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East responds to rumors surrounding eligibility issues

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  • ezrider salt lake, UT
    Oct. 18, 2012 12:44 p.m.

    Before everyone makes a judgment one way or another on this, I think it's really important that we understand the reasons for these players 'ineligibility'. If they were ineligible merely because paperwork was not filed, then should East really be stripped of their games, even though each of these players were in fact eligible except for the paperwork? On the other hand, if they were ineligible for actual reasons of ineligibility, like academics, transfers, or other issues, then the ruling should stand. But 1st, let's understand why these boys were deemed 'ineligible'.

  • yankees27 Heber, Utah
    Oct. 16, 2012 10:20 p.m.

    Eagle- well said. That is what I used as an example with my son and how he ended up throwing the javelin and doing quite well. He learned to not let circumstances control him, instead that he controls the circumstances. That is something he learned in wrestling, a sport in which he finished 2nd at state in last year. It's funny sometimes how athletic kids who aren't given much chance in team sports excel in individual sports like wrestling and track.
    I could never imagine moving my family so that ONE of my kids could compete at the high school level. Now, if that child had serious Gold Medal potential in a sport, then maybe, but not for high school.

  • CheetahMahi Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 16, 2012 2:54 p.m.

    @BigBenzo88-Ok, I understand. You can tell I have a bias in favor of East so I do think firing is too harsh.

  • eagle Provo, UT
    Oct. 16, 2012 2:40 p.m.

    Sports Dude:

    Option 1: Try another sport. We had two players cut from the basketball team come out for wrestling and take state for our program. Life goes on. Wrestling and swimming take everyone. So does Track which would be the alternate spring sport for baseball. When given lemons, make lemonade. In a large 4A/5A school too many aspiring athletes can't make team sports because of a variety of reasons, many of which are unfair say like politics. But in an individual sport say like wrestling, track, swimming, his opportunities are truly his to go where his talents and work ethic will take him. I've coached wrestling, baseball, football and golf, two individual and two team sports, one individual sport (golf) could only take so many players while one team sport (football) kept everyone. Cutting players is always hard, many want to play but can't. But there are other options...

    Option 2: If means that much, well move...people do it all the time in other states. Play where you live works well in most states.

  • Golden Helmet Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 16, 2012 11:51 a.m.

    It is my understanding that the region principals met this morning at 8 to discuss this and are still in the meeting, here it is 11:51...

  • BigBenzo88 Herriman, UT
    Oct. 16, 2012 6:24 a.m.

    @CheetahMahi - Keep in mind that I do not follow East football and don't have all the facts on this. My opinion that the Principal, AD and possibly head coach should be fired is because I do not believe that the boys should be punished...and forfeiture would punish the boys.

    Someone mentioned that the coaches, AD and principals get trained on these things every year and should know better. Principals make over $90,000 a year because they are supposed to make sure that this never happens. Again, I don't all the details, so I don't know what has actually happened. However, I feel that East is the best team in Utah, the best team in 4A and the team that everyone wants to beat. In the end, if East has to forfeit games and miss the playoffs...it would be a failure of epic proportions. What could you possibly say to those 100 young men?!?!?!

    I believe that if the UHSAA starts punishing the coaches, Athletic Directors and Principals...you will never see a problem again. I don't personally know the East principal or AD...but they may have let down an entire team!!!!

  • BigBenzo88 Herriman, UT
    Oct. 16, 2012 5:31 a.m.

    @HS Sport Dude - I am a proponent of "Play Where You Live" In your situation I am assuming that out of 20 kids, the son is somewhere between #17 and #20 and therefore didn't make the team and moreover...once he has been cut, he will probably never make the team.

    In that situation there are a few things you can do: Visit with the coaches and find out what the son is lacking in and what he needs to improve on if he hopes to make the team the following year. The other option would be to buy a home in another district and move your family.

    I would elect to stay at the school because I could never see moving my family because of the athletics of my child...but if I had a preference it would be to physically move rather than live in one school boundary and attend another school. I still haven't wrapped my head around why people do that. I live in Herriman. I would hate for my kids to live in Herriman but attend Riverton, or Bingham or Alta or some other school...but that's just me!!!

  • yankees27 Heber, Utah
    Oct. 16, 2012 12:36 a.m.

    HS sports dude- This actually happened to me twice in baseball. Two years ago my son was cut as a Junior because there were kids ahead of him (although don't we all think our kids are the best?) and I told him to go talk to the Track coach. He won the region javelin title that year having never done it before and had a blast. He too loved baseball, but sometimes the writings on the wall. I have a Junior this year who was limited in playing time and he actually made the decision to put more focus on football instead and it's helped him a ton and he's playing that sport very well. My point is, in our rural area, we don't have the choice to go to the next school over in the next neighborhood. Driving a kid to Utah county or Salt Lake every day just isn't feasible for us "play where you live folks". Maybe if your kid isn't good enough to make the team, it's time to give him a life lesson that high school sports are nothing in the game of life.

  • CheetahMahi Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 15, 2012 11:29 p.m.

    Re-evaluate the policies but open enrollment is in place for reasons bigger than football. Even if kids do move solely to play, great coaching, great programming, and great player development isn't always where you live- and many of these kids play for reasons greater than to entertain you people. Look up a few NFL greats from this state, and you’ll see what I mean.

