Thursday, October 16, 2014

UQTR Accuses UNB Of Cheating

Marc-Etienne Hubert is not happy. (NOTE: Original article in French, see English translation here) The head coach of the Universite du Quebec a Trois-Rivieres (UQTR) Patriotes had a few choice things to say about the AUS in general - and the V-Reds in particular - after it became clear recently recruited forward Francis Beauvillier was going to be attending UNB, and not UQTR like Hubert had thought. Hubert believes UNB offers players money and gifts to entice them to come to Fredericton to play for the V-Reds. He states:

I was privileged information, evidence.In some discussions with the players, the message has changed and we understand UNB has bent the rules. This is not the same rules for everybody and it's frustrating. We realize that this is David against Goliath.
When reached for comment Varsity Reds head coach Gardiner MacDougall did not hold back, saying:
This is a great lack of professionalism on his part. We have the most beautiful arena and large crowds. All profits are returned to the team. This is so that we have the best program and the players are joining us.
Although Hubert singles out UNB he seems suspicious of the AUS in general, seemingly shocked that players from outside of the Maritimes would want to come here to play hockey unless they are being offered extra financial incentives that bend the rules. Hubert says:

When I met with the coaches of the conference of Ontario University Athletics, they were all, especially those in the Toronto area, really outraged by the situation and by the amount of players who, for the same quality of program and education will choose a university in the Maritimes. If these universities follow the rules and do not give money to these players, it will cost them dearly in the Maritimes to go rather than stay at home.
The article even interviews former Varsity Red Antoine Houde-Caron and when asked about any potential wrongdoing Houde-Caron says "personally, I've never seen and I have no evidence to that effect."

Personally, it sounds like a case of sour grapes, and maybe a hint of jealousy, to me. Hubert is probably just upset that an increasing number of French players have made their way to UNB in recent years, including Marc-Antoine Desnoyers, another player who UQTR thought they had recruited only to have him change his mind at the last minute and attend UNB. Also, perhaps these high quality players are deciding to play hockey in the Maritimes because they realize that the AUS is the best and most competitive conference in the CIS, having produced 5 out of the last 8 National Champions as well as a number of players moving on to professional leagues after graduation.