Carleton says "nevermore"

Joe DiMaggio wasn’t the only sports casualty of early March.

Mar. 4, the Carleton University Ravens were eliminated. Not from the playoffs, but forever.

The final decision was left up to Carleton President Richard Van Loon after recommendations from the athletic board, the athletic director and the senior management committee. Carleton students had an indirect say in the matter when an $11.31 increase in the athletic feealready a hefty $138was voted down by a 21 margin.

"The result indicated that students were not interested in putting more resources into athletics," said Carleton Athletic Director Drew Love. "It’s likely that we would have considered [keeping football] if the increase had passed."

Love added that there hasn’t been any protest from the student body.

"Once the decision was made, there wasn’t a lot of public outcry," he noted.

The Ravens players and coaches were understandably upset.

"This is a very dark day here at Carleton," said Head Coach Donn Smith to Carleton’s student newspaper, the Charlatan.

"I was more angry than sad," confessed safety Jason Kralt. "I kind of had the feeling that it was dead from the getgo and [by delaying the announcement] they were just giving everybody the runaround so they could cover their own butts."

In addition to the football program being cut, the women’s volleyball team dropped from varsity to club status. Carleton is left with 26 teams now: 16 varsity and 10 club.

Although the Ravens football team was never a noted power in the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Unionthey didn’t bring home a single Vanier Cup as national championsthe decision marked the end of a 53year tradition. A big part of the tradition was the annual "Panda Game" between the Ravens and the University of Ottawa GeeGees. The ragged stuffed panda "trophy" has now found a permanent home in the U of O trophy case.

Optimists would say that Carleton football isn’t really dead. It’s just going for a long, Snow Whitelike sleep. A handsome prince could still ride in to wake it up, but not for a while. As per a stipulation in the decision, it cannot be reversed for five years. At a predetermined date, the issue will be will be reexamined, as to whether or not football and women’s volleyball should be resurrected.

Love can see both the benefits and detriments to eliminating Ravens football.

"I’m sorry to see them go from a student athlete perspective, but from a university perspective, it’s not a bad decision."

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