Volume 94, Issue 52
Thursday, November 30, 2000
Football junkies will soon have the chance to extend their fanatical ways if the Ontario University Athletics athletic directors approve a plan that has been set forth to extend the pigskin season.
A proposal set forth by OUA coaches calls for the extension of both the regular and post-season to accommodate the arrival of the Ottawa Gee Gees and the Queen's Golden Gaels from the Ontario-Quebec Interuniversity Football Conference.
The plan would see the conference schedule extended to nine games for each team [from eight] and moved up one week earlier to Labour Day weekend. Another round of playoffs would also be added to involve eight teams, instead of the current four, and an extra-round.
Larry Haylor, Western's head coach, said he is a big fan of the proposed change, since it would allow for a balanced schedule. In the past, each OUA team played a games against a OQIFC opponent to round out the eight-game schedule. The format worked to the disadvantage of teams who had to face the stronger squads in the other conference.
Haylor said he believes the extra game give OUA teams an added edge in the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic University playoffs.
"It would be quite of a bit of an advantage," Haylor said. "I'm in favour of adding two games, which would enhance the development of the player."
The major concern is the increased expense to implement and run the plan, but the hope of the coaches is costs can be shouldered with the extra game revenues.
Another worry would be the added workload to the players. However, Haylor believes it should not be a factor since in some cases it allows the student-athlete to become more effective and efficient with their work. "Athletics should not ever be considered a deterrent to academics," Haylor said.
A decision by the athletic directors should be made by this weekend. Haylor said he was hesitant to guess whether or not the proposal will be approved.
"There's always that chance [the plan will be rejected]. We'll just have to wait and see."
Copyright © The Gazette 2000