The OUA baseball season is officially set to begin September 9, but there has already been big news that will reshape the 2017 season. The York Lions officially announced the discontinuation of their Men’s Baseball program.
The embattled program had continually struggled to find success on the field, finishing in the bottom of the standings regularly. Over the past three years, the Lions compiled a record of 11-43. One source said, “the players try their hardest to succeed but some people in York Athletics have never been a fan of the baseball program.” However, it seems that it was reasons other than the results on the field that led to the ineligibility of the team to play in 2017 season.
Baseball was kept at club team status at York — similar to other university baseball programs — and as such does not receive the financial support that is given to their varsity counterparts. A number of players and those close to the situation mentioned that it was the team administration that was the reason behind the university’s decision to cancel the 2017 season. One player mentioned that the Athletics department was unhappy with administration of the team and that this administration that they were referring to did not include the coaching staff.
As a result of the team only having club status, the team was run by a player, not the coaches. This player was responsible in directly dealing with the school. It seems that the player in charge did not go to any of the club meetings or complete any of the necessary paperwork for the team for this upcoming season. These actions seemed to be the breaking point for York Athletics, resulting in the disbanding of the struggling program.
York Athletics released a statement confirming their recent decision was based on administrative requirements for club teams, not being completed.
“Unfortunately, the men’s baseball team had not completed these (administrative) requirements in time for us to allow them to compete this fall. These requirements were communicated with all sport clubs at York back in May/June of this year, along with follow up communications throughout July and into early August. Due to the men’s baseball team not being able to complete these requirements in time, York administration needed to update the OUA and inform them that the team would not be participating this year,” says Peter Mumford
Associate Director, Campus Recreation Athletics & Recreation York University.
He also indicated that since then there has been a meeting with the club representatives and that staff will be assisting them so that there may be an opportunity for them to return to play next year (2018).
OUA operations emailed all baseball programs to inform them of the ineligibity of the program on Monday. They have left it up to the coaches of the league to develop a new schedule in which York is no longer involved. One coach indicted that the schedule will probably remain the same with the York games simply removed.
Club teams often face hurdles and difficulties, due to lack of financial and resource support as other teams. However, York has a policy for all clubs on campus (sport and non-sport).
“…students are in charge of the club with guidance and resources through us and our partners at Student Community Leadership Development,” added Mumford. “For those clubs that compete in the OUA, Athletics & Recreation provides additional support.”