I don't think anyone has any better idea how or why things turned out the
way they did. Give atraight answers instead of the jargon only lawyers
I would look at the Board of Trustees as sort of the Supreme Court with the
final say on most things regarding the UHSAA. I think the structure is provide
some checks and balances but the Board of Trustees have final say. The
Executive Directors, usually actually the most knowledgeable and reasonable of
the bodies, actually have the least power. They may make recommendations but
often aren't even allowed to hear the evidence in the final hearings, let
alone make the final decision. The Executive Committee has the power to make
most decisions and often the Board of Trustees is only involved in cases on
appeal, such as this one, or perhaps broader issues like realignment. The Board
of Trustees is the the structure of the UHSAA that brings in private citizens,
and again many are elected school board members (NOT educators, current coaches
or principals thus slamming public education and teachers and principals on this
matter may not be appropriate at most levels). The overall structure of the
UHSAA relies greatly on schools to self-police and self-report violations and
often even relies on regions themselves to discipline schools first and will
affirm/overturn region decisions.
To answer your question, the UHSAA is the governing body of high school
athletics in Utah. It is set up by the state board of education for this
stewardship. They are not like the AP, UPI,but their state titles are
sanctioned and recognized as such by the schools, media and participants. Their
sanctioning of events protects the schools and participants in case of injury. I
guess schools could break away from the UHSAA but not sure that is practical.
The UHSAA has three levels. The first level is the Executive
Directors. I believe there are five of them. They are usually former coaches
and and administrators. They are to administer competitions, track paper work
and make recommendations to the Executive Committee which is made up of
principals across the state. Usually each region has a representative and there
may be at-large members. The Board of Trustees, who actually made the final
decision, is made up of citizens usually, perhaps former administrators, coaches
etc. but no longer in those positions. They are often school board members.
Ultimately they have the final say though the Directors/Executive Committee will
make most decisions. They usually make decisions on appeal.
Yes, USC, Ohio St., and Penn St. all got post season bans, but not during the
seasons in which the violations occurred. But those schools all would benefit
financially and with recruiting by playing a bowl game. High schools get nothing
for winning a football championship. Besides, the players at those universities
weren't really penalized. They were allowed to transfer to another D1
school and play right away. Silas Redd (Penn State to USC) took advantage of
this opportunity. So inform East High that they can't participate in the
playoffs next year and allow any student to transfer to any school of their
choice and play right away. Sounds fair. I bet one or two schools would get
loaded with a lot of talent.
Some comments regarding the definition of "fairness" and
"transparency" - from the on-line Merriam-Webster dictionary:Fair:1. marked by impartiality and honesty2. free from
self-interest, prejudice, or favoritism 3. conforming with the established
rulesTransparent:1. Transparent - the quality or state
of being transparentTransparency:1. free from pretense
or deceit2. easily detected or seen through3. readily understood4. characterized by visibility or accessibility of information especially
concerning business practicesIn my opinion, irrespective of what was
said by Mr. Van Wagoner, from what I have read in all of the articles, the
UHSAA, miserably failed on both points, relative to Mr. Van Wagoners
These are just a few questions I have...Who gives the UHSAA its
power? Was it created by the state legislature or the Utah State
office of education for the purpose of handling athletics in the state?Does it have power because the high schools all just go along with what they
say? Do they crown the champ because they have actual authority to do so, or is
this like the BCS(formerly the UPI) vs AP National champion.Could
some one start a new governing body and recruit schools into thier system?
Similar to the old NIT vs NCAA tournaments?Could the local high
schools go together and create their own playoff system?These are
just a few questions I have...Does anyone know the answers? Amy D?
Mr Van Wagoner refers to fairness and transparency and points out that they are
two different things. He is correct he addresses fairness as in the eye of the
beholder. How come he never addresses transparency and make public who was on
the committee that voted and how they voted. That is transparency.
I went to high school in Utah and now live in Minnesota, where every team is
included in section playoffs and the section winners then go to state. Utah
needs to drop their antiquated HS playoff system and go to something similar so
all teams at least get a shot in the playoffs. This would solve
part of the current problem with the football playoffs where some schools were
left out because East was included. But then again I've never known the
UHSAA to have a lot of common sense when it comes to these issues...
Eagle, that is a good thought. This is not "Church ball" Where we all
play by the spirit of the law. This is School ball where there should be a set
of policies that should be goverened and understood.
Years ago, I graduated from High School in Utah, and I actively follow Utah High
School Athletics.Since graduating from College, I have actively both
Coached (30+ years) and organized Church Sports activities at the Stake and Ward
level.The recent decision that the UHSAA reminds me of the many
Church "participant eligibility" decisions, that were made in direct
violation to published rules and guidelines.I have seen situations
where the eligibility rules were different from one Church unit to another.
Why, because "fairness" was not applied consistently.A quote
in the article states, "Fair is different from transparency. Fair is in the
eye of the beholder."This comment clearly shows that this
definition of "fairness" is a "word" that can be used to
validate any decision, behavior, interpretation of rules and guidelines, based
upon the "ebbs" and "flows" of the moment.It is
therefore reasonable to assume that, from this point forward, based upon this
corrupted definition of "fairness", that UHSAA will eventually morph to
a standard, where rules or guidelines will no longer "be" or "need
to be" consistently followed and/or applied in UHSAA sports?
I love how the Attorney Van Wagon...., poses the question of how this decision
affected the other teams involved. And the response from the Board of Trustees
was that they took all of that into consideration. With that being the Board of
Trustees answer to that question, it only goes to show that those running the
UHSAA have most likely never played sports or been involved or around sports.
