Leo MacPherson wraps up term as AUS President - highlights from annual general meeting


2018 AUS annual general meeting highlights

(HALIFAX, N.S.) – Atlantic University Sport held its 2018 annual general meeting earlier this month in St. John's, N.L. The meetings were hosted by Memorial University athletics and attended by representatives from all 11 member institutions.

Phil Currie, executive director of Atlantic University Sport, chaired the meetings. Each AGM includes receiving reports from the various AUS committees, discussion on any items coming forward for the 2018 U SPORTS AGM scheduled for June 4-7 in Vancouver, B.C., finalizing the 2018-19 AUS playing schedules and reviewing sport-specific motions that come from the coaches' associations of the winter sports.

"Our annual general meetings are always a productive time for our conference," said Currie. "We have begun work on a new strategic plan which will guide our association in the years to come. We had some very positive dialogue at this year's meetings and I am confident that we are continuing to make strides and positive changes which will benefit our student-athletes, our fans and all of our stakeholders."

Highlights of items discussed at these meetings are as follows:

AUS management council names new president

Pierre Arsenault, director of athletics for Mount Allison University, officially began his term as president of the AUS management council, while Leo MacPherson, director of athletics for St. Francis Xavier University, wrapped up a two-year term as president.

"We are very grateful to Leo for his dedication and his leadership," said Currie. "His breadth of experience in university athletics at the regional, conference and national levels was invaluable to the AUS conference over the last two years."

Incoming president Pierre Arsenault is heading into his 10th season as director of athletics and recreation at Mount Allison University. He will also represent the AUS conference at the national level as a member of the U SPORTS board of directors.

New protocol introduced concerning rescinded conference awards

Currently, in accordance with the Canadian Anti-Doping Program and U SPORTS regulations, once an anti-doping rule violation has been confirmed on an AUS athlete, any AUS record or title awarded to the athlete in question is rescinded (retroactive to the date of the Doping Tribunal decision or the date of the sample collection—whichever is earlier).

At this year's meetings, it was decided that in such instances where an AUS record or title is rescinded, the next eligible athlete will receive the AUS record or be awarded the title.

This will apply to all AUS recognition pieces (league all-stars, major awards, all-rookie team honours, etc.). The next eligible athletes will be determined based on the award voting calculations submitted by the sport chair.

For individual AUS medal winners, the next eligible athlete will be the next best finisher at the AUS championship in that event.

Women's hockey: Added official and hybrid icing

Beginning in the 2018-19 season, AUS women's hockey will move to a four-officials system for all games. This decision was made in an effort to improve student-athlete safety and will allow for more thorough coverage of the games. 

The AUS women's hockey conference has also opted to implement the hybrid-icing rule in the coming season.

The object of the hybrid-icing system is to reduce the risk for the potentially damaging collisions into the end walls as players race for the puck to either force an icing or negate an icing.

Hybrid icing is also employed at the U SPORTS championship.

Men's hockey discipline commissioner role expanded

The role of AUS men's hockey discipline commissioner David MacLean has been expanded. Beginning in the 2018-19 season as a pilot, MacLean will assume all men's hockey sport chair responsibilities.

A former athletic director for Cape Breton University, MacLean first began assisting with AUS men's hockey disciplinary issues in the 2014-15 season, reviewing all hit-to-the-head review requests. The following season, his responsibilities grew to include overseeing all reviewable suspensions that do not carry automatic penalties, as well as all automatic and non-automatic video review requests.

Beginning in the 2018-19 season, MacLean will be responsible for managing all disciplinary matters formerly handled by the AUS men's hockey sport chair. A review of this pilot will be conducted following the season to determine a permanent solution. 

2018-19 AUS winter schedules ratified and championship hosts announced:

The scheduling for the 2018-19 season was concluded and the following dates and locations have been confirmed for the AUS winter championship events:

- Memorial University will host the 2019 Subway AUS Curling Championships, Feb. 7-10 at the RE/MAX Centre (home of the St. John's Curling Club) in St. John's, N.L.

- Dalhousie University will host the 2019 Subway AUS Swimming Championships, February 8-10 in Halifax, N.S.

- Université de Moncton will host the 2019 Subway AUS Track and Field Championships, February 22-23 in Moncton, N.B.

- Université de Moncton will host the 2019 Subway AUS Women's Volleyball Championship March 1-2 or March 2-3 in Moncton, N.B. (In the event that the Moncton Aigles Bleues do not secure a playoff spot, the championship will be hosted by the Dalhousie Tigers according to the pre-determined six-year rotation.)

- Atlantic University Sport will host the 2019 Subway AUS Basketball Championships, March 1-3 in Halifax, N.S.

The 2018-19 regular season schedules for AUS winter sports will be released later this week.