New Lions assistant football coach pledges to ‘turn things around’

Canada’s top college quarterback was known for creating magic in his playing days at the University of Western Ontario. But now, Michael Faulds is being called upon to perform a miracle, wrote the Toronto Star Aug. 27.

As the new offensive coordinator for the York University Lions, his job is to help revive Canada’s worst team, which he and the Western Mustangs walloped 64-6 last October in an Ontario University Athletics (OUA) league game.

And even the 26-year-old Faulds, the all-time Canadian passing leader, OUA most valuable player last year and former two-time premier player in the Yates Cup playoffs, admits he has a mountain to climb.

“Changing a team is not an overnight solution, but at the same time I can assure you that York – and there is lots of talent here – will have a team that works hard, gets better and turn things around,” he said as the Lions prepare for their league and home opener Sept. 6 against Guelph.

Comparing York’s record the past decade to crosstown rival Toronto doesn’t look all that bad. Toronto went 4-76 the past 10 years while York put together a 22-53 mark.

Yet, the last time York won more than two games in a season was in 2005 when current Toronto Argonauts running back Andre Durie helped the team to a 3-5 mark. Back in 2002, York made the playoffs with a 5-3 record.

Faulds has also been taking some heat from friends and on Web sites for joining a team that has had four head coaches in the past five years, the latest being former Concordia University coach Warren Craney. “People have said I have no experience as a coach,” said Faulds, who was a Toronto Star high school all-star when he played at St. Andrew’s in Aurora. “That’s fair, but few people know opposing defences better than me.”

Nick Coutu, a 21-year-old rollout quarterback now in his third year with York, said he seriously considered quitting football after last season but all that changed when he got the call from Faulds. “Getting hammered in games, it’s been a nightmare (at York),” said Coutu, still looking for his first win. “(Faulds has) taught me so much in a month…. I’d really like to be an extension of him – pick his brain, then go out and get the job done.”

York paves way for Pan Am track events

York University, already a venue for tennis at the Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games, is in discussions with organizers regarding the construction of a stadium on its Keele Street campus that would host track & field events during the Games, wrote the North York Mirror Aug. 26.

The University has signed a letter of intent with the Pan/Parapan American Games organizing committee to negotiate an agreement for the construction of a facility that would meet International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) standards, and, following the Games, would be available for use by the University and surrounding communities. The letter of intent also indicates that the Pan Am Games organizing committee and the University may discuss hosting additional events on York’s Keele Street campus.

With the TTC’s Spadina-York University subway extension projected for completion in 2015, an on-campus subway station would provide access to these new facilities.

“It’s pretty much a done deal,” said York University spokesperson Keith Marnoch, adding plans are expected to be finalized in late September. “We are basically moving ahead.”

Details still need to be worked out, including cost, a construction date and where the stadium will be built on the Steeles Avenue and Keele Street campus, he said.

“It’ll probably be a 10,000-seat stadium,” Marnoch said. “Yes, it would be used for University purposes but the reality is we have community partners that could put the facility to work. It would be a high-performance facility and a great resource for community outreach from our point of view.”

As for a dollar amount, York will be looking into cost sharing with the Pan/Parapan American Games, Marnoch said. “At the end of September we’ll have more definitive answers but we are moving full steam ahead,” he said.

Climate activism: is the trial more important than the protest?

Is prison a deterrent? asked Manchester, England’s The Guardian Aug. 26 in an online article about whether protesters are deterred by the law.

“If you look at the example of high-profile activists in the US, such as Rod Coronado, who was put behind bars for disrupting the hunting of mountain lions, his imprisonment had a mobilizing rather than a demobilizing effect,’ said Lesley Wood, a sociology professor in York’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies.

Ira Jacobs in top shape for new U of T post

Ira Jacobs, the new dean of the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Physical Education & Health, launched his career in Israel, wrote The Canadian Jewish News Aug. 26.

In 2007, he was hired to head York University’s School of Kinesiology & Health Science, the largest program of its kind in North America. And now, Jacobs has landed at U of T, succeeding Bruce Kidd, who was once a Canadian distance run­ner and Olympic ath­lete.

Malton shakes off a bad reputation

For 29-year-old Justin Russell, Malton is a great place to call home, wrote the Toronto Star Aug. 27.

He knows the bad reputation the small, geographically isolated corner of Mississauga has. Gangs. Drugs. Impoverished immigrants.

But that Malton is not the one Russell knows. He sees the neighbourhood as a safe, diverse and unique community, and wants the rest of the GTA to know it too.

“I’m pretty proud of the area,” says the York University student who has lived in Malton for most of his life. “I think there’s a misconception that it’s dangerous, or impoverished. I’ve been here for awhile, and I’ve seen the changes first-hand, and it is progressing.”

It might be wise to keep some short-term liquidity and be nimble

A couple of years ago, Moshe Milevsky, a finance professor in the Schulich School of Business at York University, wrote a book titled: Are You a Stock or a Bond? The book examined personal earning power, wrote the Edmonton Journal Aug. 27.

It suggested that employees with relatively stable salaries are like bonds, while entrepreneurs with varying annual profits from a business they can sell are like stocks. He extrapolated that people who are like bonds should invest in stocks, and vice versa.