UW releases internal review

In mid-June, the University of Waterloo made one of the most-debated decisions in Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) history; suspending its entire football program for a year as a result of nine players testing positive for steroid use.

The main reason cited for the unprecedented decision was the need to conduct a full internal investigation of the football program. And earlier today -three weeks before the start of the 2010 CIS football season- the results of that investigation were released.

Highlighting the results of the review conducted by retired Waterloo Regional Police Service (WRPS) chief Larry Gravill and former UW professor Mary Thompson was the finding of no fault in the Warriors’ coaching staff. According to the report, the coaching staff confronted two of the guilty parties regarding steroid-use multiple times, however both players denied use. The report also stated that the coaches had suspicions of steroid use among the players, but no concrete proof.

As a result, head coach Dennis McPhee, offensive co-ordinator Joe Paopao, and full-time assistant Marshall Bingeman -among others- have been fully reinstated.

In the end, the report calls for increased education amongst young athletes regarding the dangers of steroids, as well as heightened testing and screening. Both of the which will be put into effect this season by the CIS, in partnership with the CFL and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES), as announced at last week’s press conference.

As for the future of UW’s football program, the program intends to return to the CIS next season, but in the near-term, the players who didn’t transfer to other CIS schools as a result of the decision will compete in a series of controlled, inter-squad scrimmages throughout the season.

The Warriors will take part in the scrimmages with Guelph, Laurier, Windsor, Western and McMaster and look to use this opportunity to provide some on-field training for their players who have essentially lost their season.