A delegation from U Sports, formerly known as Canadian Interuniversity Sport, recently met with their US counterparts from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
One of those who made the trip was Glen Grunwald, director of athletics at McMaster University in Hamilton.
“Oliver Luck, executive vice president of strategic partnerships at the NCAA, came to visit the USport AGM last summer,” said Grunwald. “We started to build relationships and talked about sharing information and understanding each other’s best practices, which led to a trip to Indianapolis, where the NCAA headquarters are located.”
Vanier Cup college football championship could stay in Hamilton
Usually Canadians watch American colleges and see huge crowds at soccer games, lots of excitement in men’s basketball, and various sources of income that make everything look rosy.
As Grunwald pointed out, not all is what it seems.
“The main distinction between the NCAA and Canadian college sports is men’s basketball and football. They get a lot of income from these two events, which allows them to manage all of their programming, ”he said.
Most of the NCAA’s budget comes from men’s basketball, Grunwald explained. Most conferences, schools, and bowls organizing committees keep all the football money.
Outside of those two sports, however, we’re pretty much alike, he said.
Grunwald pointed to a recent example. The McMaster men’s volleyball team swept across Ohio State in the Nike Team North America two-game team challenge at McMaster’s Burridge Gym.
The victory improved McMaster’s record against the reigning two-time NCAA champions to 5-2, including wins in each of the teams’ last five games.
Confident U Sports fans ‘turn out en masse’ at Hamilton Vanier Cup
The victory was McMaster’s second sweep against Ohio State and the second of the team’s last three games. The Marauders also faced the Buckeyes in straight sets in the inaugural Nike Team Challenge on December 30, 2016.
“When we spoke with the NCAA, they realized that we are doing a great job for our student-athletes here,” he said, adding that Canadian teams have beaten NCAA teams in a certain number of sports.
“Carleton has often had a number of wins over NCAA schools that visit for exhibitions (games),” he said. Sometimes everyone sees everything in the NCAA as the Final Four of men’s basketball, but it isn’t. What we do here in Canada is very similar to what they do there in most sports. “
© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.