The CIS is now without a CEO after the organization announced the departure of Pierre Lafontaine late Monday.

There is no official reason for his departure. However, Neate Sager at Yahoo's Eh Game has the scoop

[S]ources state that Lafontaine has been bought out, with his resignation taking effect immediately. That decision by CIS was finalized after a conference call on Jan. 14, where the other issue was expanded interlock play in football.

Lafontaine only joined the CIS on Jan. 31, 2013. 

In the press release, the CIS pointed to the league's new strategic plan and governance structure as the major accomplishments from Lafontaine's tenure. The former Swimming Canada exec pointed to the Sportsnet broadcast partnership as a key achievement from his time with the CIS.

Now, the CIS has to find another person to fill the leadership gap. The search will begin immediately.

The timing of the announcement should raise eyebrows. It's the middle of the CIS season and the league is gearing up for "Super Championship Weekend" in March. That weekend combines the CIS championships for women's/men's basketball and hockey. It represents the best television opportunity the league has outside of the Vanier Cup.

We'll keep you posted as more information becomes available.  Until then, fire up your conspiracy theories.




Remember in the fall when the UQTR hockey coach Marc-√Čtienne Hubert didn't land the recruit he coveted and went to the local press and accused UNB of being cheating cheaters?

Well, the UNB athletic director John Richard wasn't happy with the response he got from the UQTR AD, so he took his complaint up the chain to the CIS. The CIS decided that there were grounds for a formal charge and ruled that UQTR breached a number of CIS regulations -- which you could sum up as being disrespectful and damaging the image of the CIS.

The CIS quietly released their decision on December 17, and placed it deep on their website, where you really have to know where to go looking for it. The only reason I discovered it is because Bill Hunt of the Daily Gleaner asked Richard for an update on the UQTR situation in the media scrum after last night's UNB-STU hockey game.

On that same CIS Discipline and Appeals Decisions web page you will also discover that this season Queen's and Calgary have both been dinged for having an academically ineligible football player, Trinity Western and Mount Royal had an academically ineligible soccer player, and Montréal had an ineligible volleyball player. Four of the schools had to pay a standard CIS fine of $2000 and Montreal was slapped with $6000 in fines plus forced to reimburse $3500 to a CIS championship travel pool. All five schools had their varsity athletics programs placed on probation for 24 months. The things you learn.

But back to UQTR. The CIS apparently gave Hubert a bit of a break for being a relatively new coach (2nd season), but still handed the school $2000 in fines and fees and 24 months of probation:

In consideration of the above and based upon the circumstances of the matter, CIS considered the following sanctions to be warranted, specifically:
a) Probation for a period of 24 months, both for the institution and the coach, during which time another violation of a similar nature will be subject to a much higher level of sanction;
b) Requiring that UQTR undertake procedural, structural or other changes in order to minimize the chance of future violations, and provide a reporting thereof with specific reference to the education and orientation of new and current coaches with respect to CIS and Regional Association Codes of Ethics;
c) Ordering that a letter of apology be sent from UQTR to UNB and CIS, that is to be approved by CIS’ Vice-President of Compliance prior to circulation;
d) Levying a CIS fine of $1,750;
e) The Panel considered but was reluctant to assess any suspension on the coach at this time, relying instead on the fine levied on the institution.
f) The levying of costs of the hearing against the Respondent, which may include but not limited to all travel and accommodation costs incurred by CIS and Regional Associations, and all disbursements relating to the investigation, preparation of the charge, hearing and distribution of the decision including meeting space rental, long-distance telephone and fax charges, postage and courier costs, photocopying costs, legal consultation and other directly-related administrative expenses.  For this matter, these costs have been approximated to be $250;
g) The Panel did not consider a claim for costs by other institutions to be warranted, and thus there is no requirement for the institution to make restitution for any costs by other institutions.  
The moral of this story? If you think a varsity program is breaking the rules when it comes to recruiting, follow the established procedures and make a formal complaint to the CIS and present your facts. Don't shoot your mouth off to the media and spread unsubstantiated rumours.
As our dedicated contributors and readers will notice, The CIS Blog has looked better —and often times more confusing — since Scott and I took on the website. We are trying to incorporate a new modern look to the site while still making it versatile and easy for our contributors and ourselves to use and read. Unfortunately, Blogger doesn’t want us to do that without a fight.

