St. Clair College’s Student Athletic Association looking at acquiring AKO Fratmen
St. Clair College may soon take over the AKO Fratmen.
The Student Athletic Association at the college is exploring an opportunity to purchase the club, which plays in the Canadian Junior Football League.
Current owner Mike Morencie has owned the junior team since 2014. During that time, the black and gold have played at Windsor Stadium, EJ Lajeunesse and Alumni Field at the University of Windsor.
“We need our own place,” says Morencie.
That new place could be the soon-to-be completed, $23 million St. Clair College Sports Park.
The SAA will now spend the next two months to review the idea.
Under the plan, the SAA at the school would take over the business operation of the franchise.
College officials say the idea would give first-hand experience to students in the sports and recreation program and the hospitality program.
“Students are leading the way and excited about the potential to have a college football team,” says Ron Seguin, the vice president of campus development and student services at St. Clair. “That's very unique in Ontario.”
Morencie would then be able to focus on the product on the field, and not everything else that goes with managing a sports team.
“It's a very long list,” admits Morencie. “I'm not even sure that St. Clair realizes the list.”
There is already a relationship between the school and the team.
Since 2014, the college has been providing AKO players with a varsity athletic scholarship if they are enrolled at the college.
The Ontario College sports governing body did offer touch football between 1967 and 2012 but has never offered football as a varsity sport.
“If you put the resources of the colleges in play with the expertise, you know, Hamilton, Ottawa, these franchises have been around 80 to 90 years. When you match the two together you may have the beginnings of an official college program,” says Seguin.
The Ontario Football Conference Champion is set to host the 2020 national championship.
The AKO Fratmen are currently in first place and return most of the players next year, which means the national championship game could be played at St. Clair.