New donor policy ends the Scott Cate Era at Cottonwood

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  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    Jan. 14, 2013 9:58 p.m.

    In the bigger scheme of things, sports needs to reined in to its proper, balanced position with the other goals of public education. Have you heard the recent advertisements by the Utah High School Athletic Association (UHSAA)? It claims that high school athletes do better in academics. Don't musicians also do better? The Forensics Club? Chess players?

    Besides that, there is a this thing about honoring the "rule of law." Yeah, as long as it's the other person who has to obey. Schools routinely break the law in their accounting procedures. They and their auditors know it. Now we know it. But if you have money to donate...well, that's a different story. We can't offend the donors.

    (To be fair, our legislators made the rules so complex that it costs more to account for small funds than they are worth.)

    Was Mr. Cate given the same background check and submit to the same qualifying rigor as regular teachers? Was his character development program approved by the State Office of Education? Did he have more influence than regular classroom teachers, teaching his self-proclaimed football "religion" to youth?

    Money talks.

    And under-funded schools are vulnerable.

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    Dec. 30, 2012 11:11 a.m.

    "It's my religion. I built a church where kids could learn."

    "I took all of the influence out of high school sports."

    Little bit of an inflated sense of self in the great scheme of things, ya think?

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    July 4, 2012 2:52 p.m.

    No one "chased him away" fender. They simply told him he could not be a coach and a major donor. He just had to take his pick. If he decides to be neither then that is on him.

    I think it is pretty obvious what the conflict of interest is here, when a guy has the ability to donate large sums of money he gains a large amount of influence. That influence should not transfer over to the athletic department in the form of making decisions on players, positions, etc.

    Hopefully Cate will get over his bitterness and still support the school but it doesn't sound like that is going to be the case. In otherwords it sounds as if he wants the influence more than simply "helping out".

  • fender Washington, UT
    July 2, 2012 10:30 a.m.

    Don't know Cate personally, but no doubt he created a long list of political enemies in the district because of his influence. Envy and jealousy are powerful motivations. To my way of thinking this situtation is very different from Timpview, where booster money was unaccounted for. No allegation of impropriety with Cate; he was just disliked by the wrong people.

    Seems incredibly short-sighted to chase away people willing to step up and help our cash-strapped academic and athletic programs. By all means have rules in place that restrict the use of the funds and make people accountable, but this thing amounts to throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

  • plyxply SLC, UT
    July 2, 2012 9:41 a.m.

    Once again a school district makes a terrible decision in regards to what is best for the kids. Again, WHAT is best for the KIDS!
    Scott Cate has many people who don't like that he would recruit kids to play at CW but many of those kids are now playing college ball and getting an education they wouldn't otherwise have gotten. Cate and CW is no worse than Jordan is now, or Skyline used to be when they were winning and nobody seems to be up in arms about that. Or at least the UHSAA isn't doing anything about it.
    Shame on the Granite school board, they just made a major mistake getting rid of the one person who made CW relevant in football. They'll be back on the bottom in no time.

  • Guam_Bomb BARRIGADA, GU
    July 2, 2012 1:11 a.m.

    I wish he's move over one school to Hillcrest my alma mater. They aren't in Granite District. We've never had much of a football team, but have always have a very good facility. It would be interesting to see what would happen if he put the same time and energy into Hillcrests program. But I doubt he's want to after the way he's been treated and i'm sure that Canyons would do the same thing even if he was willing.

  • Wm2SLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 30, 2012 9:22 p.m.

    Braxton, sounds like you were party to a lot of information at Cottonwood. Were you in the administration, coach or player there?
    Would love to know your souces.

  • Uncle Rico Sandy, UT
    June 30, 2012 2:41 p.m.

    People are surprised by this? what always happens when someone pours money into a program like Cate?
    Control. Cate had too much control. Cate ended up being the AD. at Cottonwood. Whose been picking and firing the coaches ?
    Cate. Cate put a lot of time and resources into Cottonwood, but it created politics, yes men and nepotism.

  • eagle Provo, UT
    June 29, 2012 10:41 p.m.

