York men’s soccer team discovers it used an ineligible player

The York Lions men’s soccer team had four victories taken away by Ontario University Athletics (OUA) on Friday after the school said it unknowingly used an ineligible player last month, wrote The Canadian Press Oct. 3.

The OUA said the participation of former Toronto FC forward Andrea Lombardo was in violation of an eligibility bylaw which states that student-athletes must have an amateur status in order to be eligible for participation in OUA sports.

Lombardo was a member of the Major League Soccer (MLS) team’s senior roster earlier this year. The four victories that York recorded between Sept. 6 and 14 will now be considered 1-0 losses, the OUA said.

OUA and Canadian Interuniversity Sport regulations permit participation within the MLS as a member of the developmental roster without impact on CIS eligibility.

However, since Lombardo was a member of the senior roster, he is subject to professional participation regulations, which prohibit him from participating in CIS competition within one year of his last professional game.

“York University is committed to the principles of student athlete eligibility and is working diligently to ensure that any potential gaps in our vetting process of all student athletes are identified and corrected,” said Jennifer Myers, York’s director of sport & recreation. “York would also like to thank members of the CIS and OUA eligibility committees for their patience and assistance in dealing with this matter as quickly as possible.”

The matter remains under review by CIS which has the option to impose further sanctions.

  • The Toronto Star Oct. 4 said Andrea Lombardo, a 6-foot-2 forward, was a senior roster member of the Toronto FC soccer team and played in a game for that team last April. 

Mars mission lands in Mississauga

Science buffs were taken on a celestial journey at the Central Library Thursday night, wrote The Mississauga News Oct. 3.

Through the eyes of Peter A. Taylor, professor in York’s Centre for Research in Earth & Space Science, Faculty of Science & Engineering, about three dozen people gathered in the Noel Ryan Auditorium to hear how Canadians contributed to the Phoenix Lander and the 2007 NASA Scout mission to Mars.

Taylor explained the team was responsible for design and operation of the meteorological package during the Phoenix mission that included a device called a lidar. Showing images of the terrain, Taylor said, “The terrain is very flat and boring, no vegetation and no animals running around.”

Taylor also revealed that the Canadian team that includes his colleague in York’s Faculty of Science & Engineering, Professor Jim Whiteway, lead scientist for the meteorological station on Phoenix that recently detected snow falling from the Martian clouds.

“The images from the last couple of weeks show evaporating trails coming up from underneath the clouds,” said Taylor, about the much cooler planet that ranges from minus 30 to minus 80 degrees Celsius. “Snow is coming down from the sky and then evaporating because the atmosphere is so dry.”

The Royal Canadian Institute, which is Canada’s oldest scientific society, continues the lecture series at Noel Ryan Auditorium Nov. 6. The lecture, Watching Brains Think: Brain Imaging, Face Recognition & Deception, will have Hugh R. Wilson, professor in York’s Faculty of Science & Engineering and director of York’s Centre for Vision Research, speak about brain imaging and how it works.

  • Canada made a great discovery on Mars last week, one that excited everyone except the Canadian Space Agency, wrote science reporter Tom Spears in the Ottawa Citizen Oct. 6.

The find: Snow falling on Mars, a thing never seen before. Found by York University scientists who have some instruments aboard a NASA probe that landed on Mars. As all Mars exploration at NASA is focused on finding water, this is a big deal. It’s also the kind of space work that simply excites our curiosity.

Even Bloomberg News, a financial news service, rated it one of the world’s top five stories that day – a day when markets crashed everywhere.

So why did the Canadian Space Agency not say a word? No press release, not even a heads-up to media that an announcement was coming out. Puzzling, wrote Spears.

Getting the kids to join the party

Don’t tell the Young Liberals sex and politics don’t mix. They sent promotional kits to 60 campuses this fall with posters, pins…and condoms with the slogans Make Love Not A Conservative Government, Canvas Your Poll and Stand Up For Canada (ahem), wrote the Toronto Star Oct. 5.

While the condoms were a hit – some young scholars grabbed handfuls from the Young Liberal booth at York University’s recent Club Day, says Ben Keen, club president and vice-president external for the York Federation of Students, who joined the party at Club Day four years ago – it remains tough to stir the political hormones of young Canadians who are delaying voting later and later, and often say they prefer single-issue lobby groups they find online to political parties they see as top-down and confusing.