    No doubt in my mind East is one of the best, if not the best, in 4A and because of their success, they can afford some forfeits and still make it to playoffs. @Rational? What backs your statement in this situation? East has been researched and is taking deserved heat for their mistake (honest or not), so it isn't being tolerated. And @BigBenzo88- WHY fire East's principal and head coach for ADMINISTRATIVE mistakes? They're both doing an exceptional job and this is relatively small compared to the successes they've had on and OFF the field.

  • HS Sport Dude South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 15, 2012 11:02 p.m.

    So all you "Play where you live" folks please let me know how to handle the following situation......Your son loves to play baseball....he is very good....he works at it 10-16 hours a week during the off season. He tries out for a high school that is loaded with talent in his age group.....let's say there are 10 freshman that are great baseball players....and another 10 that are good baseball players and would make any other high school team in the state. The coach keeps 16 of these kids (all freshman) and your son is not one of them. He comes home and says "I want to play High School Baseball"...."I love to play"....."how can I play". You may say....well....let's work very hard and give it another shot next year....but keep this in mind....there are 16 kids his age on the team and 10 of them would most likely start as Sophomores at any other school. The school also has a proven track record of not taking a young man they have cut.

    He's going to a differnet school.

    What would you do?

  • G Felt Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 15, 2012 10:45 p.m.

    By the way, the board of managers consists of the six principals of Region 6.

  • G Felt Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 15, 2012 10:37 p.m.

    I believe Tuesday's hearing is among the Region 6 board of managers. That committee, and not the UHSAA, levied the initial penalties against East. Each region has the primary responsibility of determining the fate of a miscreant fellow region member. That decision is sent to the UHSAA, and its executive committee can affirm or alter the region's decision. The Region's decision may only affect region games and the UHSAA can then apply that decision to non-region contests, too.

    Remember, while the UHSAA has an independent staff, the executive committee and board of trustees are made up of school and school district administrators. The staff has to follow the rules created by the board.

    The executive committee will discuss Region 8's decision on Timpview in November, and I suppose, they'll also have to review Region 6's, too, perhaps in an expedited fashion since it affects the playoffs.

  • eagle Provo, UT
    Oct. 15, 2012 10:31 p.m.

    Provo had to forfeit two baseball games in 2009 I believe because two players had their attendance changed which changed two third term grades for eligibility fourth term. The coaches didn't know about what the players were doing nor did the players until the thing hit the media. The two barely played but they did play. Provo forfeited those games. They didn't look at how much they played in the game (one was a speed up runner and the other pinch hit), they played and the games were forfeited.

    Timpview recently had to forfeit their region championship because they used an illegal player. I don't how good the players is and I can't imagine that he impacted every game so Timpview could win. But he did play and Timpview had to forfeit those games.

    I think it best that the UHSAA applies the rules like it has in these cases and other similar cases. Whether they want to go "laissez-faire" as I suggested as a possible solution for one aspect of eligibility, that is up to them. So far they haven't...

  • Uncle Sam West Jordan, UT
    Oct. 15, 2012 10:16 p.m.

    Big Benzo - what we would be teaching East High is that cheating in any form is unacceptable.

  • BigBenzo88 Herriman, UT
    Oct. 15, 2012 7:41 p.m.

    @Prep Fan 89 - I get your point and understand that I have no allegiance to East. My boys play for Herriman so the fact that East my not be in the playoffs actually benefits Herriman.

    My point is this and I may not know as much about the situation as you do: I recognize that one player is not more important than another. However, if we are forfeiting a game because an ineligible player played 1 play in the last 1:00 of a game that East was already leading by 48 points...then what are we saying. Are we trying to punish East or are we trying to help East learn from a problem they need to fix. Now, maybe there is more to this than I know...but if I was UHSAA...I wouldn't feel good about forfeiture.

    There is the letter of the law and then the spirit of the law.

  • Prep Fan 89 Draper, UT
    Oct. 15, 2012 4:45 p.m.

    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.

  • braydan32 LOGAN, UT
    Oct. 15, 2012 11:21 a.m.

    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.

  • yankees27 Heber, Utah
    Oct. 15, 2012 10:47 a.m.

    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.

  • BigBenzo88 Herriman, UT
    Oct. 15, 2012 9:16 a.m.

    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!!!!

  • tuku68 Salt Lake, UT
    Oct. 15, 2012 8:50 a.m.

    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.

  • footballisgood Holladay, UT
    Oct. 15, 2012 8:17 a.m.

    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.

  • just-a-fan Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 15, 2012 5:10 a.m.

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

  • Uncle Sam West Jordan, UT
    Oct. 14, 2012 11:35 p.m.

    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 Saying 2 Morgan, UT
    Oct. 14, 2012 10:54 p.m.

    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!!!

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 14, 2012 10:40 p.m.

    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.

  • BigBenzo88 Herriman, UT
    Oct. 14, 2012 9:43 p.m.

    @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.

  • just sayin' Woods Cross, UT
    Oct. 14, 2012 9:40 p.m.

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

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 14, 2012 9:32 p.m.

    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.

  • braydan32 LOGAN, UT
    Oct. 14, 2012 7:09 p.m.

    @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

  • CTJ fan Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 14, 2012 6:26 p.m.

    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!

  • scrappy do DRAPER, UT
    Oct. 14, 2012 3:32 p.m.

    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

  • BigBenzo88 Herriman, UT
    Oct. 14, 2012 1:16 p.m.

    @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?

  • fanof6 utah, UT
    Oct. 14, 2012 1:03 p.m.

    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.....

  • Old ball coach Sandy, UT
    Oct. 14, 2012 12:13 p.m.

    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....

  • eagle Provo, UT
    Oct. 14, 2012 11:11 a.m.

    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.