For the next four months, our site will stay with a simple dynamic view of all articles. They will still be easy to find, but it will not be as clean as we hoped. This is to make it easier for uploading in the busy times of basketball, hockey and national championships. We are forced to sacrifice attractiveness for quality of content, but it’s a sacrifice we’re both willing to make. Content comes before visuals.

Within the upcoming summer months when I am done my undergraduate degree, I will be working on hopefully transferring servers and making the website better for usability as well as physical appearance. This way, The CIS Blog can benefit from a better back end.

For now, we ask you please bear with us as we deal with Blogger’s frantic battle. Our goal is still to bring the best coverage of CIS sports we can — we’ll just do it with a simple website.


- Shelby Blackley, co-editor of The CIS Blog
Outside of a packed house at Ottawa’s Montpetit Hall, fans stood with signs looking for tickets. Inside, the nation’s two best basketball programs were lighting it up.
It was the first time the Gee-Gees have hosted cross-city Carleton at their own gym since February 13, 2013. Johnny Berhanemeskel provided them with a show they won’t forget in a long time.

The fifth-year guard led the way for the home side, scoring 21 points and shooting 33% from the field as second-ranked Ottawa managed to hold on and escape with a two-point win over the nation’s top-ranked team.

Led by the play of Berhanemeskel, with support from a double-double by Caleb Agada, and a crushing perimeter game from Matt Plunkett off of the bench, the Gee-Gees looked in good shape to run away with this one as they took a 16-point lead into the fourth quarter.

But then, that would mean forgetting about Carleton’s Phil Scrubb. Looking for his fourth Mike Moser Memorial Trophy win in as many years, Scrubb took the game into his own hands in the fourth quarter.

Scrubb ignited his team with a devastating four-point play with just over five minutes to go that closed the gap to seven. With just 17 seconds to go, Scrubb dropped two free-throws which tied the score, and caused Gee-Gees fans to suffer horrific flashbacks of the fall’s Panda Game collapse. He scored 14 points in the quarter alone.

Hero of the day Berhanemeskel nailed the jumper with 4.5 seconds to go, and Thomas Scrubb was unable to hit a runner as time expired, and the Gee-Gees escaped with a two-point victory.
 
It will be a tough loss to swallow for the Ravens, marking the first time they’ve lost to their rivals in the regular season since 2007. Despite the late heroics by Scrubb, the Ravens have no-one but themselves to blame for a loss that could have been much worse.

Throughout the first three quarters, the Gee-Gees had no problem dominating every aspect of the game. At one point in the third quarter, they were outrebounding the Ravens by 10, revealing the large gap that Tyson Hinz has left in the post for Carleton.

As Carleton collapsed the box to compensate, the Gee-Gees began working it outside to the corner, which is where most of Ottawa’s nine three-pointers fell from.

For Ottawa, they caught themselves relying on Berhanemeskel far too much, which contributed to the near-collapse in the final frame. Looking dog-tired, the game-winning basket were the only points he put up in the quarter. As a team, Ottawa only scored seven points in the fourth.

After the game, Ottawa coach James Derouin spoke highly of Berhanemeskel’s effort.

"There is no doubt in my mind that he is the best player to ever play here,” Derouin told reporters. “His ability to play well in clutch situations is like no other player I have seen here. He wasn't even playing that well tonight and was still able to have the confidence to sink that game winning shot."
 
“I was just trying to make the best play for our team, and in that moment I was able to get a shot off and it worked out,” Berhanemeskel told reporters. “It means that much more playing them at home this year, and being able to squeeze out a win is good, and it just shows how hard guys have been working.”

For Ravens coach Dave Smart, he spoke of the need to improve to match Ottawa’s talent.

“We’ve got to get better. They’re the best team in the country and it showed for a good portion of the game,” Smart told the Ottawa Citizen. “When you play the best team, you learn a lot of things from it. We’ve got a lot of things to learn, and hopefully, maybe we did.”

The game demonstrated the Ravens biggest concern coming into the game; the glaring gap in the post. They were unable to establish any kind of play in the post and, aside from Thomas Scrubb’s impressive 13 rebounds, were completely overmatched inside.

For the Gee-Gees, who now move to 9-0 and will take the top ranking in the nation, they showed their weakness in relying too heavily on Berhanemeskel. When he was shut down, the whole offense sputtered.

Next weekend, the teams each take a turn hosting 5-3 Guelph and 5-4 Lakehead.
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