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Comments about ‘East responds to rumors surrounding eligibility issues’

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Published: Sunday, Oct. 14 2012 9:27 a.m. MDT

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eagle
Provo, UT

The bottom line is that most of the football powers across the Wasatch Front have players on their team that live in multiple boundaries. Most have filled out the paperwork required by the UHSAA and are "legal" under those rules, whether they are ethical is a perhaps a matter of another debate. There is no way that a 4A/5A school can compete without players from other boundaries, some have more than others. That is why the rural 3A schools are concerned as well because they actually do play with their own boundary players 100%.

The UHSAA has to either go one way or the other but sits currently in the middle. You either "play where you live" end of story or you go "laissez-faire" and let everyone do what they want. Right now the UHSAA is a confusing network of rules (maybe not as confusing with its rules vs. their actual enforcement). If schools had to compete with and only with players that live in their own boundaries that could help, or just let's just go laissez-faire and quit pretending that there is teeth to these rules and every school knows where it stands.

Old ball coach
Sandy, UT

Just end the dang debate....adopt play where you live....if player wants to play for Bingham or Jordan, have them have them sit out their sophomore season.....if a student wants to go for academic reasons.....they are not eligible to play athletics!

Not a difficult rule....

fanof6
utah, UT

Very well said "eagle". It seems that rule infractions always follow certain coaches or teams. This is not by chance this happens. The only way to avoid this cloud is to affiliate yourself with a "Private School", and play in a classification that consists of rural schools that are unable to recruit or have the money to secure the same facilities.

We rely on the UHSAA to make all High School sports in UTAH competitive. You have done, at least, a par job up until the last 5 years. Lets get a solid set of rules, along with the proposed new classifications this year, and stick with them. Take input from all schools at all levels. People from all over the State Of Utah enjoy supporting their local teams, small or large. Hear them all.....

BigBenzo88
Herriman, UT

@eagle - I agree. I have been a vocal proponent of UHSAA switching to "play where you live" rule. I think it would make more schools competitive instead of a small group of "super schools" but I think Utah would become more competitive on the national level.

In regards to East, I think that they need to determine why the athletes were ineligible, who knew, who didn't know and why they did or did not know. Then they need to determine how much they played. If a starter is one of the athletes in question...then that may cause so issues. However, if we are talking about back-up players or players that did not play a lot...then it should be a simple solution that does not involve loss of wins.

This article speaks of one athlete that played in only 2 games, so I think East should keep the Region 6 title and the #1 seed in the playoffs...unless something larger comes out.

@eagle - I do have a question for you. Why do you think out of boundary athletes are a must to compete on the 6A/5A/4A level?

scrappy do
DRAPER, UT

If we are going to stick with open enrollment junk then the football regions need to be set up with a rural component and an urban component because the far flung rural districts cannot recruit but I really believe the open enrollment deal should go away

CTJ fan
Salt Lake City, UT

Most of these issues are common sense. How can you punish a team and there players for some mistakes that happened on paperwork. If these kids didn't know and it was truly a mistake, and were not talking recruiting infractions here then why do anything? It sounds like it's not even any players that really count that much, and too forfeit games for someone that sits on the bench that's not common sense! And your kidding me that some principles gave a list too UHSAA, did that principle actually do research on these kids or just want to start an investigation? Maybe he should spend his time on more important things.
Fanof6 - Are you kidding me get away from the cloud going Private? Private is the biggest joke in the state. They get to openly recruit playing with different rules then everyone else. Were the only state that doesn't make them play there own classifications. Then this board stops a kid from going back to Lone Peak where his parents live and he lives. Is it common sense to allow some schools to recruit and others not too? Unfortunately UHSAA uses no common sense!

braydan32
LOGAN, UT

@bigbenzo I agree with you, however it won't matter how much they played, it's the fact that am illegible player, played.. Period. Im not saying that I agree with that logic, but that is how they will look at it

Rational
Salt Lake City, UT

Backups or star is irrelevant and silly. If you have rules, you should also have integrity. Isn't that also what we are trying to teach children? If you players are ineligible, pay the consequence.

just sayin'
Woods Cross, UT

Truth, honesty and honor do not come in shades. It's totally black and white. GO WX!! GO CATS!!

BigBenzo88
Herriman, UT

@brayden32 & @Rational - What you are saying is true. I just think that the 4A playoffs will be diminished a bit if East does not play. I believe that teams like Logan, Mountain Crest, Timpview and Herriman would welcome the chance to play East in the playoffs.

The problem is that I don't know what is causing the players to be ineligible. The principal and coach are quoted as saying it is not academic, recruiting or competitive advantage...so what is it???

I understand the point about if an ineligible player plays....regardless of how much or if they are a starter...there should be a forfeit...but it seems petty to me. If a game is already decided and then an ineligible player comes in....I don't think its fair to forfeit the win. If East is winning 56-0 and an ineligible player comes in with 1:00 remaining in the 4th quarter...I would have a problem with a forfeit. I understand integrity and all that...but sometimes intent and mercy need to be considered as well.

