U Sports Football Report (Week 4)

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It is a quick race in the U Sports Football season as the playoffs are just over a month away and teams are beginning to solidify their spots in the standings.

There are plenty of weeks to go for these teams to make an impression and move in and out of the playoffs but a few teams are impressing.

One, in particular, has been a team on the rise since a year ago when they finally began to compete.

The Waterloo Warriors program has been one that has had to come through a lot to get to where they are today.

They were rocked by a steroid scandal in 2010 when the team was removed from the OUA for a season.

It came after players were found with steroids and U Sports decided to hand out the most extreme punishment ever.

There is a version of this punishment in the NCAA called the death penalty and it is considered one of the most extreme punishments for college teams.

There is rarely a punishment as sever in any sport as this is essentially taking away an entire season from a team.

One season may not seem like a lot but in university sports, it could be the end of an entire program.

In the NCAA it was used only once when Southern Methodist University was found to have taken illegal funds from boosters.

The Mustangs went from one of the greatest college football programs in the country to a team that hasn’t been a part of the conversation since they received the death penalty in 1987.

They remain a team on the fringe of Division I football and may never truly recover from the loss of that season.

U Sports, then CIS, had that example when they faced one of the biggest scandals in Canadian University sports.

A number of players had been breaking the rules and cheating the system by using steroids and getting away with it.

When they were finally discovered the organization had a decision to make regarding setting an example and potentially destroying a program.

They decided on the former when they suspended the Warriors from the 2010 season putting them in the same category as the SMU Mustangs.

It was always going to be a challenge for the Warriors to find their way back from the lost season.

They were essentially going to have to start from scratch as university football is a different beast than any other sport.

They were going to lose their most experienced players who were all sent to different programs to continue their university careers.

Although some returned in 2011 they were going to have to recruit almost an entirely new team.

That makes things hard especially when other teams are not saddled with the issues that forced them to lose an entire season.

They had to convince the best talent in the country that they were moving forward away from those issues and that they weren’t about to lose another season.

They weren’t going to be competitive for a number of years until the program was built back up but nobody knew how much time that was going to take.football-sidebar

For SMU it continues to go on today as they cannot get back to what they used to be and may never get back there.

The Warriors are a bit of a different story though as it has been a while since they were competitive but last year they showed that they are here to compete.

They started off the season with a great run overpowering teams n looking like a real competitor among the other great teams in the conference.

Then they faced those great teams and fell off, just missing the playoffs to end the year but for the Warriors, it was a sign that they might be back.

The Warriors are back this year looking to finish what they started a year ago and in Week 4 they were going to get their first major test.

It was the Laurier Golden Hawks who ended the early season run by the Warriors a year ago and now the Warriors were out for revenge.

They were able to get by the Golden Hawks flipping the top of the conference and providing some interesting storylines for the rest of the year.

With the win, the Warriors are 3-1 and are among the top teams in the OUA while the Golden Hawks took their first loss of the season.

That wasn’t supposed to happen until they faced the Mustangs but with the success of the Warriors, a new contender is emerging.

A team once cast out is finally starting to find their way back and as the second half of the season approaches, they are throwing their hat into the ring with the likes of Western and Carleton.

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