An unexpected internal directive from the Rouge et Or to its teams

The main interested party explains this decision by the explosion in costs surrounding the services offered to these athletes.

“We want to be able to properly support each athlete who decides to opt for our sports program of excellence. Every athlete must receive the adequate services they need to perform well. Whether it is educational monitoring, medical care such as physiotherapy or even psychological support, there are operating costs to properly support our athletes.

With the number of athletes increasing for several team sports in recent years, the manager assures that she had no other choice.

“Certain costs related to certain services have exploded and as the number of athletes continues to increase, something had to be done to avoid a huge hole in the budget. This doesn’t necessarily mean that teams won’t be able to recruit the athletes they want in the future, but we want to have a say in the number of players we think a club should have in a sport », Explains the one who admits that the directive mainly targets mass team sports.

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The scholarships awarded to Rouge et Or athletes have increased since the arrival in office of the director of the Sports Activities Department, Julie Dionne. (Caroline Grégoire/Archives Le Soleil)

Tight budget

Dionne took the opportunity to debunk the myth that the organization is rolling in gold. A belief that seems widespread among public opinion.

“We don’t make this kind of decision for pleasure. I inquired with some of my counterparts and this way of doing things exists in at least three other Quebec universities. It’s true that we benefit from superb facilities for practicing sports and fans are present in the stands, but that does not change the fact that we face significant challenges like many other universities to meet our budget. sporty.”

— Julie Dionne

The big boss of the Rouge et Or was also very proud to mention in passing that the scholarships granted to the organization’s athletes have increased since her arrival.

“We were ranked 40th out of 56 Canadian universities for our ability to give our maximum number of scholarships which is granted by USPORTS. This is something that I really wanted to improve and thanks to our partners and our financial planning, we have made significant progress for the good of our athletes.

For those who are less familiar with the concept of scholarships awarded in the Canadian circuit, Dionne briefly explained how it works.

“It’s a little complicated since this number is determined based on the number of athletes you have the right to dress during the Canadian championships. If I take basketball as an example, we are entitled to 8.1 scholarship units for 12 players. It is then up to each club to distribute these scholarship units in the way they want. They can give eight full scholarships to eight players or decide to split them up as well.”

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The Rouge et Or football club has 97 players. (Frédéric Matte/Archives Le Soleil)

Data inaccessible

If the budget of Laval University is easily accessible online to the general public, it is however impossible to find the slightest line on the amounts granted to the Rouge et Or. A situation that the author of these lines raised with Andrée- Anne Stewart who acts as deputy director of information and institutional communications in addition to being the official spokesperson for the institution.

The response came back quickly by email.

“The Rouge et Or clubs are private corporations managed by independent boards of directors and as such, it is up to them to decide whether they make their budget public or not.”

>>>Head Coach Glen Constantin>>>

Head Coach Glen Constantin (Caroline Grégoire/Archives Le Soleil)

An exception?

If the number of athletes seems to have stabilized in most teams since the directive issued in the fall, that of football has increased, currently approaching a hundred with 97 players on the team. Asked to comment on the situation, head coach Glen Constantin ensures that he has read the directive.

“We are going to make some cuts. It was already planned this way, but our situation is a little different since we take care of the academic monitoring of our players ourselves and we have our own physiotherapist. So it’s not really us who are monopolizing medical resources and causing costs to explode,” specifies the big man of the football program.

Visibly, Constantin seemed slightly annoyed by this way of proceeding by his organization even if he said he understood the reasons behind this choice.

“It’s a bit of a race to the bottom in my opinion. We have created a culture where excellent athletes want to come and play with us, I believe that we must trust the coaches to properly assess the number of athletes they need. I don’t believe there was any abuse on this point.”

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