Monday, March 17, 2008

CIS: Peters settles with TWU

Some interesting news coming out of Langley these days. Trinity Western University announced that they've settled with former men's basketball coach Stan Peters. Peters, who was dismissed Dec. 13 after the Spartans got off to a 4-8 start, filed a wrongful dismissal lawsuit against the university last month as Gary Ahuja of the Langley Times reported. His suit claimed that his firing was only the second time a CIS men's basketball coach had ever been let go in the middle of a season. Terms of the settlement weren't released.

Peters had gone on a solid run with the Spartans since joining the program in 1999: his team made the Canada West playoffs four out of the last five years, and he won a Canada West bronze medal and the Canada West Coach of the Year award in 2003. He's also an experienced coach, with 21 years of coaching at colleges and universities under his belt. To my knowledge, this year was expected to be a bit of a rebuilding one for the Spartans, so I was pretty surprised when they axed Peters partway through.

Of course, it made a little more sense when they announced his replacement: Scott Allen, the coach of the White Rock Christian Academy Warriors, a perennial powerhouse that frequently punches above their weight on the B.C. high school circuit, playing up in the AAA division against bigger schools. White Rock's won three AAA championships since the school moved up to that level, and Allen has the highest winning percentage of any coach at the AAA championships. He's unproven at the university level, but he's certainly got some coaching talent.

Also, as either a side benefit or his main appeal (depending on your degree of cynicism), he's got a lot of connections with some key B.C. players: he's already landed former national rookie of the year Jacob Doerksen on a transfer from UVic. Doerksen led the Vikes to the CIS silver in 2006 and was named a Canada West second team all-star the next year, but then walked away from UVic. He was reportedly considering UBC or Calgary, but instead chose to join Allen, his former provincial U17 coach, at TWU. He's already sat out a year, so he'll suit up for the Spartans this fall. Nick Greenizan of the Peace Arch News called Doerksen "one of Western Canada’s most sought after players." As Greenizan reports in the same story, Allen's hiring and Doerksen's decision then led White Rock Christian star Tonner Jackson to join the Spartans. Jackson reportedly had options in Canada and the States, but the close links to Allen persuaded him. “Knowing (Allen) was definitely part of it, and with all the returning seniors they’ll have next year, and with Jacob coming in, I think it will just be a good environment for me.” Jackson told Greenizan. Allen's also nabbed Louis Hurd, the B.C. Colleges Athletic Association's leading scorer.

The timing is interesting here. Allen takes the new job Feb. 23, and within a month, lands three sought-after recruits. It makes me wonder if Allen's recruiting potential wasn't the real reason Peters was bumped. This sort of move isn't unknown in university sports, but it's more common south of the border (consider the Wall Street Journal's piece on USC giving Lil' Romeo a basketball scholarship despite his lack of talent in hopes of luring Demar DeRozen.) There may have been legitimate reasons for the firing, and I don't know what was going on behind the scenes, but the suspicion lingers that Peters was axed to make way for Allen and his stable of recruits. In any case, firing a long-time coach with Peters' reputation midseason is unusual for any university, but even more so for a university whose human resources department has the bold mission statement "Our mission, as providers of professional human resource services, is to support the people of the TWU community in fulfilling Gods [sic] call in their lives." Guess they decided Peters was being called elsewhere...


  1. Anonymous10:04 PM

    Interesting thought, but ask around BC - Scott wasn't the AD'
    s first choice to replace Stan. In fact it wasn't until the university President stepped in that Scott was given the nod. In my opinion, this was a botched hatchet job from the outset, and poor Stan, who's a standup guy, got caught in the middle. I think giving the AD credit for an ulterior motive/plan is, to be honest, giving him too much credit.

  2. That's interesting to hear, for sure. Obviously one of the problems with covering this stuff at a distance is the lack of access to inside information. Still, you never know how much of that is true and what's heard from a friend of a friend. Landing Scott Allen (and by extension, the stable of recruits he's since pulled in) seems to be working out for the Spartans so far, whether that was their original intention or not: it's awfully tough on a coach with Peters' reputation, though. Hopefully he'll land on his feet...

  3. Anonymous9:40 AM

    I had a skunk run in front of me when I was riding without a light one
    night. Think about it, you're deep in the Ozark wilderness. It depends, at least in part, on the class river you're
    going to be headed out to raft.

    Here is my webpage; water shoes

  4. Anonymous7:29 PM

    In other words, they go against the grain of the careers their parents had.

    Anna had been looking through my phone while I
    was naked. The Bull's Head Pub, Bangkok.

    Look at my web blog pub quiz area - -