Brock names Neil Lumsden AD amid subtle signs of football revival

If you don't believe Neil Lumsden's move to Brock University is football-related, then you probably also hold the deed to the Garden City Skyway bridge.

It is fairly easy to put one and one together. Lumsden, a Canadian football icon, was named the Ontario University Athletics institution's new director of recreation and athletics on Tuesday. Last week, the long-time Burlington junior program announced that it is pulling up stakes and moving to St. Catharines, effective immediately.

Brock tried to sell a "not coming" for football fake in its release. Sure, it's not solely about football. Lumsden's sports administration CV goes far beyond the gridiron. The signs are there, though. The existing junior team in the region, the Niagara Spears, who have applied to move up to the Canadian Junior Football League level, also disclosed there were talks about a merger but the "two groups just differed too much to see a successful amalgamation." That suggests having the junior program would be part of developing infrastructure and an convenient recruiting pool when/if football launches. Carleton also made similar use of junior teams before rejoining OUA football in 2013.

It would take 4-6 years if it were to be done right and done well, but definitely the pieces are in place. There is a lot of football talent in that corner of Southern Ontario, which Guelph, Laurier, McMaster, Western and others have mined very well over the years. The OUA and CIS are each running with the dreaded odd number of football members with 11 and 27 respectively, so no doubt there's some champing at the bit so see that situation get rectified. (And speaking as a fan of CIS, it's better to get to an even-numbered league through expansion rather than a withdrawal.)

Twelve teams would be a great number for the ever multi-tiered OUA, and Quebec and Canada West at six each, it would address some of the logistics with interlocking regular-season games. Just saying, and just saying there are some lines one can read between here, even if Brock hitting the gridiron might not happen before 2020.
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1 comment:

  1. Can't help but wonder if Neil's move was in relation to him not getting the vacant Guelph HC role, if he was ever actually a candidate.