Ryerson forfeits for drinking

Reporter: Samantha Daniels

The UOIT Ridgebacks men’s hockey team gained an easy victory Nov. 7 after Ryerson was forced to forfeit because of a team-wide suspension.
The Ryerson team was handed the week-long suspension by the university for violating the student-athlete code of conduct prohibiting alcohol consumption during a road trip to New Jersey in the pre-season.
Over Oct. 18 and 19, the team faced the Princeton Tigers in a two-game exhibition series where they were reported to have been drinking in the hotel.
According to a Ryerson University press release, the student-athlete handbook states athletes may not consume alcohol at any time during road trips.
In a decision by the university, the team was not only suspended from playing for a week, but was also unable to use any of the university’s athletic facilities. Head coach Graham Wise was handed a four-game suspension, and assistant coach Lawrence Smith was fired. According to the press release, Smith’s termination was a personal matter and the university would not provide further details.
Over the week of their suspension, the team was lined up to face UOIT and Queen’s University, and was forced to forfeit both games.
According to UOIT’s head coach Marlin Muylaert, “I sincerely believe there was a better way for Ryerson to discipline their team without affecting the competitive integrity of our entire league.”
Heading towards the playoffs, UOIT is within one point of several other teams, including Nipissing, Concordia, Ottawa, and Laurentian. Muylaert said he worries those two forfeited points may cause issues closer to playoffs.
“Now by virtue of forfeit we leapfrog these teams in the standings,” he said. “At the end of the year if we have secured a playoff position by a point or two, the team who lost out has a legitimate gripe.”
Regardless of the potential backlash, Muylaert isn’t happy with the way they won. “The two forfeited points will certainly benefit both Queen’s and ourselves, however – and I am certain I speak on behalf of the Queen’s coach as well – neither of us is happy that we earned points this way,” he said. “We are all competitors and we want to earn our points legitimately with wins.”
According to Muylaert, UOIT was not predicting a win or loss with both teams coming off a win streak. “It certainly would have been an evenly played and well-played game, and I am sure the margin of victory for either team would have been slim.”