Rational
Salt Lake City, UT

Cheating is cheating, BigBenzo, and I'm TIRED of it. PED's in pro sports, recruiting in high school football, but what bothers me more than the cheating? Our society's TOLERANCE of it. That shows me that dishonesty and a lack of integrity is rampant, and their is no avoiding the long-term consequence of that.

Just Saying 2
Morgan, UT

Ask anyone, even people that have no idea about high school football and they will tell you that if you play in ineligible player, then you are going to have to forfeit the game. It is that simple, forfeit the games. I don't care who it is, you forfeit the game. The UHSAA needs to do the right move and step up and cover for the region that made the wrong choice in not making East forfeit the games. Give the region title to Bountiful and East still makes the playoffs. Don't make a clear cut statement of slapping teams and coaches on the wrist for playing ineligible players. Every other team that has played ineligible players has had to forfeit games. Why not East? The standard has been set! Follow what you have shown to do in the past! East needs to have those games forfeited, the UHSAA needs to do the right thing!!!

Uncle Sam
West Jordan, UT

This whole "argument" is ridiculous. East should forfeit all games where an ineligible player was allowed to play. The precedent is already set. It is the UHSAA's job to step in and keep the rules enforced, consistent with the way everyone else has been punished for doing the same thing.

60-0 or 24-21, they broke the rules. East should forfeit. The end.

just-a-fan
Bountiful, UT

Just play where you live. It's a logical and appropriate way to do things.

footballisgood
Holladay, UT

I agree with Play Where You Love as a policy, without question!! There are some things that would have to be cleared up first, though. For example, if a student begins attending their boundary school, and then some time during high school, they move to a different boundary school, I think they should get the choice whether they want to stay with their original school or not. Also, would they grandfather in a junior/senior who is attending an out of boundary school already, for example, or immediately force him to return to his boundary school? There are a few other little things that would have to be worked out, but overall I think that this would eliminate a TON of the drama that we are seeing all of the time.

tuku68
Salt Lake, UT

personally i believe that the punishment should be based off of whether the player had a key roll in the victory. if the punishment is the same for a key player as it is for someone who played only 1 minute is completely illogical and unfair.. it is the same thing as punishing one who stole a candy the same as one who stole a car. i agree that their should be a punishment but there should be a severity level for the accused injustice.

BigBenzo88
Herriman, UT

I agree with tuku68!!! The point I am trying to make is that there is "the letter of the law" and "the spirit of the law". The letter of the law calls for forfeiture, while the spirit of the law calls for mercy. Are we looking to "catch" East doing something wrong or are we trying to "correct" East for mistakes so that they don't happen again.

True...forfeiting wins would ensure that East never makes the mistake again...but I believe there are other ways to ensure that as well. Start by firing the principal, AD and possibly the head coach and promise you it won't ever happen again!!!!

You cannot punish an entire team because an unknowingly ineligible player was in some games for 3 plays. If you think so...then maybe you should ask yourself what are you really trying to do. If you want to be fair...then forfeit the quarters that these players played in. Remove the points that East scored in any quarter that an ineligible player played in. If that changes the score and outcome of the game...then so be it!!!!

yankees27
Heber, Utah

Remember back to last spring when the Snow Canyon team was in this same scenario? They vacated wins, ended up barely getting into the playoffs, went on the road to Juan Diego and smoked them. They were a true 1 seed but ended up 4. Why? because some kid they used as a speed up runner or pinch hitter hadn't done his papers right either.

I agree with play where you live. There is "open enrollment" and then there is blatant recruiting that happens, and everyone knows it. Some of the Wasatch back teams will end up going 4A next year (Wasatch, Park City, Uintah,??) these teams play with kids in their own towns, it's going to be very difficult for them to go to Utah County, or Salt Lake valley and compete against the bigger schools who have kids from all over the valleys. It would even the playing field if everyone had to use the players within their boundaries. And private schools should have to play enrollment +1, because they have extra incentives that they can offer that publics can't.

braydan32
LOGAN, UT

Again, I agree that it'd be a shame to not have east, however I wouldn't be surprised at all, because they won't care how much he played, only when he played, and if the history of ineligibility for various reasons holds true they will forfeit.

Prep Fan 89
Draper, UT

I agree with Rational's comment, and this board just proves it. Everyone on here knows that what East did is wrong, yet here many of you are defending it as "well it wasn't a key player". Well who cares? The rule states "INELIGIBLE" player, so you treat every single scenario the same. If the kid is INELIGIBLE, and he plays anyway, then you forfeit the games.

Look, coaches around Utah are required to attend UHSAA trainings every year for their sport. Coaches know the rules, and if they act like they don't they are lying. It seems like every time someone gets caught it is the same old "we didn't know better" line to excuse it.

East will forfeit the games the INELIGIBLE player played in, because that is what the precedence is for past cases just like it. The UHSAA hearing tomorrow will carry out that punishment, and all of you will get to log back on and whine about it.

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