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End of the line arrives for university sports

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“There are 20 different options, what can we do best for the guys?,” he said.

“Do what’s best for you. No judgements are being made. If you think you have a job at home or have better options skating at home, that that’s more beneficial, then do it. If you have an opportunity to play pro hockey and you’re still working towards your degree, I’ll help you pack.”

Again, Grandmaître is on the same page.

“The guys can take whatever decisions they need to,” he said. “We can’t hold student athletes back. If a kid is from Winnipeg and that’s a yellow zone (as opposed to a more restrictive red zone) and there’s more to do there, he might decide to go home. There’s zero pressure. But we will provide a workframe here with ice, training and support.”

The cancellation of national university championships received unanimous support from USports board of directors, along with the country’s four sports associations — Ontario University Athletics, Atlantic University Sport, Réseau du sport étudiant du Quebec and Canada West. It’s the first time since 1961 that no national university champions will be crowned.

“We wanted to take things one step at a time,” Lisette Johnson Stapley, chief sports officer for U Sports, told CBC.

“This is an unprecedented situation. We hoped that things would change, that a vaccine would be found or there was some way we could still hold (national titles).”

The communities scheduled to hold Canadian championships are facing health challenges. “Timing was important for us with this decision. Some student athletes want to know if they should stay for the term or not.”

There could be a possibility of exhibition games in the New Year — maybe the Ravens and Gee-Gees could play each other — but there are countless obstacles that need to cleared before that’s a possibility.

“You have a have a belief that things will get better the next day, the next week,” said Grandmaître. “I feel like we’ve taken so many blows. I want to fast forward three years down the road where we can say, ‘do you remember that time when there was no hockey?’”

kwarren@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/Citizenkwarren





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