Comments about ‘Utah high school football coaches protest UHSAA decision to let East in playoffs’

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Published: Sunday, Oct. 21 2012 10:00 p.m. MDT

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Man O War
Salt Lake CIty, UT

Any of you that state to play the best you have to beat the best don't really get it.

Yes what you say is absolutely true, but not in context. I am sure Both Herriman and Logan would be willing to play East/Timpview, but it's about playing into the playoffs. Making it to the "turf".

Say in an alternate world Herriman plays East at Rice Eccles and loses (probably the outcome) at least they can say we won a few playoff games and made it to RES. They will talk about playing on the turf for years to come. Conversely they now play East (the #4 seed, righhhht) and lose in the first round (probably the outcome) what memories do they take from their season? WHY should Herriman players have to have their potential memories taken because a board felt bad for East? THAT'S the Point. Not that Herriman doesn't want to play East. Its time and place. Especially in Herriman's case its a brand new school (3 years) its building a program, its about accomplishments, not just winning state but making to the turf. They have been robbed of that.

No Conference Will Take Us

Again I say, eligible players at East are being rewarded wins by participation of ineligible players. Is that the honest thing to do? No that is wrong.

I think the UHSAA did not take into consideration how this would unite fans, coaches and players of other schools.

The new UHSAA mission statement: It's ok to cheat, we will only slap your hand.

Holladay, UT

JSB - if we drop football, where are schools going to get the money to support academic programs? Football and basketball provide lots of it, not easy to replace.

Salt Lake City, UT

I agree with JSB. The BOT probably had East supporters on it, or were influenced by East people with clout. Sad, but true. I would like to know who was on the Board as well, but don't suppose UHSAA will be releasing that anytime soon. Meanwhile, sorry East, but Herriman just got my support. I really don't care if 120 players were innocent, you might win the battle, but you have already lost the war.

AZ Blue & Red
Gilbert, AZ

Will someone please post what the right answer here is?

One team was being punished for an adults mistakes. Tell me that the kids on the team had any clue? They did exactly what they were asked to do. Coach even pulled out more than he needed to once he found out just to be sure. You can not punish kids for an adults "error". I do not think it was intentional. (Nor were they good players)

On the other hand you have rules. Again letter of the law vs what is right. Should they be enforced 100%? Good question but for those that break small laws and not get caught (say going over 5 MPH etc) think again. I am not throwing the first stone.

Playoffs? I agree that it seems a bit unfair for the teams that play East. But what should they do? Maybe top seed with no home games?

So if someone has the right answer please let me know because this looks like the rest of our county and an upcoming election. Everyone seems to have their own opinion yet we seem to be split almost 50 50 on what is right.

kearns, UT

Stop crying about it and just play the game.

Salt Lake City, Utah

East and Timpview should forfeit every game where an ineligible player participated. Really simple then let the chips fall where they may. There is no excuse for coaches, athletic directors and principals not knowing the rules. Every player who did not play at East and Timpview last year and is not an incoming freshmen or sophomore who did not play UHSAA sanctioned sports last year should have had paperwork done on them before they ever played. This is not rocket science, and it is disingenuous to suggest otherwise.

The East coaches and administrators should explain to their students and patrons how their mistake has cost their school playoff opportunities this season. Other schools and their students are being impacted unfairly by this decision to protect a school who broke the rules.

Provo, UT

When I played football my school told us if we were facing becoming in eligible. And they worked with us to get things straighten out. If we were ineligible, we were told, even pulled out of class and told. That's between the parents, students and the school. And if a team played a player, you forfeited. No reprieve, no one overturned it.

The punishment fit the first time. Now it's a poor lesson to the youth of the state involved in athletics.

Heber, Utah

Who are these supposed East big wigs everyone is talking about that influenced the decision? Did Zac Efron and Disney return to lend a hand? I want to know!

Seriously, the rulings are hardly fair for all and now many have even more doubts and dislikes than ever for the UHSAA. There needs to be something in place that penalizes those responsible instead of the innocent parties like the players who did nothing other than go to school and play on the team. It's like I said before, if a team has a player that cheats on a test at school or gets caught shoplifting or something to that effect, only that player gets kicked off, not the whole team. Why then should the whole team have their season ruined because some AD or coach had their head in the stars? I only bring this up to have further thought about maybe having some kind of rule that punishes the guilty, not the innocent. Or are all players on a team guilty by association if an ineligible player plays, whether they know he's ineligible or not? I

Holladay, UT

We reap what we sow. Open enrollment used for sports has yielded these, and maybe other problems. It is likely that this mess is a result of the long term effects of the abuse of open enrollment. "Play where you live" should be the norm again. I believe this is a symptom of the larger issue.

