Don Cherry turns down honorary degree

The Royal Military College of Canada confirms that hockey pundit Don Cherry won't accept an honorary degree from the school, following protests by some of its faculty members.

Hockey pundit doesn't want to create a 'circus' at ceremony

The Royal Military College of Canada confirmed Saturday that hockey pundit Don Cherry won't accept an honorary degree from the school.

Don Cherry's honorary degree has upset some faculty members at the Royal Military College of Canada. (Darren Calabrese/CP)

The institution's senate had voted to grant an honorary degree to Cherry for his work in supporting the Canadian Forces.

But the honour upset some faculty members at the Kingston, Ont.-based college. At a recent faculty board meeting, members passed a motion expressing their dissatisfaction over the decision to award the degree to Cherry.

A French professor also wrote a letter denouncing the idea.

RMC said in a news release on Saturday that it "received with regret, but with complete understanding, Mr. Don Cherry's personal decision."

During his Coach's Corner segment on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada Saturday night, Cherry dismissed attempts by co-host Ron MacLean to discuss his decision, adding that he didn't want to cause a controversy at the ceremony.

"We got hockey to do," Cherry said. "I'm not going. It's not fair to the other two guys, it'd be a circus down there."

Cherry has stirred up controversy many times in the past, including over his derogatory opinions of French-Canadians.

Earlier this year, he had to backtrack on criticisms he made of three former National Hockey League enforcers.