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Letter: Is fining public schools for athletics appropriate?

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 23 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

Mark Van Wagoner, UHSAA legal counsel, talks during a Utah High School Activities Association meeting in Midvale concerning decisions regarding East and Timpview high schools, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012.

Ravell Call, Deseret News

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I admit to following, with cynical fascination, the drama of East High's emotional roller coaster ride as chauffeured by UHSAA. I am still not sure if one or more members of the football team were ineligible.

TV accounts seemed to indicate the problem was "paper work" and not actual academic or residency issues, while the Deseret News article was emphatic that ineligibility was the issue.

I do have one serious issue that I wish to raise: If East and Timpview High Schools are public schools funded with public monies, where does UHSAA get off taking money appropriated and budgeted for the education of students as a fine? What programs will now be short changed $6,000 (East), and $1,500 (Timpview)?

Schools can live with penalties of membership in organizations, such as limitations of membership privileges, but to confiscate public funds budgeted for this school year as a punishment appears to me to be inappropriate and out of line. As an afterthought, what will UHSAA do with the extra $7,500 it now has?

David Shorten

Salt Lake City

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