Atlantic University Sport launches 2015-16 football season

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Sept. 9, 2015 (HALIFAX, N.S.) – Atlantic University Sport (AUS) stakeholders, fans and members of the media gathered today at the World Trade and Convention Centre in Halifax to take part in the third annual AUS season launch and football media day to kick off the 2015 season.

AUS executive director and football sport chair Phil Currie was joined by head football coaches Kelly Jeffrey (Mount Allison), Gary Waterman (St. Francis Xavier), Jeff Cummins (Acadia) and Perry Marchese (Saint Mary’s) to brief the media and fans in attendance on this year’s teams and their expectations for the season.

Each coach was joined by a pivotal player from their roster: fourth-year linebacker Te Nguyen (Mount Allison), fourth-year wide receiver Donald Tabor (StFX), fourth-year defensive lineman Jesse St. James (Acadia) and second-year receiver Jaegar Prot (Saint Mary’s) were all in attendance.

Coaches and players took in a question and answer period with members of the media as well as responding to questions sent by fans and media via social media.

The event marked the inaugural live broadcast of AUS coverage on Bell Aliant’s FibreOP TV1, formerly known as Community One. In April, AUS announced a five-year, $1.7 million partnership for TV1 to become the official broadcaster and webcaster of Atlantic University Sport, including football. Bell Aliant is now the home of all AUS sports – airing 90 live broadcast and 700 webcast games including regular season and championships.

“Through our partnership with Atlantic University Sport, Bell Aliant FibreOP TV1 will be the official broadcaster for every AUS university football game played in Atlantic Canada. AUS fans can watch their favourite teams battle it out on any screen in their home or on the go with a smart phone, tablet or laptop computer,” said Dan McKeen, Vice Chair and Senior Vice President, Residential Services, Bell Aliant. “We are pleased to give customers and AUS fans across Atlantic Canada the best viewing experience with our new TV1 offering of live and On Demand coverage.”

TV1 can be found on FibreOP TV channels 1 and 401 of the FibreOP TV programming guide and online at bellaliant.ca/tv1.

The season’s first live TV broadcast takes place on Friday, Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. as the Mount Allison Mounties travel to Halifax to take on the St. Mary’s Huskies. The Acadia Axemen will then play host to the StFX X-Men Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. at Raymond Field in a rematch of last season’s AUS semi-final.

“We are continually striving to create Canada’s ultimate student-athlete experience,” said Phil Currie, Executive Director, Atlantic University Sport. “This strategic partnership with Bell Aliant raises the profile of Atlantic University Sport student-athletes and we couldn’t be more excited to be working with Bell Aliant to have more AUS events than ever before accessible via TV broadcast. Increasing the accessibility of our product across all screens and all platforms is an integral part of enhancing our student-athlete experience.”

Rule changes for this season were reviewed and Currie also announced the implementation of some new conference initiatives.

League regulations for game day dress rosters have been adjusted to allow home teams to dress 55 players and the away teams to dress 48 players for all regular season games. Both teams will be permitted to dress 48 for AUS postseason games.

For the first time, leading up to the Subway AUS Loney Bowl, there will be an AUS football awards banquet where conference all-stars and major awards recipients will be recognized. The banquet will be hosted by the first place team with support from the AUS office.

Currie also announced that an AUS football summit will take place following the season. The summit will involve a number of stakeholders and focus on issues including player safety, harmonization of rules with other conference, enhancing marketing efforts and attracting new members to participate in football.

Regular season play will wrap up on Saturday, Oct. 31 and AUS playoffs are set to begin the following weekend. The second-seeded team hosts the third-seeded team onSaturday, Nov. 7 at 2 p.m. in semi-final action with the winner advancing to the 2015 Subway AUS Loney Bowl on Saturday, Nov. 14 at 2 p.m. hosted by the top-seeded team.

This year’s CIS semi-bowl rotation will see the AUS champion host the Canada West champion in the 2015 CIS Uteck Bowl, which will be played at the home field of the AUS winner on Saturday, Nov. 21. The 51st Vanier Cup will be played at Laval on Nov. 28.

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