Comments about ‘Updated: NCAA reverses sanctions against BYU runner’

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Published: Thursday, Nov. 14 2013 2:25 p.m. MST

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Oatmeal
Woods Cross, UT

Good.

NT
SomewhereIn, UT

Correct decision - to reverse the sanction.

Gotta love an organization with so much power, dontcha. (any @ UHSAA listening?)

HopefulHeber
Heber City, UT

It is great that this decision was reversed. As the articles have stated over and over again. He didnt gain any advantage by running in a small 5k race.
We got to hear Jared speak to our cross country team this summer at our high altitude camp. he is a great guy with high hopes for the end of this season. It will be exciting to see how BYU finishes in Region and the nation with the added addition of Jared on the team.

Wiscougarfan
River Falls, WI

Great news. I haven't followed CC closely this season. Is BYU ranked #5 without Ward? Does that mean this is the strongest BYU squad we've ever had?

Brave Sir Robin
San Diego, CA

Common sense prevails, which is not common when it comes to the NCAA.

GW
Lindon, UT

The NCAA denied two previous appeals and only reversed itself when public opinion and criticism demanded it.

The NCAA has serious credibility problems. They're like mall cops pretending they can bully patrons.... until they get called out for their bad behavior.

The Rock
Federal Way, WA

Somebody needs to sue the NCAA for unequal enforcement of their policies.
Johnny Football sells autographs for thousands and has to sit out for half a game.
A returned Mormon Missionary runs in a single "fun run" and has to sit out almost an entire season.

I hope some attorneys are reading this.

mn_online
In, UT

It bothers me that the NCAA only seems to make these reversal decisions after media attention and public pressure.

Solomon the Wise
Alpine, UT

Brave Sir Robin

"Common sense prevails, which is not common when it comes to the NCAA."

The NCAA seriously needs a "smell-test-o-meter" to run all of their decisions through before announcing them publicly, or at least assemble a panel of 1st graders to act as a focus group.

Brother Benjamin Franklin
Orem, UT

This is a shame. The NCAA apparently lacks the backbone to send a proper message to athletes who are not keeping the rules.

One day in the near future we are going to look back on these sorts of things with regret because we thought we were doing the right things.

Jealous U
Alpine, UT

Brother Benjamin Franklin

Thanks for your input; I'm absolutely positive that your opinion would have been just the opposite if this had been a Utah athlete.

It's nice to know that you always follow the rules, no matter how silly they may be.

toosmartforyou
Farmington, UT

Brother Ben would have us do away all together with any "Appeals Process" because everything is black and white with no shades of gray. The NCAA did have a backbone and made their arbitrary and capricious decision. It was only when that decision was viewed in the light of day that one could see how ridiculous it was and totally inappropriate. There is a system of government that operates in the same way, and of which we ought to be weary, and that is communism.

JohnInSLC
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The key to these cases has been the NCAA's blind interpretation of an otherwise straightforward rule that prohibits participation in organized activities that give an athlete not in school a "competitive advantage" over athletes in school.

In each case mentioned, public exposure and outcry over the fact that each activity (rag-tag football on a military base, rag-tag church ball and a fun run) in no way gave one a "competitive advantage" was the only way to force the NCAA mandarins to see reason.

It's some small comfort that sports reporters can occasionally keep the NCAA honest. But for each such occasion there is a counter. Public revulsion over Ohio State's bowl participation a few years ago and Johnny Football's autographs took a back seat to $$$.

JonA
Ogden, UT

The race wasn't as non-competitive as the article and Jared Ward make it sound. He barely won the race with a few other runners just seconds behind him. He also ran a fast time for such a hilly, difficult course. It was a competitive race, even if not all the participants took it seriously.

With that being said, he didn't know he was breaking the rules. NCAA ruled correctly by declaring him ineligible, but made the "reasonable" decision to re-instate him. Technically, he should not be able to compete, but we all know that he wasn't trying to break rules and get a competitive edge. So, in other words spirit of the law prevailed over letter of the law. Good luck to him and BYU at Regionals and Nationals.

JonA
Ogden, UT

Also, let's not rag on the NCAA too much here. Yeah they make lame decisions all the time, especially in regards to the "money-sports", but this rule that Ward violated is in place for a very good reason. If not for this rule several East Africans (Kenyans and Ethiopians) could compete competitively until they are 24-25 years old and then come to the US and be a freshman in NCAA track and cross country, obliterating young American runners.

The NCAA should not be ridiculed for properly ruling Ward ineligible. It was the correct decision technically. Once more of the story comes out it makes sense to let this one slide and in the end they did. So, let it go and quit ragging on NCAA for actually getting something right (for once) and then later getting it right again in light of further communication.

Also I believe leniancy is correct in this situation since Ward self-reported the violation. I always think self-reported infractions should be judged more lightly.

CougFaninTX
Frisco, TX

If the NCAA keeps making bone headed decisions, all sports will continue to move away from the NCAA as a governing body, like they have in football. The BCS, soon to be playoff committee, media, and a few conference presidents and school ADs already have more power and control over football than the NCAA. Hope they get some common sense.

Wayne Rout
El Paso, TX

I wonder why the liberal controlled NCAA would target LDS players while looking the other way when other athletes have much more serious infractions? These families will probably get their taxes audit too.

SLCWatch
Salt Lake City, UT

I have followed the cross country team all year and had high expectations for this team before this. It's going to be a major boost to the team and it moves BYU up in potential. Arizona is a tough team, they have two very good runners but at the PAC 12 championships their third, fourth and fifth runners were not as bunched with their leaders as BYU's team had at the WCC championships. Times can't be compared on the courses but BYU's leaders were well bunched close to the front with their leader. Regionals will be a great test to see if BYU can take the National title this year. I think they can. Go Cougars.

kaysvillecougar
KAYSVILLE, UT

I get what you're saying Jon A. but the NCAA was given 2 appeals to reconsider. This was a no brainer decision and I find it offensive to see them buckle to pressure instead of doing what was right in the first place - let him run. They've lost so much crediblitiy because of the slaps on the wrist for the major violations i.e. Ohio State football.

SlopJ30
St Louis, MO

kayesvillecougar is right. As a point of comparison, if a restaurant or retailer I do business with makes a mistake, I will happily give them a chance to correct it. If they respond poorly once, I'm appealing to management. If management fails to respond, I'm getting nasty, ending my relationship with them and telling others to do the same. There are no third chances.

This runner had no recourse but to go to them hat in hand a third time. Yes, the NCAA "got it right," but I don't give them much credit because it took three appeals. I always thought that it would only be fair if NCAA decision makers were to be suspended or fired if they make poor decisions. After all, that's what they're doing to athletes.

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