In Canada, where the average party member is 59 years old and only 3 per cent are under 25, young politicos are an endangered species.

Liberal ad links Harper, Bush

After a confused, ineffective start to their election advertising campaign, the federal Liberals have found a groove – thanks to Stephen Harper and some old news, wrote the Ottawa Citizen Oct. 6.

Political advertising specialist Fred Fletcher, University professor emeritus and director of York’s Graduate Program in Communications & Culture, agrees that three Harper-Bush commercials are effective because of how they identify common elements of Bush-Harper ideology.

“They aren’t attack ads in the personal sense,” he says, “but they tie Harper to Bush, who is unpopular in the US and even more unpopular here. The Conservatives have been running on the fact that Harper is a strong leader and these ads are an attempt to undermine that. It isn’t just the anti-American card, though that’s an undercurrent. It’s suggesting that Harper’s view of the world is derived from an international cabal of right-wingers.”

York grad runs for NDP in Burlington

York grad David Laird (BA ’90) first became involved in politics as a teenager, delivering campaign flyers in North York, wrote the Burlington Post Oct. 4 in an election profile. Now, at age 45, the Burlington riding candidate wants the federal government delivered back to voters.

The child protection worker is representing the New Democratic Party on Tuesday, Oct. 14. This is his third stint as the local NDP federal candidate. He also ran once provincially.

While Laird hasn’t won, he has increased the party’s federal support locally to 12.5 per cent, compared to two per cent before he ran. “I figure in 20 years, at this rate, I can get elected,” he joked when interviewed at his campaign headquarters. “But the demographics are changing. There are a lot of younger people who are highly educated.”

Laird attended nearby York University and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature.

Seasoned campaigner wants to represent Oakville again

With only days to go before the Tuesday, Oct. 14, federal election Oakville Conservative candidate Terence Young’s campaign is shifting into overdrive, wrote the Oakville Beaver Oct. 5. Young (BA ’75), along with a team of doorknockers, has crisscrossed Oakville and so far he likes what he’s hearing.

This is not Young’s first election. Nor is it his second. The Conservative candidate has a lengthy political history dating far into his past. This interest followed Young to York University, where he received a BA in political science and social science. It was also during this period that he ran in his first election.

Hoops fundraiser a slam dunk

A top-level basketball game will lend a hand to a top-flight cause when the Barrie Royals organization plays host to an exhibition game featuring a pair of Canadian women’s university basketball teams in Barrie on Thursday night, wrote The Barrie Examiner Oct. 4.

The York Lions face the Guelph Gryphons at St. Joan of Arc High School in a 7pm tip-off, with the winner already declared. The money raised from the event goes directly toward Royal Victoria Hospital’s Simcoe-Muskoka Regional Cancer Centre, slated for completion in 2011.

Low, low times for Lions

If a mercy rule existed in university football, it would have come into play yesterday at York Stadium, wrote The Toronto Sun Oct. 5. But seeing as York Lions coach Mike McLean couldn’t just wave the white towel, Queen’s coach Pat Sheahan tried to help out his beleaguered counterpart when he asked the officials if the game clock could run continuously in the second half of one of the most one-sided games in recent OUA history.

The refs, with no choice in the matter, turned down Sheahan’s request and the Gaels (6-0) kept lighting up the scoreboard, scoring the most points since Queen’s started playing football in 1882 in an 80-0 blowout against the hapless Lions (0-6).

“It was a classy gesture by a classy man,” McLean said when he learned of Sheahan’s proposal, which came with the Gaels up 52-0 at the break. “It’s men against boys right now, there is no way to hide it. We’re just not good enough to compete at this level right now.”

The worst defeat in school history yesterday – the previous high was a 90-15 loss against Laurier in 1974 – was the third game in a row that York didn’t manage to score a point. The Lions didn’t have one offensive play in Queen’s territory yesterday.

Next year can’t come soon enough for McLean, a rookie head coach. The York staff, smartly, has been on the recruiting trail all season and invited 40 kids to the game yesterday. Now, the Lions have to hope the potential additions don’t run for the hills after witnessing the demolition.

“We don’t have the bodies, we barely have enough bodies to practise right now,” McLean said. “Every coaching staff is recruiting throughout the year. I don’t think we’re any different. (But) I’m not going to lie, this is chewing us apart. We’re competitors. At the end of the day, this is what we’ve inherited. We just have to build it.”

