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This article was published 2/11/2021 (206 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A strike involving 1,200 members of the University of Manitoba Faculty Association is not expected to have a disruptive effect on the school's athletic teams.
Coaches involved with the school's 12 intercollegiate sports programs have received a special dispensation from UMFA to continue in their roles during the work stoppage, which began early Tuesday when professors, instructors and librarians walked off the job.
For instance, men's basketball coach Kirby Schepp will be on the bench when the Bisons open their Canada West conference schedule on home court Friday night against the Winnipeg Wesmen.
The teams will complete a weekend doubleheader at the Duckworth Centre on Saturday.
"I can't speak for everyone but my understanding of this (strike) vote is that we very much support the strike and support UMFA," said Schepp Tuesday afternoon. "We are all members of UMFA and support it as much as we possibly can.
"I just got off the picket line myself... But we certainly endeavour to not only support UMFA but support our student athletes as much as we possibly can during this time."
Head football coach Brian Dobie will continue to prepare his team for Saturday's crucial regular-season finale on the road against the Regina Rams.
"They've been understanding about our roles with our student athletes and they've been fantastic," said Dobie. "They're allowing us to continue to work with our teams — to practise and play... Everything else should be excluded from our repertoire — anything to do with academics."
The Bisons, tied at 3-2 for second place in Canada West with the Alberta Golden Bears, can clinch second place and host a conference semifinal Nov. 13 with a win over the Rams.
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Mike has been working on the Free Press sports desk since 2003.