Official: Waterloo football 'here to stay'

The Waterloo Warriors, seen here against the Western Mustangs in 2008, suspended its football...

The Waterloo Warriors, seen here against the Western Mustangs in 2008, suspended its football program for a year. (QMI Agency/Sue Reeve)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:02 PM ET

A day after the University of Waterloo announced it was suspending its football program for a year after a drug controversy, the school reiterated its stand against substance abuse among student athletes and society Tuesday.

A press release said the university "has an obligation to take a strong position in the wake of finding that nine players on its varsity football team had been involved in using banned substances."

The school said it's asking the Texas-based Taylor Hooton Foundation, a leader in advocacy against substance abuse in sport, for help. The school also plans to work other partners , including its own experts in Applied Health Sciences, and Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) and Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES).

A review of the football program will begin immediately.

"There should be no mistake that our first obligation is to our students' welfare, -- all 26,000 of them -- and helping them acquire an excellent education. But we are also obligated to our students, their parents and society, and the fight against substance abuse across all levels of sport," vice-president, academic, and provost, Feridun Hamdullahpur said in a statement. "We must address this head-on to establish the principle that Waterloo is about clean and fair play."

Hamdullahpur stressed the football program at the school is not over.

"It's here to stay," he said.

He added that all current players and anyone looking to play for the Warriors next season should stick with the school through this "difficult experience." He said the school has big plans for the football program, including rebuilding Warrior Field and installing new field turf and a better area for fans.

The team's two full-time coaches, head coach Dennis McPhee and assistant Marshall Bingeman, are being placed on paid leave from football duties while the university conducts a full review, the university announced Monday.


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