Utah Utes men's rugby suspended through 2013

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  • Sandyclaws Salt Lake City, UT
    May 8, 2013 1:00 p.m.


    "BYU vs. Utah is the most anticipated National Rugby Rivalry..."

    Laughable. That honor goes to BYU vs Cal. No other rivalry is even close.

  • truecoug1 Provo, UT
    May 8, 2013 10:37 a.m.

    @StG, VegasUte "I'm not 100% certain, but I believe that part of the probation when the club couldn't use the school's name was that the school would not be funding the club at all, either."

    If that's true, then that makes a lot more sense. Good on the University for that, then, since it looks like they were able to work out a deal with the rugby team that was a harsh enough punishment for the violations, yet still allowed the rugby team to play.

    It's too bad the rugby program didn't uphold their end of the bargain, but again, good for the U for suspending them for violating their agreement.

    I hope it all gets resolved and that the Ute rugby program gets back on track. Collegiate sports in Utah just aren't the same without a BYU/Utah match-up, which is why the next couple of years in football will be a bit of a bummer.

    I like trash-talking with Ute fans as much as the next BYU fan :), but putting all of that aside, I respect the U and their athletics program.

    Best of luck, Utes! Go Cougars!

  • sammyg Springville, UT
    May 8, 2013 6:05 a.m.

    Light punishment is becoming synonymous with Ute sports.

  • VegasUte Las Vegas, NV
    May 7, 2013 6:34 p.m.

    TrueCoug - StGtoSLC has is right from what I understand too. It gets a bit confusing, but the U handled it correctly.

    Gone Fishin - Where I agree with you on Chris B, you lost me on the "yet another" comment, as if the tds has no black eyes. Please!!

    Reasonable and Chris B - see CougFaninTx post.

    Go Utes!!

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    May 7, 2013 5:26 p.m.

    Sometimes I get embarrassed by what my fellow Coug fans write, but I'm glad to hear many of U are embarrassed by your #1 commenter.

    Can someone tell me what I'm missing. How does suspending the program for 2013 impact Utah Rugby, since the 2013 season is already over?

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    May 7, 2013 4:51 p.m.

    @ Reasonable thinker

    Alcohol consumption during a school related activity and even assault pale in comparison to a child molester. Especially when the horrible acts committed against children were kept hidden. Shame on you for even trying to draw a parallel between Utah Rugby and Penn State football.

  • Reasonable thinker Murray, UT
    May 7, 2013 2:18 p.m.

    TrueCoug 1,
    Let's remember that we are talking the Uof U here. They have different standards than BYU and will let a lot of things go as long as it means a win. The PAC 10 is kind of that way. I worked for PAC 10 school for many years and saw it all the time. Man heads were turned when infractions were committed. It all comes down to wins no matter how many lies are covere up. Reminds me of Penn State.

  • Gone fishin Murray, UT
    May 7, 2013 2:14 p.m.

    I hope everyone can see that Chris B. lives life by a different set of rules where assault IS OK.

    "Kids being kids" does not cut it in the real book of life. As grown ups we all have the responsibility to act as such and live by the rules we all agreed to when we sign up for things.

    This is yet another black eye for the U.

    May 7, 2013 10:31 a.m.

    truecoug1, I'm not 100% certain, but I believe that part of the probation when the club couldn't use the school's name was that the school would not be funding the club at all, either. The probation simply gave the team an avenue to continue practicing and competing on their own terms, but had to come up with different uniforms, travel vehicles and funds, etc.

  • truecoug1 Provo, UT
    May 7, 2013 9:46 a.m.


    It makes it look the like the university is sending the message that "It's okay if you violate school rules, but heaven forbid if you associate yourself with that school, even though that school still administers your program."

    I think the University's done the right thing in suspending the program, I just think it's a little weird that the program got suspended for violating an agreement they had with the university to not associate themselves with the U (when they were, in fact, still being administered BY the University) and that they weren't suspended for the actual violation of school rules.

    But hopefully the rugby program gets back on track next year so that we can see the Wasatch Cup renewed!

  • truecoug1 Provo, UT
    May 7, 2013 9:35 a.m.

    Ok, so, I'm a little confused here. The rugby team is a club sport that is administered by the University of Utah under their Campus Recreation services.

    The rugby team violated school rules (involving alcohol and assault) back in May 2012 on a school-sanctioned trip, yet they were allowed to play out the rest of that year as long as they registered under a different club name and did not associate themselves with the U in any way.

    But they're still administered by the University. So I'm not sure what the point of that was.

    Then, when the rugby team starts calling themselves the University of Utah rugby team this season and again starts associating themselves with the school that does still administer them, the school immediately suspends the program.

    So what I'm confused by is why not just suspend the rugby program in the first place, when the actual school violations occurred? Why go through all of this rigmarole of trying to distance the university from the rugby team when the rugby program is, in fact, still administered by the university?

  • runnerguy50 Virginia Beach, Va
    May 6, 2013 7:28 p.m.

    Utah rugby needed new leadership. The high school talent in Utah is unreal and there is no reason why the Utes shouldn't be on the same level as BYU and Cal. Only new leadership will get them to the top.