    This is getting dumber by the minute...

  • Wendall Hoop Murray, UT
    June 29, 2012 10:40 p.m.

    re: SLCguy - if you are right, then the district is pathetic. What are they trying to prove? So can people not give tons of money to a program? This is stupid. I don't even like Cottonwood but it's stupid.

  • nothegame Saratoga Springs, UT
    June 29, 2012 9:01 p.m.

    This is a tough one. It sounds like Cate had the right intentions. But at the same time it is unfair to the rest of high school football to have all that money going to one school. I am sure they had kids wanting to play their with great facilites who wouldn't want to play there. But to have him remove all of the equipment is just dumb. Good luck crow.

  • SLCguy Murray, UT
    June 29, 2012 7:31 p.m.

    Wow.... SO much mis-information in these comments

    1) Parents moving their kids to a different school for better circumstances is as old as the hills. It's ALWAYS been done. Olympus has always lead the list of kids transferring; for their MUSIC department! not for any sports team. But no one complains about that, do they?

    2) The beautiful new turf field, 3 story pressbox, Meeting rooms, Baseball training building, improvements to the Baseball field, etc. etc. etc. that Cate bought are ALL staying. But for some reason the District TOLD him to remove everything he had bought that could be "picked up". This included, but was not limited to, all the furniture in the press box and meeting rooms, the HUGE computer system where all the film on players and teams were stored (used in making highlight tapes for recruitment), the uniforms, helmets, pads, balls, sideline markers, etc. and everything in the weightroom (which is being left temporarily until the District can arrange for its replacement)

    3) We should NEVER believe a school District NEEDS money if it has equipment pulled just because someone else paid for it, and then are buying all NEW equipment to replace it.

  • Aloha Saint George Saint George, Utah
    June 29, 2012 2:38 p.m.

    Ironically two of the big powerhouse schools for football are being brought down. Will Cottonwood be a school where D-1 talent will flock to in the next couple of years. Will D-1 coaches find their way to Cottonwood in a few years.

    Many complain why BYU, UTAH, and USU don't recruit enough local talent. If I was a college coach I would be looking elsewhere. In some group associations, they've got your back; in other groups, you've got to watch your back.

    In Texas, California, and other big football states- hundreds of thousands are spent to teach and train those kids. I mainly hope to see Cottonwood stay as a powerhouse. Good luck to Croshaw.

    This isn't just about football, it's about education and increasing credibility to the state

  • Old ball coach Sandy, UT
    June 29, 2012 12:01 p.m.

    Granite school district, and Cottonwood High are only covering their butts. With what was discovered at Timpview, and the decade long policy of, "catewood"..... The school and the district needed to act!

    If Cate is so generous with his money, then Cottonwood should get his donation to at least keep up the facilities at the school....if his heart is not in the right place, the he will cut ties and let them go to waste.....

    I just hope he true to his word, and he "was" in football for the kids. And will continue to support the programs at Cottonwood.....but I don't think he will!!!

  • LifeLibertyHappiness Draper, UT
    June 29, 2012 11:53 a.m.

    Another school district being absolutely ridiculous. We have to watch the Canyons District make ridiculous policies and give it's superintendent a big raise and a bonus when things are being cut. Now Granite turns away money and equipment and will then go out and spend money to replace the equipment. Bureaucrats are just that. Whoever yells in their ear the loudest or threatens lawsuits gets their way. This is a huge loss for Cottonwood. What a shame.

    One day maybe our administrators will stop caving in and stand up for what's right. Maybe instead of making hard, sweeping rules every time something happens (like banning lei's at graduation because someone did something inappropriate once) they can act with reason. Teach, train, adjust. It's unconscionable to continue to have government entities intrude like this and take away opportunities. Let's force everyone to be the same, give everyone participation trophies and continue to remove incentives to excel.

    June 29, 2012 10:52 a.m.

    Scott Cate changed high school football in this state. It is now pay to play pretty much everywhere. I'm sure the UHSAA is very happy with this ruling. The transfer of individuals (for athletics) was not a real big deal until Mr Cate came into the picture a dcade or so ago. It would be interesting to see out of the 22 starters on this years football team actually live in the Cottonwood District.

