Indecision on review delays the inevitable

Michael Amoroso in action Jan. 26 against York. Amaroso says the delay in implementing the review’s recommendations only hinders Queen’s teams.
Michael Amoroso in action Jan. 26 against York. Amaroso says the delay in implementing the review’s recommendations only hinders Queen’s teams.
Photo: 
Queen’s defensive back Addison Rich does a faceplant in a Sept. 29 football game against Laurier. The football team would likely receive more funding if the University follows through on the Athletics Review’s recommendations.
Queen’s defensive back Addison Rich does a faceplant in a Sept. 29 football game against Laurier. The football team would likely receive more funding if the University follows through on the Athletics Review’s recommendations.
Credit: 
Journal File Photo
Michael Amoroso
Michael Amoroso

The Colour Awards are less than a week away, and although the year did see several successes—with male and female OUA Conference Rookies of the Year in both varsity basketball and volleyball—many of Queen’s most competitive teams saw their seasons end earlier than they had hoped.

Although every new season comes with successes and failures, this year many athletes hoped the athletics program was turning a new leaf. This was the year the school’s stated commitment to high performance was to be realized, through the re-evaluation of the allocation of funds for varsity teams.

On Feb. 8 the Journal released a rundown of Principal Karen Hitchcock’s answer to the Athletics Review, almost six weeks after the original Dec. 31 date she had promised. And after more than a year of waiting since the review’s inception, the much-anticipated verdict was in: more waiting.

Although the recommendation of a “two-year transition period” was all right with those teams on the brink of demotion, it was disheartening for teams in the top half of last spring’s rankings who had been assured that changes would come in 2008. Men’s volleyball was ranked first in the review.

While the review itself was a step in the right direction, prolonging any decisive action on the matter for two more years will only result in continued satisfactory performance for Queen’s varsity squads.

Not only does a delayed decision cut the legs out from under coaches on the recruiting front, but athletes who are already a part of the Golden Gaels family are seeing the athletics reform they fought so hard for pushed to the bottom of the priority list...again. By waiting to make the final call, Principal Hitchcock tried to keep everyone happy, but didn’t solve the original problem of a lack of adequate funding for Queen’s most successful teams. Principal Hitchcock made the correct move by passing the torch to Athletic Director Leslie Dal Cin, but this is a move that shouldn’t have had to be made. The Athletic Director should have been the one making the decision originally. Queen’s varsity sports are her area of expertise.

Because of this, two more classes of graduating varsity athletes won’t be able to reap the benefits of an improved funding model. Queen’s best interuniversity teams won’t be able to realize their full potential until the review’s recommendations are fulfilled. Waiting means that for two more years, our top teams won’t be able to compete to their highest potential.

The 2007 recruiting year was a great one for Queen’s teams, and many teams saw several rookies playing key roles. These new recruits will be in third year by the time the changed are implemented.

Time’s rarely on the side of varsity athletes—every year marks one less year of eligibility remaining. The results of the review are in, and the commitment has been made. All that’s left is to speed up the process.

Michael Amoroso, ArtSci ’11, is a middle hitter for the men’s volleyball team. He led the team in kill percentage this year in his rookie season. This sideline commentary is the first of four written by varsity athletes and coaches. For the next piece in the series, please see the March 20 edition of the Journal.

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