Both the St. Thomas University and University of New Brunswick men’s hockey teams give out well over $100,000 a year to their athletes in scholarships, according to recently obtained information.
The Tommies, who have 19 players on their active roster, gave out $111,583 in scholarship money for the 2012-13 season. However, the distribution to each player is not allowed to be given through a right to information request, as it is seen as an invasion of privacy.
Tommies captain Felix Antoine-Poulin said that he doesn’t know how much he got this year in scholarship money, but added that “I know I am really fortunate to get a scholarship.”
The Varsity Reds gave $119,586.50 in scholarships to their hockey team this season. They had 25 active players on the roster.
According to the RTI request from UNB, head coach Gardiner MacDougall’s salary falls in the $75,000 – $99,999.99 band, but the specific number cannot be given for the same reason as the player scholarship figure cannot be given. The assistant coaches at UNB earn no more than $60,000.
When breaking down the average scholarship amount given to each player, at St. Thomas it amounts to $5,872.90 per player, while at UNB it is $4,783.44.
Poulin said he was offered scholarships from a variety of schools.
“There were five schools that offered me scholarships after my junior season, in the Maritimes and back home in Montreal. I decided to come to STU because I fell in love with the campus after I visited with my parents and I liked the philosophy of the [hockey] program,” he said.
While Poulin could have played hockey elsewhere, he picked St. Thomas because it was a better fit for him. He was less concerned about the scholarship.
“I committed to St.Thomas because I thought the program was the right fit for me. I liked all the discussions I had with Mike [Eagles] and Troy [Ryan] about the program.”
Jeffrey Carleton, head of communications, said that players decide which school to attend based on what they’re currently seeking.
“It depends on each player and where they are in their career and their seriousness about school,” he said.
He added that if a hockey player is seeking to turn pro upon graduation of university, then that factor heavily weighs into their decision, rather than if they earn scholarship money.
“Where they play their hockey may be key because they’ll want to be in a high profile program that gives them a stepping stone to an East Coast hockey league or perhaps Europe,” he said.
But Carleton said that every player comes to university for different reasons.
“Some players will come for scholarship money because they may not have other options. They may feel they’re at the end of the line and come and find this wonderful opportunity at St. Thomas, while some may come just to play hockey and hope to discover something while they’re here.”