By macleans.ca - Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - 0 Comments
Toronto-born forward to play for the Jayhawks
By macleans.ca - Monday, February 11, 2013 at 12:27 PM - 0 Comments
Competing with U.S. for athletic scholarships isn’t a solution for Canadian university sport
Cheering for the home side is a natural and healthy thing to do. So it’s perfectly understandable that Pierre Lafontaine, incoming head of Canadian Interuniversity Sport, wants to boost the prospects for university sports teams in Canada by convincing more student athletes to study and train at home.
“We need to become the destination of choice for high-performance athletes in this country,” Lafontaine vowed at a press conference last week introducing him as the new CEO of Canada’s governing body for university athletics. As things stand right now, many (perhaps most) of Canada’s top-tier high school athletes forsake Canadian schools in favour of U.S. universities, which offer huge scholarship money, massive media exposure and all the associated prestige.
Lafontaine’s goal is commendable, but beyond a sales job heavy on the maple syrup and home cooking, there’s really no way to get around the financial disparities between playing in the U.S. and in Canada. While suggesting that Canadian university coaches need to become “great recruiters,” Lafontaine admits: “I do think the whole discussion of scholarships needs to be addressed.” It ought to be a short discussion. Continue…
By Fatima Arkin - Monday, December 10, 2012 at 4:01 PM - 0 Comments
Dave Dupuis may be the first Inuit ever to play college hockey south of the border
Growing up in Kuujjuaq, Nunavik, Dave Dupuis had never heard of college hockey. Now, at the age of 21, he is one of the first–if not the first–Inuit to play hockey for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). His path to playing college hockey in the U.S. wasn’t easy. The rigours of academia and two concussions presented challenges. But he stuck it through and is set to graduate next year with a bachelor degree in business and management from Skidmore College, one of the most selective academic institutions in North America.
Dupuis, who was recently profiled in the New York Times, took a break from studying for finals and spoke to Maclean’s about why “ugly goals” are better than “pretty goals,” on being a role model and how to open doors for Inuit kids in the future.
Q: You’ve been playing hockey since you were 3-years-old. How did you get into the game?
A: My father played when he was younger. He was a speed skater, but he knew hockey, and my siblings and I got on skates pretty early. There was never any organized hockey [in Kuujjuaq]. We played maybe one tournament per year for all the different age groups.
Q: Speaking of your dad, I heard that he helped build an indoor ice rink in Kuujjuaq in the 1990s.
A: Yes. He was president of the regional government at the time. It was in the plans to get a hockey rink and a gymnasium built.
Q: As a result, some pretty famous NHL players, like Hall of Fame defenseman Larry Robinson, started showing up.
By Jason Parker Quinton - Friday, April 20, 2012 at 2:29 PM - 0 Comments
A six-foot-four guard is Burlington, Ont.’s best hope for a future NBA star
Every spring, campuses are full of students anxious to return home, and Brady Heslip is no exception. What is exceptional is how he spent this spring: tromping through the NCAA tournament, flashing his signature “3 point goggles” salute, winning academic awards, and emerging as Burlington Ont.’s best chance at a future NBA star. The 21-year-old, six-foot-four Baylor Bears guard deftly abides pressures of school and basketball, and then takes the long trip home from Waco, Texas, to the suburban house he shares with his mom, where he’ll kick back and bake banana bread (seriously, his mom swears it’s true).
Heslip’s Mom, Jodi Triano, is excited for the arrival of her boy, who will breeze into the house with his “too many clothes and shoes that spill out into all the rooms.” Accustomed to the company of sportsmen (her brother Jay is a former Olympian and the first Canadian-born coach in NBA history), she says that her son, “lights up the house, and it’s great to re-connect with his gaggle of friends.” She adds, “I am most proud that he has stayed so level-headed. He hasn’t let the hype disrupt his focus.”
When throwing up his trademark “goggles” (touching thumb to forefinger, and putting the ring around his eye), Heslip could be boasting about this focus, frequently credited as the key to his ascent. With a hint of emerging an Texan drawl, he says his main goal is “to graduate from Baylor a better person.” It’s a broad outlook, but one synthesized through concentrated and dogged training, as he shed 20 pounds before last season began. “There is no secret, just work hard, eat well, put in work in the gym, and watch yourself on film—you see it all in the game”
Whether or not he indulges the temptations of Texas barbeque or Baylor’s nightlife, Brady rises at dawn to exercise, before studying, then an evening workout, and pick-up basketball—a regime he continues when home on vacation.