Sandy, UT

The UHSSA had a tough job to do. But they also need to look after all the kids at East that did nothing wrong. I like that they tried to balance all the interest and not simply care for a single interest.

However we live in a culture that is moving away from accepting decisions made by those that have the job to decide. Does this end with nobody accepting anything from anyone? Now a bunch of folks without all the facts, and with no interest in balance, simply want the job to decide so they can push their interest.

Sadly, the people we have teaching our young kids are out front teaching excatly the wrong thing. You can accept the decision like a reasonable adult or drop on the ground and start kicking your feet.

Please, can we get one good example for kids getting ready to live in society?

Humble, TX

I've coached in both Utah and Texas. The UHSAA is a joke. This is a prime example. This would never fly in other states that have clear rules and have a governing body with the spine to enforce them.

Central, UT

Here is an idea, we can have East play Timpview in the Inelig(bowl), the game could be played in Nephi so their fans can get a taste of what playoff football is all about.

Woods Cross, UT

High School athletics is a mess. Sad.

#1 Champ
Salt Lake City, UT

Lets remember these punishments came because there were two (non-impactful) ineligible players on the field. Let the kids play. Yeah, is it too bad Herriman has to play East in the first round, yes. Is it too bad that Logan has to play Timpview in the first round, yes. But you should have been prepared to play them at some point anyhow.

Herriman and Logan's anger is masked by their fear of losing to a better team. Don't be shocked that UHSAA wanted all kids to experience a well deserved playoff spot. Bottom line, the kids should be that last group to be punished in a paperwork error.

All you have to do is win on the field.

Herriman, UT

Let's put it another way for you Jazz fans out there. If the Jazz worked their tail off during the season and secured the 1 seed in the conference, you would expect to see an 8 seed in the opening round and a 4-5 seed in the second. Imagine David Stern decided to forfeit a bunch of OKC or Lakers games, suddenly pushing them down from a top seed to the team you play in the opening round...the outcry would be enormous.

Sure, you can argue that to win the title you will have to beat the best, but don't you agree that making the conference finals (even if you lose there) equates to a much better season than an opening round exit? That is essentially what happened here, so simmer down on those who think this decision is unfair not just to justice, but to the student athletes of those schools who did no wrong.

Salt Lake City, UT

Rules are rules and the first ruling should have held instead of being 'politically corrected'. Any student coming in out of their school district and especially involved in any kind of competition should be thoroughly vested before being allowed to take part. This should be clear to school authorities as well as to the students. When something like this happens they should be prepared to accept the consequences. Should East High go on to win the title, who is going to believe that they are entitled to it?


I'm sorry, but I just don't buy the "what about the innocent kids" argument.

Innocent kids are punished for the bad choices and decisions of leaders and coaches all of the time. Go ask Penn State's football team right now if the actions of former coaches are affecting them right now. They had nothing to do with what happened year ago, but they are feeling the pain of what happened. Go ask Ohio State and USC. Sometimes the actions of people affect innocent lives of kids that go to school there. If Ohio State goes undefeated this year, should the NCAA go back and overturn their own rules because "in order to be the best you have to beat the best"? That is not how it works friends. But wait, the kids at Ohio State didn't do anything wrong....

In this case, while I know what happened is nowhere near what Penn State was, innocent kids are affected by the actions of adults. The only fair way to enforce the rules is to punish the school that broke them. East High should forfeit all games in which they played ineligible players. Period.

Uncle Sam
West Jordan, UT

#1 Champ I could not disagree more with your post.

You are only reading about certain coaches that are upset that are in the playoffs. What you are not reading or hearing about are the hundreds of coaches in ALL sports that are disgusted by what has happened.

I have spoken with basketball, soccer, baseball, and volleyball coaches and all of them are upset. So your "they are scared" argument is invalid. This is a much bigger issue than just football. This is about the integrity of the UHSAA's ability to enforce their own rules. By not slapping forfeits on all East wins where they played ineligible players, this sets a nasty precedent for future problems in all sports!

red rocks
Saint George, UT

The sad thing is that this has become bigger than the playoffs it self. The UHSAA took a bad problem and has managed to make it worse. Now no one at UHSAA wants to even look at it let alone touch it.

The big winner is the media. They could not have dreamed up such a scenario to garner this much attention.

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