Volume 96, Issue 1

Thursday, May 23, 2002
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Western's new athletic model brings some tiers

Western loses zoning battle:

Athletics fall was inevitable

The lovely smell of fresh sawdust is in the air

LHSC cash to boost patients' comfort

News Briefs

New Western policy, drunks not consulted

Confirmation of the obvious: students pay too much

Docs say we're not all going to die

Western's new athletic model brings some tiers

By Jordan Bell
Gazette Staff

Western's new athletic model represents a veritable food chain – while certain varsity teams will be enjoying a grand feast, others will be searching for scraps.

On Thursday, May 16 the university announced the creation of Sports and Recreation Services, the product of a merger between Intercollegiate Athletics and Campus Recreation.

In addition, varsity teams will now operate under a tiered system split into four unique categories.

"This is part of an ongoing evolution of a program with a rich tradition and important history," said director of Sports and Recreation Services Dan Smith.

Three men's teams and six women's teams will operate under category one designation, which includes full support and funding.

Immediately below these squads is the category two sports, comprised of ten teams, who will operate under basic funding and services (league and travel costs), but their exhibition and tournament schedules will be axed.

The third category (varsity clubs) will be completely self-funded with limited services, but will be allowed to participate in Ontario University Athletics and Canadian Interuniversity Sport competition.

Finally, the bottom feeders comprise the sports clubs category. Included in this category are 12 teams who will operate under self-funding, self-management and will be prohibited from OUA and CIS competition.

The restructuring of Western athletics was born of an evaluation performed by the university's Sports Assessment Committee (SACOM), which was formed in May of 1999. The committee utilized eight criteria in deciding where teams would appear in the chain, including such factors as media exposure, OUA and CIS performance results and gender equity.

Men's volleyball head coach Dave Preston believed gender played a major role in the formation of the new model – but not in the method it was intended.

"Western should definitely be working towards gender equity, but this model is not gender equitable, it's gender implicated," Preston said.

Preston was not the only coach frustrated with the new model (see page seven) and Smith said he understood their concern.

"Any coach worth his or her salt is going to be concerned," Smith said. "But we had to follow some guiding principles. Teams will have the opportunity to move up and down though."

University Student's Council president Chris Sinal said the creation of this new entity was inevitable.

"Western has always been a leader in this area and I think other universities in Canada will follow Western's lead," Sinal added.

New developments intended to increase student involvement include the addition of two playing fields on the Brescia University College lands, one playing field on the J.W. Little Stadium site, the replacement of three unused tennis courts with an outdoor rink and improvements to the facilities at the University Community Centre.

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Copyright The Gazette 2002