Tuesday, October 14, 2008

March Madness at UBC?

Proving that he's more than just the best hockey blogger in the world, James Mirtle continues to do great work covering UBC's potential move to the NCAA.

Writing in yesterday's Globe, Mirtle breaks down the possible reasons for the move and what it might mean to CIS sport if a major player like UBC made the jump. As always, James has the Ts dotted and Is crossed (or something like that anyway).

The thinking here remains that UBC is doing this as a power play to force the CIS to liberalize its scholarship rules. It's simply the latest twist in the long standing philosophical divide between Canada West and the rest of the country.

Even if the CIS doesn't blink, it is unlikely that UBC will be battling for a spot in the Rose Bowl any time soon. A full move, especially to the big money sports, would be difficult for UBC to pull off. Impossible, in the case of football. It's likely that the Thunderbirds would remain in CIS football.

Golf, however, likely baseball, possibly hockey (although there are complications to that) and, most dramatically, basketball are the most likely.

As a Canadian it's OK to be ambivalent about this. It's a little hard to cheer for the gonna-take-my-ball-and-go-home approach UBC is going with here, but it's also hard to not agree that the CIS needs a bit of a kick in the ass. Maybe seeing 18,000 people at GM Place to watch a big showdown with Gonzaga will get the rest of the Canadian ADs thinking.


sager said...

There is a post up at The CIS Blog on Mr. Mirtle's story.

The tradeoff for the University of British Columbia does not seem all that great -- as a commenter put it on the other side, it's more likely they end up playing schools such as Alaska-Anchorage and Western Washington.

UBC is better off to try and reform the system we have.

Andrew Bucholtz said...

I don't think it's too likely that UBC would be allowed to remain in CIS football while playing NCAA sports. NCAA allows dual memberships, but CIS might not. The CIS board recommended against allowing dual NCAA/CIS affiliations when the issue came up at this summer's AGM: the issue was debated vigorously and referred to a further study. Look at pages 28-29 of these minutes for details. That's not to say that dual affiliation is out of the question, but there is significant opposition to the idea, especially at the CIS board level.

Duane Rollins said...

Who says university football has to remain connected to the CIS?

[/opening another can of worms]

At the risk of making myself seem more important than I am, I've had some private conversations with important people about this subject. UBC won't drop football--it flies in the face of what they are trying to accomplish--and Canada West won't want to lose UBC. They would find a way to make it work--one way or another.