Comments about ‘Amy Donaldson: 6 changes the UHSAA should adopt to deal with current realities’

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Published: Sunday, Nov. 25 2012 5:10 p.m. MST

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Washington, UT

Or...you could eliminate this issue altogether and let kids attend and play wherever they want. Not all good players can play for one team (participation is still the goal and kids will go where they can play, not where they can sit on the bench and win a state championship). If a school has a lousy program and lousy coaches and lose year after year, why should a good player be expected to play for that school? How many great QBs can play for one football team, probably two at the most, most likely one. All the really good QBs are not going to transfer to a school where all the other really good QBs are going too.

And as for arts and music? we're not talking about the NBA or the NFL here, no student should be prevented from attending any school for the purpose of arts and music participation. And if this issue (recruiting) was such a horrible matter, why did the state declare any student can attend an school of her/her choice? Think free market here instead of a communist dictatorship. Freedom benefits everybody.

Provo, UT

You either have to go laissez-faire or have strict rules on play where you live. Violating schools are put on probation for their first offense and their program is eliminated for a year on the second offense and on the third offense the program is eliminated indefinitely. No questions asked.

Also, one must have an independent auditing team. I guess all the funds raised by these endowment games can go to this cause. But to have principals or fellow district employees check up on each other is like asking the fox to guard the hen house. Many principals want to win at all costs, like many coaches and boosters. Hire a few independent people that would check the records of every athlete in any school. In American Legion baseball, you better have your ducks in a row, paperwork in order, addresses verified. They don't mess around with cheaters. But you have to have real enforcement arm rather than hoping a coach, administrator or athletic director will rat out their own school...

Salt Lake City, UT

No matter the policy, the reality is UHSAA does NOT have the capacity to ENFORCE its current transfer rules, period. As such, a simpler more manageable policy and self regulating transfer rules MUST be implemented by UHSAA. First and foremost, the protection of students from high risk practices that expose athletes to serious injuries (both physical and emotional injuries), including institutionalized bullying, or outdated rules that have NOT kept up with current needs of students in the 21st Century. Second. A simpler transfer rule that allows for self reporting without penalty within the first month, and complaints filed by others within a "statue of limitation" of two months; after which everyone who is on a team list is eligible to play ball throughout the season, without penalty (I am flexible as to the time frames). Furthermore, all violation occurrences (regardless of the number of players involved within the first 2 months) equals to one game being disqualified. Subsequent players who joint the team after the initial two months must meet the transfer requirements (family move or hardship considerations). Any single violation by subsequent player(s) will make such player(s) ineligible and disqualify one team game in which they participated.

Proud to be American
West Jordan, UT

I like your ideas Amy! Hopefully the UHSAA will read the article and start doing things right. And I do agree, undue influence is one of the biggest factors that needs to be enforced.

Harwich, MA

This entire article only applies to public schools. The State is populated with a significant number of "private" schools that can do anything they want. Juan Diego and Judge can bring in players from all over the country. Any private school can. An really this is OK. Sincerely. The problem is the arrogance and bad sportsmanship shown by schools that lose players that want to transfer to better programs. Can you blame the kids. Of course not. Were I a talented quarterback would I rather stay in a school that is hopeless or transfer to an established, supported, funded program. Amy, you're making rules to cover rules to cover rules. Let the kids play. It's very simple. It doesn't matter where, how far they have to drive and has nothing to do with being "fair". I went to Olympus back in the 60's. I wanted to go to Skyline. I lived 100 ft. from the border. I wasn't allowed to go. I'm 60 years old now and still fume about it. Let it go Amy, the entire process needs to do away with the rules and let kids play.

Mr.M Jaack
Bountiful, UT

Good suggestions Amy. Some other thoughts ... If the purpose is to make sure more kids participate, then you should only be allowed to play where you live. For kids that flock to successful programs and "transfer" in ... they are taking away the roster spot or playing time of another kid. So what happens .. that kid needs to transfer to another school in order to play since he is not as good as the kid that just took his spot. The great teams have depth at every position. Yes QB 1 is great, but the dropoff to the #2 QB isnt a big deal when your a magnet program ... most schools dont have that luxery. UHSAA needs to enforce violations and ban the programs for a year or two that violate it. Harsh penalties will keep parents, boosters and others honest. So what lose a game or a region title ... doesnt matter. They just get their hands slap and go to the playoffs anyway. This last years fiasco shows it is easier to just cheat, get your hand slapped and go deep into the playoffs.

Bountiful, UT

Play where you live. You don't like where you live, move.

Sandy, UT

I like your ideas... I have one exception, I know of a young man that played Babe Ruth Baseball as a youth. Outstanding pitcher, He went to his local high school to play baseball, however when tryouts came, he was told he could not try out because he did not play in an "Accelerated" program that the coach liked (or was paid to endorse, if you listen to rumors).

So what does a kid that wants to play, but can not, because of the bias of the high school coach? He was denied transfer because he had establised his residency.... So the kid did the only thing he could, he sat and waited... he later walked on a college campus and now is in the Major League as a Pitcher.... which is funny, because he could not even play for high school team because of the coach.