  • donutking Twain Harte, CA
    June 29, 2012 10:05 a.m.

    Isn't it still possible for Mr. Cate to contribute to the high school and "help the kids"? He just can't coach there.

  • Foxtrot Mountain View, CA
    June 29, 2012 9:54 a.m.

    This is idiotic.

    Let me get this straight.

    Schools have so much money they are turning down donations of CASH and time?

    Roger, got that. Makes perfect sense.

  • Bored to the point of THIS! Ogden, UT
    June 29, 2012 9:46 a.m.

    This is a funny situation. Most Utahn's endorse Mitt Romney for President, yet he's a rich guy trying to buy and pedal influence his way into the White House. We're okay with that, but when it happens in HS sports it's bad and evil? Go figure! We care more about HS sports than how our country is to be governed.

    I think any individual who if fortunate enough to make large donations to a HS program should be allowed. Whether they have too much "influence" is up to the other people involved. If those people are "weak" that's not the donor's fault... that is theirs.

    I'd love to have a person like Cate donating to the programs at my kids school. From what I've seen and heard his brought great success to Cottonwoods programs. This sounds like some jealous people being overwhelmed by a successful, charitable donor.

  • Wendall Hoop Murray, UT
    June 29, 2012 8:52 a.m.

    So why did he have to remove all of the stuff he paid for over the years? I can't seem to understand that. So the provision is retroactive? seems strange to me and there is definitely more going on here.

  • Me, Myself and I The Promised Land, UT
    June 29, 2012 8:23 a.m.

    I'm afraid no matter which side of the Cate's situation you sit on Dektol has brought up a valid oversight. This is a district policy and as explained in the article it doesn't limit itself to donations to athletics. Under this policy teachers, many of whom pay for needed school supplies out of their own pockets will have to stay under the $499/year or they will be forced to quit or be fired. Granite better amend this policy quick or they will lose good teachers too.

  • Booyatzee Syracuse, UT
    June 29, 2012 7:57 a.m.

    So what is Cate going to do with all that field turf?

  • Braxton ogden, ut
    June 29, 2012 7:50 a.m.

    The coaches, admin and AD have been Under Cates spell for many years now. No decisions regarding the football and baseball program could be made without being cleared by Cates. This is a great decision by the district and I hope more follow their example.

  • Dektol Powell, OH
    June 29, 2012 7:23 a.m.

    This means all teachers who bring supplies and donate extra time to a school program will need to account for all of it and the monetary value to stay under the limit.
    Unintended consequences - will lead to firing a number of teachers as many exceed this dollar amount ever year due to inadequate funding for their classrooms.
    Apply it to athletics but be fair about it and be ready and willing to fire excellent teachers who personally make up the financial shortfall taxpayers and administrators force on them.

  • yuvgot2bkidding Salt Lake, Utah
    June 29, 2012 6:58 a.m.

    Mr. Cate is a successful business person who could have, like many others with his wealth do, kept his money to himself. Instead, he chose to share it with the community and, unfortunately, he is being lumped in with the few who are 'bad apples' and Granite school district officials are cutting off their nose to spite their face.

  • RBN Salt Lake City, UT
    June 29, 2012 6:51 a.m.

    Granite Schhool District worries about things like this, yet continues to provide sub-par education to its students.

  • MOMS Salt Lake City, UT
    June 29, 2012 6:21 a.m.

    I look forward to the Legislature's response when the State Office of Education asks for more money. Granite must have a large reserve of cash.

  • Braxton ogden, ut
    June 28, 2012 11:45 p.m.

    This is Great news.

  • eagle Provo, UT
    June 28, 2012 11:33 p.m.

    This is a ridiculous policy. The head coach should be able to choose his own coaches as long as they are good with the kids, represent the community and school in a positive way and pass any background tests any other employee would have to go through.

  • Troy06 OREM, UT
    June 28, 2012 10:49 p.m.

    Unbelievable. How long will this non-sense last?  Let the kids play ball and let the coaches coach.