  • AZ Blue & Red Gilbert, AZ
    May 6, 2013 4:48 p.m.

    Want to see the U program back on track. Great program and great team. Sad to see many on this team suffer for the stupidity of a few.

    On the lighter side it just is no fun winning a National Championship without beating the UTES first.

    See you in 2014

  • Obama10 SYRACUSE, UT
    May 6, 2013 4:37 p.m.

    Over the weekend, BYU wins a Rugby National Championship over the powerhouse, PAC-12 CAl Bears, and Utah suspends their program for a year. Seems about right.

    May 6, 2013 4:32 p.m.

    I hope that the 7's will finally follow the 15 man game and stop playing its tournaments on Sunday. This same reason was why BYU didn't start playing in the Collegiate Rugby playoffs for years. It would be fun to have BYU and Utah play each other in 7's too.

  • VegasUte Las Vegas, NV
    May 6, 2013 3:50 p.m.

    Sky - You completely misread my post. Look at the context of the message I was responding to. The post I was responding to was trying to tie a club sport in with the same rules of an NCAA sanctioned sport. If you just look at the context, you will know also that your post is way out of context. But why am I wasting my breath - misinterpreting a post has never stopped a tds troller before.

    As far as your comment about discipline, again your post is way out of context. Whitt is bound by rules set by the University on discipline. I have no idea what you are referring to with Roscoe, but I'm sure it will be spun to fit your needs. I personally know of many instances where you are wrong, but you can believe what you want. The difference is that I don't troll tds stories trying to prove you are wrong, I really don't care what YOU believe about your team. It's just really telling to me that you are on a Utah story about RUGBY talking about one specific football incident the tds are still bitter over.

    Go Utes!!

  • skywalker Palo Alto, CA
    May 6, 2013 3:01 p.m.


    "Utah is not "so opposed" to the program being associated with the University. If you read anything about the story, you will know that the team had been suspended and were not supposed to have been playing for the U during the suspension. Wearing the Utah logo was a violation of the suspension. A little knowledge goes a long way!"

    You're trying to spin that the university was completely unaware that their own rugby team was still competing against other PAC 12 schools AFTER the rugby team was suspended?

    Apparently, knowledge doesn't go far at all on the hill.

    As far as discipline in the football programs goes; Bronco handles it by not even allowing a prized player to join the team for a year after a drinking incident in high school, while Kyle hands out a 3-game suspension to a starter for multiple failed drug tests.

  • DaisyUtah SLC, UT
    May 6, 2013 2:24 p.m.

    atl134: I thought I did clarify when I wrote: "THAT IS SERIOUS, male or female!" The FACTS are that there was alcohol and there was an ASSAULT of a trainer. (and a possibility that it was a female) It is also a fact that the University is taking appropriate steps in handling this situation by banning the team from representing them this year by not allowing them to have any representation of the school on their uniforms. I hope they get beyond this, learn from this and come back stronger and able to represent the U in a positive way!

  • UtahYouthRugby SLC, UT
    May 6, 2013 2:14 p.m.

    Happy to see that the Utes can finally move forward. @Whoa Nellie, clearly you know nothing about rugby. BYU vs. Utah is the most anticipated National Rugby Rivalry, let's get it going again next year! Go Utes!

    May 6, 2013 2:12 p.m.

    Rockwell, still having trouble differentiating Campus Rec from University Athletics, I see. Campus Rec sticks to the rules put in place for them, University Athletics has a different set of procedures in addition to the NCAA procedures they have to follow. Once again, this has nothing to do with the swim team. A better example would be if the school's club hockey team broke Campus Rec's rules, they would have the same punishment.

  • SLCWatch Salt Lake City, UT
    May 6, 2013 2:09 p.m.

    The problem is that the team is a club sport and not part of the athletic department. Once suspended you are no longer part of the University and so are not allowed to wear or represent your self as a part of the University. Doing so is tatamount to thumbing your nose at the administration and the suspension.
    Chris B.
    Let's educate you a little before you get some one hurt or get yourself in serious trouble.
    Laughing off or ignoring a suspension, such as a suspended drivers license, suspended professional certification etc. can get you permanently banned for driving or working in that profession. That the Rugby team got off with a wrist slap for flauntingly ignoring the suspension is a blessing to the team and being flippant doesn't help.
    @Whoa Nellie- Utah has a good Rugby team traditionally and won one national title.

  • motorbike Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 6, 2013 2:05 p.m.


    The rugby team is a club sport, COMPLETELY different than swimming or anything else involving scholarships.

    So yes, part of their suspension was to not wear anything bearing the Utah name or the drum & feather. This is of course not the case when the team is not under self-imposed suspension.

  • VegasUte Las Vegas, NV
    May 6, 2013 1:31 p.m.