Layton, Utah

Confused, well obviously this kid was so good he didn't need to play in high school. The reality is that so few high school kids are good enough to play sports in college and then so few college athletes are good enough to make the pros, but many a parent thinks their kid is good enough to play in college or the pros while they are still in high school. Another reality, if a player is good enough to play at the next level, he/she will usually be found no matter where they are currently playing.

red rocks
Saint George, UT


There is a big problem with solution #6. Most Booster clubs at the High School level are run by the parents. Are you telling me that parents need to make a decision on whether to help support the team financially or attend games, but you are not allowed to do both. If that we're the case there would not be any booster clubs and no teams to support. Because Utah High Schools have to have the booster clubs to even survive. The Washington County School District does not allocate enough funds for any of the football programs to participate let alone compete. I was a booster club president for a few years while my sons played. If we would not have raised the funds we would not have had the money to buy equipment for the boys without expecting the parents to come up with the hundreds of dollars that it takes per boy per season. Many families could not do it. Maybe you should reconsider solution #6.

JD Books
Sulphurdale, UT

Look at what Wasatch Academy does every year. Their coach goes on a world tour to get his players. They have a punchers chance of hoisting the gold trophy in 2A this year.

Salt Lake City, UT

Well said. Especially about the lawmakers and the open enrollmet fiasco. That also happens in music, debate, etc. For example, kids are(imported)in for playing the Tuba or debate. What that means is that local (in boundary) kids lose program opportunities to te outsiders. Ugly stuff. Thanks hill people!

Sandy, UT

You missed my point, the kid (and no he is not mine) was good enough for college and the Pros, but because of the High School Coach not even allowing him to play because he played in Babe Ruth Baseball instead of a super league, is simply wrong.

The kid had no recourse to go play somewhere else because of the rules

Just High School Sports

You can go play where you want but you need to make that decision in 9th or 10th grade. The problem is that once you decide to go to High School A and things don't work out as you would like you can't just go to High School B where you will get more playing time.

That is the problem with high school sports. Look at the articles about East High this season and how about 4 or 5 players wanted to come back to their boundary school after they had chose to go to Cottonwood to play sports and the coach left that recruited them there so they want to come back to East. You shouldn't be able to change your mind when things don't work out as planned. Learn some life lessons that you need to work through hard things and make the best of the sitation. It is just high school sports!!

Sandy, UT

what if you go to your local high school (the one that you live within boundaries) thinking that you would have a chance to play a sport and told no because you did not play in a youth league I approve of?

Now mind you, the kid had no fore knowledge of this coaches attitude.

Uncle Sam
West Jordan, UT

Confused: What are you talking about? A little league program that "I approve of"? Coaches do not care what little league program the kid plays in - seriously? I'd love to hear what you are talking about more in detail, because I am not buying it based on what you have written so far.

So many posters act like a coach has some "axe to grind" with their kid. Bottom line people, if your son is good enough he will be on the team. If he isn't, he won't.

Play where you live. Get rid of these ridiculous hearings and constant issues. Everyone has a "story" as to why they should be able to move around. Just change the rule to play where you live. Period. End of story.

Sandy, UT

What about PRIVATE school kids transferring to public schools? you can't possibly bench them a year for making that choice.

las vegas, NV

Uncle Sam,

Obviously you and others here are still living in the past. You Keep advocating "play where you live" and if you dont like it Tough.
GONE are the days of people putting up with bad working conditions or feeling bind to any particular Job which they become unhappy with. Some say that kids have to deal with it because thats the real world. REALLY! In the real world, people understand the concept of Free Market. In the real world, if you work for a company that treat you unfairly or if you feel that you're opportunities are limited, YOU SIMPLY change Jor or even Profession. THats the real world. That's TRUE FREEDOM.
Why Should your kid, who may be a pretty good Quarter back, sit behind another student for all 3 years because the coach said the Starter is slightly better When you know as a parent he has a good chance of starting at the school down the road from you. WhY are we trying to limit the opportunities for our kids. What if a student just simply wants to play football during his High school experience.. LETS THE KIDS PLAY FOLKS. Its only SPORTS right?

Rural sport fan

u1992: I realize people keep trying to think education should be run like a business, but the reality is, it isn't.

The reason your kid who is slightly worse should sit behind the other kid is simple...if you let the kid move, then someone else's kid ends up sitting, and wants to move, and then three more do it, and before long, you have coaching staffs that are 15 deep, touring the state recruiting players, hundreds of kids start transferring, millions more are spent on football alone, people get upset and sue everyone involved, and we end up with the NFL.

What you SHOULD have realized is this: the kid that would have to sit behind the better kid ought to try another position, where he could play, help contribute to his team, and learn about being part of something.

One of the reasons I like rural sports so much is that those coaches take kids, teach them skills, and find ways for them to contribute, regardless of their ability when they show up. THAT is what the participation in HS sports should be about, learning and improving and being part of a group.

Saint George, UT

One thing that we are forgetting, is that life isnt fair. When my son was in high school, he was a 3 sport varsity player as a Junior. His Senior year of football, one of the players dads decided to become a coach, and my son lost his starting spot. Simple as that. No matter how hard my son worked, it was impossible for him to start. In life, you really cant just go find a new job the next day if you dont get treated how you want to. You have to make a resume, look around, get interviewed, and get rejected multiple times. Thats life. They shouldnt allow people to just jump around as they please!

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