Red-faced Redmen

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:57 AM ET

The term "initiation" had a entirely different meaning when Val St. Germain went to McGill University.

"Back in my day, the whole process was pretty tame," the Renegades offensive lineman and former Redmen (1990-93) said yesterday. "We'd put on a rookie show, teach them the McGill fight song then go down to Peel Pub and have a night out. That was the gist of it. To me, that's good team building."

Initiation methods at the esteemed Montreal school nowadays have been deemed "hazing" and proven to be team destroying.

On Tuesday, university officials canceled the remainder of the Redmen's football season after the investigation of a complaint made by an 18-year-old rookie who alleged he was sexually assaulted with a broomstick by a veteran player while others looked on and cheered.

"Obviously, nothing like that ever happened when I was there," said St. Germain. "I don't know how that started or who it started with, but there's no room for that.

"The origin of football in North America was McGill-Harvard in the 1800s, that was the first football game ever," he added. "Football is McGill. Obviously, canceling the program is unheard of. It's going to be tough to shake. What are you going to associate with McGill football? Not all their past successes, but rather their recent failures, which is really unfortunate.

"Hopefully, the program is back next year."

Meanwhile, St. Germain and his current team have their own set of problems, which are far less serious by comparison.

The Renegades enter Friday's game in Hamilton needing a victory to keep alive their playoff hopes. While the Tiger-Cats are leaning toward starting rookie quarterback Kevin Eakin, Ottawa will make only one change (FB Cory Hathaway in, DB Dave Donaldson out) from the roster it fielded when the teams met Oct. 7. That 43-21 Renegades win improved their record to 5-1 in games St. Germain has started at left tackle in 2005.

St. Germain and George Hudson will be the tackles Friday, with Mike Sutherland working at centre between Pascal Cheron and import Morris Unutoa. The Renegades rushed for 143 yards and allowed only two sacks with the same formation last time out.

"Left tackle, left guard ... it's all football," shrugged St. Germain. "In the big scheme of things, you just go out and ball. That's it."

EXTRA POINTS: Kerry Joseph is poised to become only the third quarterback in CFL history to throw for 4,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in the same season. Tracy Ham (1989, 1990) and Damon Allen (1991) are the only others to achieve the feat. "Talk to D-cordinators around the game, ask who's the most dangerous guy. He's one of the top two or three because he can do both," coach Joe Paopao said of Joseph, who, with three games remaining, has passed for 3,727 yards and rushed for 903. "All the years of playing, only three or four guys have ever done that. Wow. That's saying something about his production."


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