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AUS considers expansion after interlock schedule chopped

Atlantic University Sport’s interlocking football schedule with Quebec isn’t gone, but it has been cut in half.

Atlantic University Sport’s interlocking football schedule with Quebec isn’t gone, but it has been cut in half.

The AUS and Quebec Student Sport Federation announced yesterday a new three-year agreement that will see each AUS team play one interlock game per season. A premiere matchup is already set for next Sept. 18, with the Saint Mary’s Huskies hosting the Laval Rouge et Or at Huskies Stadium.

The second interlock game from the previous agreement has been replaced with another all-AUS matchup.

“The status quo wasn’t an option,” said AUS executive director Phil Currie. “We worked together to come up with a solution and this was the best we could come up with for both parties … It was either this or no interlock at all.”

The interlock matchups are based on standings from the previous season to promote competitive games. That’s how the first-place Huskies drew the first-place Rouge et Or.

The four-team AUS relies on the six-team QSSF to provide competition and add variety to its eight-game schedule. Each QSSF team will play two interlock games over the course of the agreement.

Currie said he hasn’t seen “any indication” from Quebec that the agreement is in jeopardy beyond 2012, but he will prepare for the worst by developing an AUS expansion strategy so the conference is less dependent on the interlock deal.

Currie said Universitie de Moncton, with a new 10,000-seat stadium, is an intriguing new option. He also talked in detail about University of New Brunswick. Dalhousie and University of Prince Edward Island are other considerations.

“It’s kind of forcing our hand to develop an expansion strategy within the AUS and that’s what we’re prepared to do,” Currie said. “We’re going to pursue that right away.”

 
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