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Posted August 25 , 2010

University of Waterloo football review urges better education, testing

WATERLOO - On August 18, 2010 the University of Waterloo released the report produced by a review into its football program in relation to the use of banned substances.

The review was conducted by Larry Gravill, former chief of the Waterloo Region Police Service, and Mary Thompson, a University of Waterloo professor emerita. They submitted their report to Feridun Hamdullahpur, provost and vice-president (academic), and Bud Walker, associate provost, student services.

“This report helps us understand the context for the events of this past spring and gives us information we will need as we build a first-class football program, with a substance abuse education program that will be a leader in Canada and North America,” said Hamdullahpur.

He expressed full support for the coaches and the athletic department staff, who he said acted with “great professionalism” as the review was conducted. He noted that the review found no fault in their conduct and that they have been fully reinstated to their coaching duties.

The report recommends that there’s need for better education on the health effects and ethics of using banned substances; better, low-cost screening methods as a deterrent to the use of banned substances; and good processes for handling suspicions or allegations regarding use of banned substances while also protecting individual rights.

“The coaches have our full confidence," said Walker, "and it’s our intent to help them advance the program in the months and years ahead as new plans and initiatives are implemented to establish Waterloo as a top football program, operated on principles of clean and fair play.”

“We are committed to the future. We will work with our coaches, student athletes, staff and advisers to ensure that our student athletes receive not only a great football experience, but a first-class education - an important balance for sport at this level,” Walker said.

“We understand the last few months have been very hard on players and their families,” said Hamdullahpur. "We had a tremendously tough decision to make for the health and well-being of our young people, as well as the greater good of the program, and the university, and we hope in the end that that will be understood.”

Today the university’s athletics director, Bob Copeland, also made public a number of initiatives the university will enact for its football program this fall, including a new substance abuse education program, a partnership with the Taylor Hooton Foundation, and plans for an amended fall football camp and program.

The full report has been posted to the memos and reports section of the provost's website and to read it please go to

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