  • As coach of the top defensive university football team in Canada last year at Saint Mary’s, Mike McLean was on top of the world with a berth in the Vanier Cup against Manitoba, wrote the Toronto Star Oct. 5. Now, he is the head coach of a disastrous York University football program.

After the game, a sombre McLean struggled to find something positive to say about the pummelling of his struggling young team. “We’re learning and growing with barely enough bodies to practise,” McLean said of the team, with 12 of his 25 rookies in the starting lineup. “But things will change. We inherited this and will just have to rebuild it. We just need time and have to get bigger, stronger, faster and smarter.”

Tide’s with us this time, says Osgoode grad heading Pan-Am Games bid

The Pan Am Games are a playground for more than 5,500 athletes from 42 countries. And, Jagoda Pike (LLB ’84) can’t think of a better place for them to come out and play than in our backyard, wrote The Toronto Sun Oct. 5.

The alumna of York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, a mother of two, a former publisher of the Toronto Star, and just a year removed from being named one of the top 100 most powerful women in Canada, Pike was named this week to head Ontario’s bid for the 2015 Games.

She is also familiar with disappointment – a two-time loser as head of unsuccessful bids by Hamilton to get the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games. “I’m a sucker for punishment,” Pike said, laughing. “I’m thinking the third time is a charm. To win, you have to risk losing. That’s the way it works in life and in sports. To me it’s worth taking that risk.”

Grad student is a runner-up in cook of the year competition

Laurie Sadowski tested her vegan recipe on a bunch of carnivores, wrote The St. Catharines Standard Oct. 6. And they loved it. That’s precisely what the 25-year-old St. Catharines resident and York student hoped would happen when she served the dish to her family.

Sadowski, a vegan, created the Tofu-Stuffed Eggplant Rolls with Mushroom Ragout for Canadian Living magazine’s cook of the year competition. She made it to the semi-finals and in August went head-to-head with three other amateur chefs at a cook-off in Toronto. Sadowski was a runner-up.

Sadowski, who writes occasionally for The Standard’s Flavours section, has Celiac disease, a condition that prevents her from eating grains like wheat, and also has a food allergy to dairy. In addition to eating a vegetarian diet, she also avoids eggs and dairy. “I wanted to make something that could be enjoyed by everyone,” says Sadowski.

Sadowski is in the process of completing her master’s degree in musicology from York University. She plans to open her own business related to cooking and fitness.

York prof to speak at KidsFirst conference

Best For Kids and Community Quality Initiative are teaming up to present the first KidsFirst conference Oct. 22 to 24 at Holiday Inn, wrote The Sault Star Oct. 6. The three-day session will include presentations by Stuart Shanker, distinguished research professor of psychology/philosophy and director of the Milton & Ethel Harris Research Initiative at York University.

Osgoode grad was Peterborough’s city solicitor

Stephen Jarrett introduced his sister Kate to John Hart (LLB ’76) because he thought the couple “would make beautiful music together,” wrote the Peterborough Examiner Oct. 3, in an obituary for the graduate of York’s Osgoode Hall Law School. Sadly that music ended when Hart died in his sleep Wednesday night in Ottawa. He was 56. Hart, Peterborough’s city solicitor, is being remembered by friends and family as a kind man with a joyful sense of humour and a great passion for the arts.

Universities expand by thinking small

In Ontario, universities are grappling with a shrinking population to the north – and an exploding one in the south, wrote the National Post Oct. 6. In fact, the population is growing so much in the Toronto area that there will soon be too many students for university spots, says University of Toronto Professor Glen Jones.

“It’s in the tens of thousands of spaces that will be needed in the next decade or so,” he says, which has been brought on, at least in part, by the fact that the U of T and York University are saying “we are big enough.”

‘We’re in a real storm,’ says Schulich economics professor

My crystal ball is awfully cloudy when it comes to gauging the length of this. But we’re in a real storm, and it’s going to take a while for the sun to shine again, said Bernard Wolf, economics professor in York’s Schulich School of Business, on CBC News Oct. 5.

On air

  • Ian Roberge, political science professor at York’s Glendon College, took part in a debate about the federal election, on Radio-Canada’s "Desautels" Oct. 2.
  • Alan Middleton, marketing professor in York’s Schulich School of Business, spoke about the stock market and investing in comfort foods, on CBC Radio’s “Here & Now” (Toronto) Oct. 3.