The “Fraints”? The “Saintmen?”
Hmmm. There may not be a confusing name change along those lines, but the Windsor AKO Fratmen football franchise could soon belong to St. Clair College’s Student Athletic Association (SAA).
A news release issued by the college on October 7 noted that the SAA has expressed an interest in acquiring Windsor’s long-standing football franchise, Windsor AKO Football.
The two organizations will enter into a two-month-long period of “due diligence” to see if the transition is possible.
The team would continue to play in the Canadian Junior Football League, and use the soon-to-be completed Sports Park Stadium at the main campus as its home field.
SAA President Kshitij Punj praised the acquisition as one that would make St. Clair College a destination for student athletes, while expanding the school’s athletic footprint.
Since 2014, the college has been providing AKO players with a varsity athletic scholarship if they are enrolled at St. Clair.
Ron Seguin, the college’s Vice President of International Relations, Campus Development and Student Services, said the acquisition would allow St. Clair to recruit prospective students interested in playing football. “The Fratmen franchise is historic in this community,” he said. “We believe this could be an opportunity for our students to keep the franchise going, and expand its resources moving forward.”
Jim Pankovich, Commissioner of the Canadian Junior Football League, gave the league’s blessing to a potential franchise transfer: “The Canadian Junior Football League is aware of the transfer, and looks forward to working with St. Clair College/SAA to continue delivering this valuable and historic asset to the Windsor community.”
The Fratmen franchise has been owned by Mike Morencie, a former player, head coach and defensive coordinator, since 2014. The team has played in the CJFL’s Ontario Football Conference since the 1940s and has won national titles.
The football team’s name refers to the fact that it was initially sponsored by the AKO Fraternity.