By James Mirtle
To borrow from coach La Ferrara’s phraseology (see pg. 10), this past week was a double kick in the groin for Ryerson athletics.
Not only did their referendum fail to pass, but the men’s soccer team lost to McMaster and will miss the postseason. Even as the objective observer that I am, you have to feel for this plucky group.
The athletics department held a post-mortem gathering Friday afternoon to digest the previous night’s resultsthe equivalent of a departmental group hug. With the usual suspects there-athletic director David Dubois, university president Claude Lajeunesse, RyeSAC President Dave MacLean-the message was hard to miss: Rally the troops.
In other words, don’t be surprised if we repeat this athletics referendum business, in one form or another, next year. “We’ll be back,” said Lajeunesse, not altogether un-Terminator-like.
As much as I tease, there were good intentions among this bunch. Dubois genuinely wants to boost Ryerson’s varsity teams into a more competitive sphere, and it’s hard to hold that against him.
Whether or not the carrot of free RAC access and intramurals was the way to do so is debatable. Why not ask students for a smaller amount and direct the funds straight to our struggling varsity squads? The department’s slipping bottom line had more than a little to do with this. There was a lot of griping over how the slapdash no campaign influenced votes through misrepresentation, something that can be debated elsewhere.
I think my fellow students deserve more credit than that. “Students are telling us that they want more [from the department],” said Dubois. “It’s important we hear from them and we have with the vote. But the biggest losers here are the students.”
Aww, don’t be so sure Dave. There are plenty of losers here-including the men’s soccer team.