Volume 94, Issue 66

Friday, January 19, 2001


Spikers kill Guelph

Lowrie wins 70th

OUA will allow athletic scholarships

Women's hockey falls to lancers

OUA will allow athletic scholarships

By Joel Brown
Gazette Staff

Western athletes may soon be able to receive higher valued scholarships If administrators agree with a ruling from the Ontario University Athletic that increases the maximum amount for athletic scholarships from $1,500 to $2,500.

"It's a question of whether we want to get into the game," said Western chair of athletics, Darwin Semotiuk. "It's a very competitive recruiting environment and giving out financial assistance is a very important part of attracting top athletes. Without increasing the amount we give we risk losing talented students to other institutions."

The OUA decision to increase scholarship amounts was made early in December at a meeting between affiliated sports directors. The $1 500 cap had been in place since 1981 and it was decided the policy needed to be update, in order to accommodate rising tuition fees and cost of living.

Now it will be up to Western administrators to decide whether they can handle the cost of increasing scholarships. Currently most of the money for scholarships come from donors.

"The overall challenge is to pool our resources to insure we can increase the value of our current awards and provide more access across more sports," Semotiuk said. "We're currently reviewing our status and embarking on an investigation into what kind of dollars we'll need."

Western women's volleyball head coach, Dean Lowrie, said he has lost many recruits because of the limited scholarships available to entice athletes to attend Western.

"Every year the top 10 players in this province either leave the country to go to the US or go to Canada West [where more money is available]," Lowrie said. "I approach the OUA decision with mixed emotions. We're moving in the right direction, but more can be done."

Lowrie has even gone to the extent of calculating what kind of impact it would have on Western if it were to give each of its 750 varsity athletes full-tuition scholarships.

"It would work out to less than one per cent of what this university brings in through revenue," he said. "That's a small amount compared to what it would do to build university spirit and also giving Western a lot of press around the country."

Volleyball team member Katherine Kiss, who transferred from the University of Victoria two years ago, said financial assistance is much more available out West because of government support.

"Even members of the ping-pong team got scholarships," Kiss said. "There were lots of bursaries and aid that were just thrown at you."

Another ruling made at the OUA meeting ensured schools gave equal scholarship amounts to both genders. Semotiuk said after a rough calculation, Western seems to already be in line with that policy.

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