By Tyler Harper
Don’t bet on seeing the Rams in the final four any time soon.
Despite a recent decision by the NCAA to open up Division II to Canadian universities, Ryerson is unlikely to apply for membership.
“We already pay fees to join the OUA and to join the CIS and we factor those into our yearly budget,” said Karen Hood-Deshon, Ryerson’s interim varsity sports co-ordinator. “But obviously it will be interesting to see what our collegues think of the NCAA.”
Glenn Taylor, men’s basketball coach, said money isn’t there to cover the costs of the Rams entering the NCAA.
“We have trouble meeting our financial obligations right now with the CIS and in my opinion, we’re not meeting them.” “Where is this money going to come from? We just spent $40 million on a couple buildings. I don’t know how much money we have left in the coffers.”
Taylor said questions still need to be asked about the NCAA offer.
“Is it going to be a level playing field? Are we going to have 15 full rides? Are U.S schools even going to let us into their conferences? “A lot of schools will spend two years playing an exhibition schedule just to get into a conference. You have to establish yourself as a credible school to get into that level.”
Gerry Oswald, Athletic Director of Division II member St. Thomas Aquinas College in New York state, welcomes the NCAA offer.
“It’s been a great success for St. Thomas. I think the competition would be good.” Oswald said he has reservations about what regular travel across the border will mean for his team.
“For us in the New York area, depending on how far the travel is, can we drive it? Do we have to take a plan? I think the passport would be an issue, that every student-athlete would have to have one.”
Oswald said the offer was tailored to schools in Western Canada such as UBC and SFU and that “there wasn’t much discussion about the schools in the Ontario region.”
Although any final decision will have to wait until CIS members meet in June to discuss the joining the NCAA, Taylor admits the proposal would be more intriguing if Ryerson could afford it.
“The idea of it would be phenomenal. The March Madness and the NCAA seems to carry a lot more clout than the CIS. One bowl game makes enough money for that university to find everything.
“For Ryerson, I wouldn’t think it would be a very good thing. We’re an infant as far as the big picture goes.”