in 2007(then known as UWO). They started the season with 2 very odd and close losses against Queen's and McMaster that should have had Western at 2-2 after the first 4 games. By the time Western were 3-4 going into a playoff berth deciding game against Waterloo, Mustangs were first in the OUA in defense and offense. To make the season just as odd, the 4-4 fifth seeded Guelph Gryphons had only lost by a total of 31 points in their 4 games. Needless to say, it was sad to see the 8-0 Ottawa Gee-Gees succumb in their first playoff game against Western(not for first year coach Greg Marshall). Yates was at Alumni Stadium in Guelph that year with the 5th and 6th seeds squaring off! An 0-4 team to start the season wins the OUA/Yates!- Yikes.

    Best wishes to Ottawa. They likely are not as bad as their record shows at present. A few wins this year against some middling teams should help. It is unlikely Ottawa will pull a 2007 like season off as Western was coming off a season in 2006 that was HC Larry Haylor's last, which should have resulted in a win in playoffs against Laurier despite 2nd string QB subbing for Faulds. Several first class stops by defending Vanier champs Laurier on 3rd down gambles by Western finished off Haylor's last season in game in Waterloo without Faulds back in that 2006 season.

  5. "without Faulds back in that 2007 season"-should read last line. I will stick to my day job!