Volume 92, Issue 55

Wednesday, January 6, 1999



Sanctions scar soccer seasons

Smith calls it quits at Western

Winning doesn't matter to admin

Winning doesn't matter to admin

Another black mark!

On Dec. 16 Western administration felt it necessary to punish the hard working student athletes from both the men's and women's soccer teams. After extremely successful seasons for both teams (both won provincial titles and went to the national championships), including a national gold for the men, the teams were brought crashing back to earth for their crimes against society.

What did they do? They had the gall to enjoy a few drinks on the team bus after their highly successful seasons, following the provincial win for the women and the national championship for the men. What were they thinking? Did they actually think they could get away with such a dastardly deed?

It's not like teams ever celebrate victories or triumphs with alcohol. No champagne has ever been spilt in a dressing room. Canada's holiest of grails, the Stanley Cup, has never been desecrated with beer or wine and no one has ever taken a sip of alcohol from it.

Let's get serious. Reprimanding athletes for celebrating their hard-earned championships is ridiculous. Unless the bus driver was also dipping into the sauce, this is another exercise in futility.

These athletes work long and hard throughout their season to not only make themselves proud, but also their school. While many of us, including the administration, are enjoying a few cocktails with a meal or with friends, many of these athletes are having quiet nights in order to be ready for the next day's practice or game.

These two teams, along with their coaches, put in long hours at practice to take them to the pinnacle of their sports, bringing with them both Western's colours and name. They have done more for spreading the good name of Western than most students or administration ever will.

They travel around Ontario displaying class, both on and off the field, that would make even their parents proud. But this isn't good enough for administration. Our student athletes are held to standards that no one else is. Fans will take the bus to Vanier Cup for the simple reason of getting drunk before the game. Beer is served at most venues across North America, but our athletes can't have a sip of alcohol even if they win.

These athletes and coaches have been let down. They wanted to enjoy their victories as a team and the easiest place for that was on the bus ride home. Who, other than the school, can blame them?

They put everything on the line for each other and wanted to celebrate together after the game. They can't go to a bar because they have to come home. They can't wait to get home because the elation of the moment will be gone three or four hours later. They have some drinks on the bus as a team, celebrating everything which they worked so hard to get.

And what happens? The school shits on them for breaking some rule about drinking on the team bus. While this doesn't take away from the teams' championships this year, it does leave a bad taste in their mouths and should leave a bad taste in everyone's mouth who knows what it's like to work extremely hard for a goal and achieve it.

Congratulations again to both the men's and women's soccer teams for an outstanding year. Just wanted you to know that there are some people at Western who are proud of what you accomplished.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999