Comments about ‘Mormon college basketball player ruled ineligible by NCAA for playing church ball’

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Published: Wednesday, Nov. 6 2013 4:20 p.m. MST

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Mike Johnson
Stafford, VA

There are several things I wish this article covered about this story:

1. What specifically is the rule that denies a player eligibility because they played in another organized format?

2. Did the player simply respond he had played in an organized format in the last two years, or did he explain what that format was?

3. Normally, players have 5 years to play 4 years. Not participating in the sport during a break is usually required to preserve eligibility. Did this play in the NCAA decision?

Cinci Man

What, you say? The NCAA board is a corrupt bunch of educators who cannot use their brains? I cannot imagine!

Salt Lake City, Utah

The nerve! Expecting people to follow the rules!

Provo, UT

One of the key words here is 'organized sport'...since when are pick-up games in church gyms 'organized'? He's not the first , won't be the last either

West Bountiful, UT

Kalinda, obviously you miss the point.

Salt Lake City, Utah

@ Mike: Stories on other sources state that NCAA rules prohibit student-athletes who do not enroll within a year of high school graduation from playing in a competitive league during that time - it has to do with maintaining amateur status. The stated penalty for violation is losing a year.

He would have been made aware of the rules when he first applied for eligibility while in high school.

West Valley City, Utah

The NCAA is out of control! Fascism is alive and well in the U.S.A.

mountain man
Salt Lake City, UT

Look I have first had experience of playing church ball. Let me tell you...not just me but most of us could have gone pro. I'm sure this elevated his game substantially. I don't mean to brag but the nba got nothin on us. We can dive, dunk, fake, post up, post out, do the hit and roll and nail it consistently from the foul line. Actually I'm surprised anyone let a lowly NCAA player anywhere near the church's court. Are you sure he wasn't just the water boy?

Tooele, UT

“Some of the rulings that come from the NCAA don’t make sense,"

Gee, hard to imagine.

"Johnny Manziel gets a half-game suspension for signing autographs. A guy plays three games in a church league, and he loses a year. Obviously there’s a difference between big-time athletes and small-time athletes with the NCAA.”

Again, hard to imagine.

Tooele, UT


Say what you want about following the rules, but the fact of the matter is, the NCAA is not an equal opportunity enforcer.

If the same thing had occurred with a star player for a school like North Carolina, UConn or Syracuse, I can't help but wonder if this situation would have been completely swept under the rug.

Glendora, CA

What about when Jimmer played all those games in the prison with all those inmates? I can't believe this absurdity.
Yes. Johnny Manziel's signing of autographs was another stumper for me. But then again, he's in the S.E.C.. This is an elite club, with lots of possible lost revenues to their coffers. Just follow the money. The powers that be within the NCAA consider Colgate a non-entity.

Salt Lake City, Utah

@ ThomasJefferson: "Competitive" and "professional" are not synonyms. Church ball is competitive, that is how it violates the rules.

@ ClarkHippo: The guy broke rules that he voluntarily agreed to follow. If it makes you feel better to blame the NCAA, go right ahead.

PS - The decision is being appealed and supposedly there is a good chance it will be overturned. The NCAA is following their procedures. Boo hoo.


@ ClarkHippo: Say what you want about the NCAA, but most of you wouldn't care about this kid not being able to play ball if he weren't LDS.

Tooele, UT

Re: ". . . NCAA rules prohibit student-athletes who do not enroll within a year of high school graduation from playing in a competitive league . . . ."

Church ball is a competitive league?

Tell that to the guys in my HP quorum that got roped into supplementing the Elders, and you'd get a good laugh.

Here, UT

Rules are rules, right guys?

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Church ball = a competitive, organized league?


Now THAT is funny . . .

Nottingham, MD

When I was in high school a fellow church member would not play for the church team. His high school league clearly stated no other participation in another league. Our stake had an organized league as I am fairly sure your stake has. It is hardly a pickup game when it is scheduled for a month or two.
Our area still has members who belong to public school leagues with the same rule who play on the church league. The penalty for them from the school league is forfeiture of all games in which they played. My friend was following the rules as our Articles of Faith indicate we should.
Would that Stake and Ward leaders would see the error of allowing Varsity BB players on our league teams.

Saint George, UT

Ridiculous! Often church basketball, though organized, is not much different than sandlot basketball and is played with even less skilled players.

clearfield, UT

Church ball, organized? Have you seen the movie?

Kalindra, don't come down on obeying rules when your President and his administration have shown they don't know the meaning of the word.

Tooele, UT


You said - "Say what you want about the NCAA, but most of you wouldn't care about this kid not being able to play ball if he weren't LDS."

And no doubt you, Kalindra and others are gleeful with the NCAA and their arbitrary enforcing of rules because Nathan Harries is LDS.

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