By Erin Valois
Diving alumni Bill Spurrell holds two provincial bronze medals in his sport, but he somehow failed to hold his shorts up at an important competition 30 years ago.
“I was just walking out of the bathroom and I heard them call my name to go dive,” he said. “I went to go pull off my shorts and I pulled everything down instead. It wasn’t until I saw my Speedo string on the ground when I realized what happened. I feel bad for the people who saw that.”
Spurrell was one of six former Rams inducted into the Ryerson Sports and Recreation Hall of Fame at the beginning of Alumni Weekend on Friday, started in 2001 by current acting athletic director Jean Kennedy.
Any Ryerson alumni previously involved in different areas of sport at the university could be a nominee. The entire Ryerson community was able to nominate anyone they chose. This nominee list was then narrowed down to 50 candidates and an evaluation process followed to determine who would represent the categories of “Leader,” “Athlete” and “Builder.” Ryerson President Sheldon Levy felt that this campus involvement was necessary to create a positive atmosphere at the university.
“Sports are generally important to a university,” Levy said. “They help us to feel pride and students are engaged. When teams win, the whole campus feels better.”
One nominee who especially knew about winning was former basketball player Scott Belasco. Belasco, who played at Ryerson from 1993 to 1997, recorded the university’s first winning season in 24 years. A three-time Ontario Universities Athletic Association (OUAA) East All-Star, he gave the Ryerson men’s basketball program the extra lift it needed to improve.
“When I finished playing and looked back at my career at Ryerson, I was proud to play on a team that people stood up and started taking notice of,” he said. “I thought I was coming to play basketball on a bad team but what ended up happening was that we were pretty good.”
Other inductees included Bill Wiggins for his leadership in intramurals, Claire King for volleyball and Caroline Klemens for basketball.
The “Builder” for the 2007 Hall of Fame class was Lyn McVey, the women’s athletic director from 1957 to 1967. McVey was a crucial member of the Women’s Activity Council by planning and coordinating their activities.