And what keeps him level-headed is constant communication with family, and with the people he says, “have been my best friends since we were in Grade 5.” Even when he’s only home for a few days, Brady drives to Niagara Falls to visit his grandparents. He watches movies with his grandpa, and grocery shops for his grandmother. In Brady’s youth his grandparents were always there for him (he was raised by a single mom) and even as a sports celebrity, he wants to be there for them.
“Easter weekend, he was out partying it up with some friends at Brock University,” says Brady’s mom, “the next morning he was in Niagara Falls, at his grandparent’s house as they were waking up.”
Visiting old haunts, seeing old friends, coaches, and stomping grounds—for Brady Heslip, it’s just another summer before the NBA calls.
By Colby Cosh - Friday, March 11, 2011 at 9:35 AM - 46 Comments
At this university, sex is a flagrant foul
When Brigham Young University announced that it was suspending sophomore forward Brandon Davies for the closing weeks of a dream season by its men’s basketball team, many sports fans must have had thoughts of a flamboyant 51-year-old Irish Catholic who may be the greatest athlete in the annals of the school. Davies was punished for violating the Utah university’s strict honour code, apparently by having sex out of wedlock with his girlfriend. BYU, in theory, expects all students to live a “chaste and virtuous life” according to the rules of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—but Jim McMahon says it’s not so simple.
McMahon, whose colourful language and dress alone would have been enough to turn the honour code upside down, played at BYU for five years, starting out as the Cougars’ punter and going on to shred the record books as their quarterback. McMahon now recalls how BYU’s administration threw him out of the school with suspiciously convenient timing—the day after his last bowl game. “They said they had ‘just been informed’ that I was doing some things,” McMahon told Miami radio station WQAM last week. “You follow me around, you stake out my apartment. You don’t know what I’m doing? C’mon. They know what’s going on there.” The bon vivant Chicago Bears great, who re-enrolled at BYU last fall to pick up the handful of credits he needs to complete his degree, added that he “saw a lot of hypocrisy” at the university, saying of Davies that “some guys get caught, some guys don’t.”
By Colby Cosh - Thursday, December 16, 2010 at 12:00 PM - 0 Comments
The U.S. government is under pressure to investigate college football’s bowl games
Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff took one of his state’s most painful un-redressed grievances to the Department of Justice in Washington last month. Shurtleff wants the DOJ to launch an antitrust suit against the Bowl Championship Series—the partnership of 66 universities that controls the allocation of spaces in the NCAA Division I football’s season-ending bowl games.
His state’s University of Utah, a non-BCS school that will join the BCS by switching to a new conference next year, is seen as one of the main historic victims of the BCS’s cartel-like behaviour. Instead of holding a large, inclusive playoff tournament like those conducted for other NCAA-regulated sports—including the lower divisions of NCAA football itself—the BCS uses a combination of polls and computer ranking algorithms to choose two teams for a single early January game to decide a national champion.
By Nancy Macdonald - Wednesday, February 24, 2010 at 3:35 PM - 2 Comments
After suffering through setbacks, Cherie Piper sets her sights on a three-peat
Already, veteran sniper Cherie Piper has scored two goals and three assists in Team Canada’s pair of blowout wins in Vancouver. But for the big, strong East York, Ont., native, who plays alongside captain Hayley Wickenheiser, the road to the Games was anything but a cakewalk.
It all started with an ugly injury in a college game between her Dartmouth Big Green and Providence four years ago. When she tore her ACL, she says, everyone at the New Hampshire rink heard the “pop.” It came midway through Piper’s final NCAA season—just nine months after her triumphant return from Turin, where Canada won gold and she finished second on the team in scoring. Following surgery, Piper didn’t get back on the ice for six months, and missed a full year with the national squad.
And just as she was regaining her fitness and timing, her dad Alan died of a heart attack; he’d been Piper’s coach and mentor, had first put her on skates at age eight in a Toronto boys’ league, and ferried her across the city to games for years. “It was tough to finish the season,” says Piper, then with the Mississauga Chiefs of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League. The rink was no longer a refuge; hockey suddenly became a grim reminder of all she’d lost.
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, October 5, 2009 at 12:29 PM - 13 Comments
A libertarian I knew in high school—though I don’t believe he was an avowed libertarian at the time—passes on the abstract of a study that would, in theory, lend some credence to the theory that the Olympics could benefit Stephen Harper’s hopes.
We leverage a natural experiment to explore whether personal happiness unrelated to incumbent performance affects voting behavior: the outcome of the local college football team’s games right before Election Day, an event that government has nothing to do with and for which no government response could possibly be expected. We collected football scores from 1964-2006, as well as county-level election returns for presidential, gubernatorial, and senatorial elections. On average, a pre-election win causes the incumbent to receive about one percentage point more of the vote, with the effect being larger for teams with stronger fan support.