Letter: Coverage of university sport pathetic

CARLETON University Ravens won the annual CIS men’s basketball championship on March 10th, defeating surprise co-finalist Lakehead University 92-42 at the tournament in Ottawa. The team entered the history books, winning their record-breaking ninth championship. The Ottawa Gee-Gees beat the Acadia Axemen 92-85 in the bronze-medal game. Judging from the print media, you’d hardly know any other college tournament was underway except that of the U.S. NCAA “March Madness” – and it is still to begin. Even on the websites, the story was buried while the woeful Toronto Raptors and the U.S. college rankings were given top billing. In this context we are reprinting a letter to the Montreal Gazette and published March 8th from the athletic directors of McGill, Concordia and Bishop’s universities in Quebec denouncing the lack of coverage of university athletics in the monopoly media. As if to prove the directors correct, the newspaper illustrated the letter with an action photo – taken from a 2009 match between Concordia and McGill. The blackout by the Montreal Gazette is by no means unique. All those involved in sport should raise their voices against the media discrimination against Canadian amateur sport.

* * *

THIS past weekend over 1,000 fans were treated to two of the best university basketball games of the season. Both games were RSEQ championship matches and both games featured teams from two Quebec English universities. The McGill Martlets battled the Concordia Stingers in women’s action, with the final score settled at 51-48 in favour of McGill.

The men’s contest was between Bishop’s and McGill, with the Redmen battling back from a 15-point deficit to take the game in the final minute for a score of 77-74.

Neither game received any mention in The Gazette, Montreal’s only English daily newspaper. As athletic directors at all three universities, we feel university sport is a valuable addition to our communities, yet The Gazette rarely finds space to report on our games or superior student athletes.

The McGill, Concordia and Bishop’s communities are extensive and include alumni situated all around the world, many of whom would be enticed to pick up a Gazette or read it online if the success of their teams were featured in the Sports section.

Drew Love

Executive Director of Athletics and Recreation, McGill University

Brian Breckles

Director of Athletics & Recreation, Bishop’s University

Katie Sheahan

Director of Recreation and Athletics, Concordia University

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