By Anthony Agostino
Ryerson Rams and winning. Somehow the two don’t seem to go hand in hand. So why is that?
Are the athletes not dedicated enough? Or maybe their skill level is a notch or two below that of other university athletes. Maybe it’s the coaching, or the lack of fan support; or maybe the administration is just not committed to producing competitive athletes. All of these speculations are often tossed around when discussing Ryerson’s dismal athletic results.
It’s not that the school’s athletic teams are cursed. There was a time when championships, star athletes and packed crowds were synonymous with the Rams. The men’s hockey was a dynasty during the 1950s, stringing together five championships in six years. Ryerson’s 1958 championship football team proved that going from worst to first in one season was possible. The last team to win a championship for Ryerson was the 1972 women’s basketball team.
So why has it been downhill since then? Trouble recruiting star players may have something to do with it. It’s tough for Ryerson to attract big time talent with schools like the University of Toronto and York University looming around the corner. They are bigger and richer, and have more to offer recruits, including a better campus, better facilities and a winning history.
I am a Ryerson athlete. I can attest that Rams athletes are treated well. Ryerson Athletics does want to compete with the larger schools, and provides their athletes with knowledgeable coaching and management staffs, competent therapists and improved facilities.
Okay, so if it’s not the athletics administration, or the coaching, or recruiting, then what is it? Do not doubt the commitment of the players. Anytime of day or night, go to the RAC and you’ll see Ryerson athletes sweating it out in the weight room or running around the track.
So all the questions have been addressed, but we still have no answers. Why, then, aren’t we winning? It’s a difficult question to answer and one that sparks many so-called experts to come up with their own conclusions. It’s the same type of question the Toronto Maple Leafs have been trying to answer since 1967. At least Ryerson has had a championship team since then.