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Are universities the ticket to a Canadian league?


Robert

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Back east, both the University of Toronto and York University have recently been the target for building a stadium compatible for soccer. Out west, Mr. Kerfoot and Simon Fraser University are also involved in a similar partnership with the same goal in mind. Most significant sized Canadian communities have a university and most of these compete in the CIS soccer league, which is as about as close to a national soccer league as it comes in Canada. Would it not be worth investigating the possible options of upgrading an established system. If for instance, every University were allowed to carry 5 professional players on the roster would this not improve the overall level of the Canadian University soccer scene?

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Brilliant idea.

Impossible in the Fall and Winter due to CIS eligibility rules but it is worth thinking about from May to September when the kids are out of school.

Most university soccer coaches would love to keep their team together over the summer but the kids scatter home to work and play with their home clubs, industrial leagues etc.

Often the level of the summer teams they play on is average at best.

Keeping the teams together in the summer would be a challenge in many ways but I'll bet my Lynx season tickets that if a few teams started the rest would follow quite quickly.

These are the kind of ideas that CSA, OSA and CIS should be talking about for the good of the game.

Many other NSO's have made the conscious decision to use the universities as a vehicle to high performance. Swimming, wrestling, track, and cross country are a few thet come to mind.

Obviously there are details and hurdles to overcome otherwise it would have been done years ago but if the idea is sound the rest are details.

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An added bonus is that the university players can't be paid until they graduate so any money available for players could go to the pros that are on the team. It gives the rest of the players a post-graduation goal as well as providing a standard to reach during their university career.

Rather than being a "profit" vehicle for owners it could be a potential team fundraiser for the university squads. At the very least they could work on a break even basis.

I have been to many university soccer matches over the past dozen years and the ones I have been to all have far better attendance then any CPSL game I've attended.

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quote:Originally posted by thunderguy

Brilliant idea.

Impossible in the Fall and Winter due to CIS eligibility rules but it is worth thinking about from May to September when the kids are out of school.

Most university soccer coaches would love to keep their team together over the summer but the kids scatter home to work and play with their home clubs, industrial leagues etc.

Often the level of the summer teams they play on is average at best.

Keeping the teams together in the summer would be a challenge in many ways but I'll bet my Lynx season tickets that if a few teams started the rest would follow quite quickly.

These are the kind of ideas that CSA, OSA and CIS should be talking about for the good of the game.

Many other NSO's have made the conscious decision to use the universities as a vehicle to high performance. Swimming, wrestling, track, and cross country are a few thet come to mind.

Obviously there are details and hurdles to overcome otherwise it would have been done years ago but if the idea is sound the rest are details.

With a little co-operation between different parties, some of the conflicting scheduling problems could be worked out. If for instance in British Columbia, the PCSL, UVIC and UBC were able to create a working partnership, then the two universities would not have to use several weeks of valuable time on trainingcamps as their players would already be in mid-season form. This time could be converted into three or four playing dates which could be added to the calendars. This would require the PCSL to adopt a willingness to work together with second parties. Their constitution would need to be adjusted, as well as a balancing of the political power and decision-making process. This is a question of what's best for B.C. soccer, or what's best for PCSL soccer. Do the current PCSL leaders have what it takes work together with the universities of British Columbia and to share the balance of power?

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Universities exist to teach. How is replacing students with professional athletes consistent with that mandate? (Oh I know, semi-professional soccer is such a money-maker that the massive profits could be used to hire more professors, decrease tuition fees or build million-dollar research facilities! Cool!)

You guys are so obsessed with soccer that you seem to have forgotten that the rest of society might have other priorities.

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quote:Originally posted by Chet

Universities exist to teach. How is replacing students with professional athletes consistent with that mandate? (Oh I know, semi-professional soccer is such a money-maker that the massive profits could be used to hire more professors, decrease tuition fees or build million-dollar research facilities! Cool!)

You guys are so obsessed with soccer that you seem to have forgotten that the rest of society might have other priorities.

I'm sure that faculties of UNAM and UAG in Mexico are second to none. And most knowledgeable soccer fans are also aware that both these universities employ some pretty desent soccer players. Ole!

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Pro or semi-pro soccer has to be "stand-alone", not state sponsored or supported. University programs are not the answer to a national pro program as such.

Most sports programs in US universities lose money hand over fist. Football and basketball support most of the sports programs throughout their systems and only a few of the top football programs actually show profit on their own fan base.

Building from "grass-roots" programs such as the Whitecaps and other semi-pro teams, where high caliber youth teams become the basis for the pro team along with support from local youth associations shows merit. Training camps, youth training schools, pro-team sponsored youth tournaments can create a fan base over time. It also allows pro players an opportunity to stay full-time in soccer, training and earning for their efforts.

JMHO

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quote:Originally posted by T5

Pro or semi-pro soccer has to be "stand-alone", not state sponsored or supported. University programs are not the answer to a national pro program as such.

Most sports programs in US universities lose money hand over fist. Football and basketball support most of the sports programs throughout their systems and only a few of the top football programs actually show profit on their own fan base.

Building from "grass-roots" programs such as the Whitecaps and other semi-pro teams, where high caliber youth teams become the basis for the pro team along with support from local youth associations shows merit. Training camps, youth training schools, pro-team sponsored youth tournaments can create a fan base over time. It also allows pro players an opportunity to stay full-time in soccer, training and earning for their efforts.

JMHO

Good points, although with the current state of affairs I believe that we can not limit ourselve to a single option. What the Whitecaps are doing is great. However, are there another dozen organizations similar to the Whitecaps in Canada? If we could get three or four teams along the lines of the Whitecaps model and add an equal number from a source such as universities, together a possible basis for a league could be in the makings. There could be other options yet undiscussed out there. Having a team as PSV sponsored by an industry giant like Phillips could work. IMO would should leave all our options open. Teams do not all have to evolve from the same source.

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quote:Originally posted by Robert

With a little co-operation between different parties, some of the conflicting scheduling problems could be worked out. If for instance in British Columbia, the PCSL, UVIC and UBC were able to create a working partnership, then the two universities would not have to use several weeks of valuable time on trainingcamps as their players would already be in mid-season form. .... Do the current PCSL leaders have what it takes work together with the universities of British Columbia and to share the balance of power?

Robert...what are you talking about [?]

There is currently no major conflicts between the PCSL and the universities. The conflict for August is AMERICAN (as in United States of) colleges that want their NCAA scholarship players back early. It would be nice if they were accomodating but the only real long term solution is either professional teams paying wages or more money pumped into soccer scholarships at CIS universities.

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quote:Originally posted by ted

Robert...what are you talking about [?]

There is currently no major conflicts between the PCSL and the universities. The conflict for August is AMERICAN (as in United States of) colleges that want their NCAA scholarship players back early. It would be nice if they were accomodating but the only real long term solution is either professional teams paying wages or more money pumped into soccer scholarships at CIS universities.

I support your second option of soccer scholarships at CIS universities. I see an excellent marketing opportunity there for the PCSL to initiate a partnership with higher education within our community. Raising funds at league games to establish one or two soccer scholarship at UVIC or UBC might promote increased attendances and keep Canadian talent at home.

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For what it's worth, Saskatoon Arsenal, one of the top teams in the Sask Soccer League is/was the defacto U of Saskatchewan men's team and I heard the U of R is fielding a team in the SSL.

As a summer venture I don't see it as being impossible.

And since this is a totally different tack on fantasy Canadian leagues, why not a new thread for this?

cheers,

matthew

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