CIS repatriation rule designed to keep top athletes in Canada

Are the UVic Vikes a destination for disgruntled Canadians playing in the NCAA?

As a desirable school with plenty of successful sports teams the University of Victoria could see a bump in NCAA student-athletes transferring here for the 2014 fall season.

This week the Canadian Interuniversity Sport axed one of its strictest rules and removed the one-year penalty for Canadian athletes who transfer to a Canadian university from the NCAA.

The one-year sit out penalty was originally put in place to prevent Canadians from taking the risk and going to the NCAA. But it isn’t effective, said UVic Vikes director of athletics and recreation Clint Hamilton, a former CIS president.

The CIS also opened the door this week to increased scholarship packages for student-athletes, which will be explored through a pilot project that allows CIS women’s ice hockey programs to offer greater athletic scholarship packages. Instead of being limited to tuition and compulsory fees, as all CIS athletes are, women’s hockey programs can offer to cover room, board and books, as the NCAA does.

The pilot goes hand in hand with the repatriation rule, and both were a long time coming, Hamilton said.

“These rules send a strong signal to Canadians who’ve chosen to attend U.S. destinations. Canada West and UVic are strong supporters to create conditions for top Canadian athletes to pursue their post-secondary at Canadian institutions.”

Hamilton was a co-chair of the Canada West task force that was created a few years ago for this purpose. While he admits it’s ironic UVic doesn’t have a women’s hockey team – and no, there are no plans for UVic varsity expansion, he affirmed – Hamilton says the women’s hockey situation was an obvious choice because so many of its players went to U.S. schools.

As for the increased scholarship packages, they will be limited in that the team will still be under the same cap, though it will have flexibility in how it allocates its money to players. Canadians can finally get a “full ride” scholarship here in their own country.

The task force is not done yet, either, said Hamilton.

“We’re moving towards other types of things we can do to ensure Canadian student athletes want to attend Canadian schools.”

As for the potential bumper crop of Canadians transferring from the NCAA this year, Vikes men’s basketball coach Craig Beaucamp is unsure.

“It’s a double-edged sword, I’m not opposed to (the repatriation) as the hope is you get a few kids back,” Beaucamp said.

Beaucamp won’t recruit Canadians already enrolled at NCAA schools though If they contact him he is open to the possibility.

“There’s a high percentage of students who don’t have a successful career down there, so we may see a bit of a bump back.”

There will likely be a few Vikes athletes who lose their spot either next year or in the coming years because of the changes. Hamilton understands, but it’s a casualty of the process.

“Our coaches are held accountable to recruit (top student athletes). When it comes to our rosters were looking to sport the best student-athletes we can,” Hamilton said.

Beaucamp isn’t against the repatriation but he is realistic that it doesn’t fix the original problem.

“Will there be an annual flow of Canadians coming back? Not necessarily. You’ve got a few factors. Students can now go down (to the NCAA) without worry about wasting a year.”

sports@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Last remaining Victoria Legion faces $100,000 property tax bill

The Trafalgar/ Pro Patria Branch can’t afford to operate with such high taxes

Downtown Victoria sees 10-fold increase in condo units since 2016

A report by the Downtown Victoria Business Association details ongoing construction trends

Saanich farm hosts birthday party as wetland turns 10

The Urban Biodiversity Enhancement and Restoration Project invites community to 10th birthday for wetland

Soul Shakers kick off free outdoor concerts in Oak Bay

Music fills the air at Willows Beach Park for series of concerts this summer

Sunset Cinema brings free family film under the stars in Colwood

Sunset Cinema hosts events on the Island from July 23 to 27

Astronaut David Saint-Jacques returns to Earth, sets Canadian space record

Native of Saint-Lambert, Que., set a record for longest single spaceflight by a Canadian at 204 days

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 25

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Vancouver Aquarium drops cetacean ban lawsuit in new lease agreement

Ocean Wise CEO Lasse Gustavsson called the updated lease an exciting new chapter for the aquarium

Pedestrian struck by vehicle in Stz’uminus dies from injuries

A male pedestrian was struck in the early morning of June 25

Thieves steal two $40K chairs featuring gold serpents from Vancouver furniture store

Chairs believed to be the only two of its kind in Canada, police said

Poll: Rising gas prices force B.C. residents rethink summer road trips

63 per cent of respondents reported gas prices are impacting their day-to-day finances

PHOTO: Moose cow and calf relax in Williams Lake flower garden

The homeowners got a surprise when they checked their most recent surveillance footage

Two in hospital after plane crashes in Okanagan Lake

RCMP say wheels left down caused landing plane to overturn on lake

Most Read