The U SPORTS Football Top 10 committee will have a new chair, when the first rankings of the 2017 season launch on Aug. 29.
Sportsnet's Donnovan Bennett will be at the helm of the Football Reporters of Canada media panel, taking over the responsibilities previously held by veteran U SPORTS football broadcaster and commentator Jim Mullin.
A number of changes to the U SPORTS Football Top 10 have also been implemented this season, including a revised panel, comprised of national and local media covering Canadian university football as well as CFL personnel.
"On behalf of U SPORTS, I want to thank Jim Mullin for serving as chair of the Football Reporters of Canada for the past nine years, and am pleased to welcome Donnovan into his new role," said Graham Brown, Chief Executive Officer at U SPORTS. "Nearly one year since our rebrand, this is an exciting opportunity to relaunch our Football Top 10 with an enhanced approach, designed to maximize engagement throughout the U SPORTS football season.
"We look forward to working with Donnovan from opening kick-off this weekend to the 53rd ArcelorMittal Dofasco Vanier Cup."
Along with being a staff writer, Bennett's many roles with Sportsnet include being a feature host, producer and radio host. Previously nominated for both a Gemini and Digital Publishing Award, Bennett has made a name for himself by telling stories on multiple platforms. Prior to joining Sportsnet, Bennett served as a feature host, studio host, sideline reporter and college football colour analyst for the Score Television Network.
A Western University alum, Bennett played running back for the Mustangs varsity football team from 2003 to 2006. While at Western, Bennett won broadcasting awards named after future Sportsnet colleagues Dan Shulman and Elliotte Friedman. Bennett was also a nominee for the Fred Sgambati U SPORTS Media Award in 2014, after winning the OUA media award that season. In addition, Bennett has served as a contributor to U SPORTS as a football insider.
"I remember the excitement as a player looking forward to the reveal of the Top 10 every week. That litmus test in regards to where you ranked among the elite programs was something players, coaches and fans alike were engaged in," said Bennett. "With those fond memories in mind, it is a sacred honour for me for things to come full circle and not only vote but help lead the Top 10 process this season."