    Rockwell: Rugby is a club sport. "Collegiate club sports are any sports offered at a university or college that compete competitively with other universities or colleges but are not regulated by the National Collegiate Athletic Association or a similar intercollegiate athletic association." They have different rules than NCAA sanctioned sports and thus the discipline is different. The team could have continued, just not under the Utah banner. This is COMPLETELY different than swimming, which is a NCAA sanctioned sport and is regulated by the NCAA. Utah won the national Rugby 7s title a couple of years ago, but it does not count as an NCAA team championship because it is a club sport.

    See the difference?

  • VegasUte Las Vegas, NV
    May 6, 2013 1:17 p.m.

    Glad to see the suspension limited to 2013. As an objective fan of the U, unlike Chris B, I am glad that this kind of undisciplined action is being corrected. This is NOT how we want the university represented.

    SportsFan: With the football team, this kind of action would not have been allowed by the coaches. Any kind of disciplinary action would have been taken swiftly, and the football team would not have tried to remedy the action trying to skirt the rules. Seems to me that would be the same answer if you asked about how the tds football team would have treated it. Disciplinary actions concerning alcohol and drugs are required in Provo too, so don't get too highhanded.

    Rockwell: Utah is not "so opposed" to the program being associated with the University. If you read anything about the story, you will know that the team had been suspended and were not supposed to have been playing for the U during the suspension. Wearing the Utah logo was a violation of the suspension. A little knowledge goes a long way!

    Go Utes!! Looking forward to watching more U rugby in the near future.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    May 6, 2013 1:11 p.m.

    Kids? No kidding. They clearly have a lot of growing up to do.

  • Uteanymous Salt Lake City, Utah
    May 6, 2013 1:05 p.m.

    Rugby Magazine confirmed that Blake Burdette is no longer the head coach of the University of Utah. Burdette, a tight end on the 2004 Utah football team that finished the season undefeated, went on to become an Eagle hooker and play in the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

    Several University of Utah players also signed their name to a press release distributed Monday, outlining the two years of infractions that saw the team’s 2013 season end abruptly before the annual Wasatch Cup match with rival BYU.

  • Rockwell Baltimore, MD
    May 6, 2013 1:00 p.m.

    Reno Cougs Fan 68

    Sorry, but your explanation is lacking. Does Utah force every team that runs afoul of university policies to remove Utah logos from their uniforms? For example, will Utah's swimming team not be allowed to wear Utah logos next season?

  • Reno Cougs Fan 68 Reno, NV
    May 6, 2013 12:54 p.m.

    In answer to your question. The BYU Rugby team did not get themselves suspended or put on probation by their school, so they are in good standing!!! See the difference?

  • Whoa Nellie American Fork, UT
    May 6, 2013 12:50 p.m.

    The real question here is how in the world was the Utah team ever invited to the championship series ahead of Central Washington in the first place?

  • Rockwell Baltimore, MD
    May 6, 2013 12:46 p.m.

    "The result of the misdemeanor was a school-issued suspension, the terms of which the team then violated by "[competing] with many of its Pac-12 rivals during 2012/13 and [wearing] jerseys during the competitions bearing the University's drum and feather logo," the team's statement said."

    It's interesting that in reviewing pictures from BYU's Varsity Cup National Championship win over Cal at BYU's South Field, it's obvious that BYU has no such reservations about BYU Rugby uniforms bearing the Y logo.

    Why is Utah so opposed to their program being associated with the U?

  • SportsFan Orem, UT
    May 6, 2013 12:38 p.m.


    "Nothing serious happened. It was just a matter of some kids being kids. Nothing to see here."

    The University of Utah sport club manual lists "use of alcoholic beverages or any illegal drugs during club activities or sanctioned travel" as one of six infractions that result in expulsion.

    Seems that either you or the U are dead wrong about the seriousness of "kids" drinking alcohol during sanctioned travel.

    It would be interesting to see how the U would handle a similar incident of drinking and assaulting trainers if it was done by the Ute football team.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 6, 2013 12:25 p.m.

    "a lot of the trainers are female so this means a Rugby player assaulted a female"

    I agree with the overall point in the rest of your post but let's just stick to what is known for a fact.

  • DaisyUtah SLC, UT
    May 6, 2013 11:43 a.m.

    Chris B: REALLY? Nothing serious happened. It was just a matter of some kids being kids. Nothing to see here.

    Assaulting a trainer is SOMETHING SERIOUS! From what I have seen over the years a lot of the trainers are female so this means a Rugby player assaulted a female. THAT IS SERIOUS, male or female! I am glad that the University is taking this serious and the appropriate discipline is being administered! GOOD JOB UTES!

    May 6, 2013 10:36 a.m.

    "And I bet we won't hear a word from Chris Hill about this, rabble rabble rabble!!"

    In all seriousness, this is very good news for the club, and hopefully it will give them enough time to procure a good coach and build a good foundation of a team to start back up with. As far as the club emerging stronger than it was before, it's way too early to say, but it will be much better disciplined, which can't hurt.

  • PAC man Anaheim, CA
    May 6, 2013 10:35 a.m.

    Hopefully, we'll see the Utes back in the college rugby scene next year.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    May 6, 2013 10:33 a.m.

    Nothing serious happened. It was just a matter of some kids being kids. Nothing to see here.

    Move along.

    Go UTES!