Letter: Unintended consequence in UHSAA's East decision

Published: Sunday, Nov. 4 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

East High School football team players say a prayer of thanks after hearing that the UHSAA ruled that East High can compete in the playoffs at East High School in Salt Lake City on Friday, Oct. 19, 2012.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

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As I read the news that East High School football would be allowed to compete in the playoffs, I was both pleased and troubled. I support the decision allowing East High to compete in the playoffs for a state title.

I am, however, troubled with UHSAA's decision to give East the lowest seed from their region creating an unintended consequence, which affected the outcome of the playoffs. It forced an opponent to play East in a play-in game, which then pitted two top teams, two region champions, against each other in the first round of the playoffs.

This seems all too similar to what UHSAA did in the 3A baseball state tournament in 2012 by placing Snow Canyon as a low seed in their region, forcing two top teams to play in the first round of the playoffs. A very strong argument could be made that this affected the tournament outcome. Unfortunately we will never know.

UHSAA needs to have balance and care when levying these sanctions against schools, ensuring that there are not unintended consequences against innocent teams whose players have also worked hard for their chance to compete for a state title.

Mike Bettilyon

Salt Lake City

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