There is so much more to this than just East High School. So many other schools
and kids are being affected by this decision. If you are going to let East
remain in the playoffs, then don't mess with it. I have to agree with a
poster above (David G. Wooley), vacate the wins after the season and nothing
gets tampered with and everyone is happy, and all the schools who thought they
were getting in still get in and everyone plays the way they thought they were
going to play. Same with the Timpview situation, if you are going to tinker
with it, then East should stay out.
Herriman will have a hard time scoring this weekeand against EAST! East will win
by three or four touchdowns.
Monk, Herriman could not have won any more games and gotten a different result.
They are the #1 seed out of their region. Winning more games would not have
changed that. That's why some are so upset - they did everything possible
on the field to get a favorable draw - If they were the #1 seed in any other
region, or the the #1 seed in any region any previous year, then they would have
a better draw. That is where the inequity lies from their standpoint. That said, I am excited for the game this week - it should be a classic!
USC and Ohio State get banned from post-season play for violating the rules,
even though most student-athletes were not involved, but in Utah things
don't work the same way, or so it seems. I wonder why?
Not trying to be heartless here. I mostly agree with the way things turned out.
But, if Cyprus and Herriman wanted better outcomes, they need to admit they
should have won more games. The cold lesson that sports often teaches is that
life isn't fair. The same outcome doesn't happen for players and
coaches who put in the same effort. The players at East and Timpview did
nothing wrong. The players at Cyprus and Herriman are also blameless. The
blame falls with the lack of vigilance that the administrators had. Who can
blame them for not giving football as much attention as education, by the way?
The only difference is that East and Timpview were more fortunate on the field
of play. It's a tough lesson. But it's also not as big of a
deal, in the grand scheme of things, as has been purported over the last week.
Football is just a game. Relax folks. No serious injustice has occurred.
Time for a massive lawsuit. Tie the whole mess up in litigation. The UHSAA
attorney has already admitted publicly to irregularities in the process. He also
mentioned transparency and many of us are still wondering who made the
decisions. If there is going to be real and meaningful change in this broken
organization now is the time to get tough and make sacrifices. I am not a
proponent of legal action but in this case the UHSAA has made it clear they will
not be accountable to anyone. The emergency meeting yesterday was a sham, an
illusion. A slap in the face to those with genuine concerns. We have been had,
patronized, we got a pat on the head and were dismissed like children folks and
everyone should be outraged over it.
This is a mess, but I find it a little hard to believe a team that won 1 region
game should be considered jobbed by not being included in the playoffs.
I have heard on numerous occasions that people making the decision wanted to
make sure the athletes from East weren't all punished. So, I guess that
isn't really true since it is clearly unfair to the athletes at Herriman
High. Those athletes have worked just as hard as anyone else to earn a no. 1
seed for the play-offs. Someone explain to me how this is fair. By the way, I
have no connection to either East or Herriman as my child attends another school
and does not play football, but I have followed this case closely. It is a total
shame and I feel bad for the Herriman football team and its community. They are
now the victims. East cheated, based on any of the enforced forfeits. I'm
so sorry (sincerely) for the young men at East, but the rules were broken and
the responsibility for this problem is with those people who broke the rule.
Certainly not at the Herriman football team.
Couldn't the UHSAA simply vacate the wins after the tournament, thereby
keeping East High School in their relative position of strength as the first
seed. The vacated wins are not the real issue here since East is going to
participate in the post season. The real punishment are fines, probation, and
the loss of an athletic director at East. So make the vacated wins retroactive
post tournament, seed the tournament with East in first place, and everyone gets
what they want.
That is a great question satch. A lot of people have bashed the UHSAA as an
organ of public education calling for its end. In reality, I think one will
find that the five people on this committee aren't educators or current
principals but members of the community, probably elected school board members,
maybe a superintendent (maybe). This isn't out of control public educators
that made this decision, the original Executive Committee decision was to
forfeit all of East's games which eliminated them from the tournament. I also wonder if the same five members voted on the Timpview question.
Perhaps it was another body of five individuals. I would hope so because it
speaks even worse for these individuals if they blatantly punished East and
They should make East play Timpview at Herriman for the play-in-game.
Has the UHSAA released the names of the 5 voting members who voted in this
matter. Is this public record? I would sure like to know who they are.
The UHSAA isn't concerned any more about the other schools that are left
out. It's a dead issue at this point. I would like to see the UHSAA
disbanded at the end of this season. I am hoping that a state legislator steps
in and offers to clean this mess up by having a "play where you live"
solution. The biggest problem in Utah right now is there are too many people in
charge that want the path of least resistance. They don't want a seeding
system, because that requires them to sit down another night of the week to
figure it all out.
Being solution oriented, I say do this.SEED the state tournament.
Get a committee from each region in 4A and simply seed the tournament. The
UHSAA has compromised the integrity of the tournament. They aren't likely
to go back on the East decision, but they CAN restructure the tournament. McKee
is right, take a week off if necessary to get it right. Also, if there is a way
to expand the tournament to 20 teams, DO IT! Perhaps this week play-in games
exist that include Cyprus, Salem Hills, and Springville, three teams jobbed by
the inconsistent decisions of the UHSAA.I hope that someone from the
UHSAA will stumble on this article and this particular post. i am offering a
COMMON SENSE plan to make something out of this MESS. Make a 20-team tournament
that brings Salem Hills, Springville and Cyprus back into the tournament and
SEED the state tournament to separate the strongest teams from each other.