Mormon college basketball player ruled ineligible by NCAA for playing church ball

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  • ThinksIThink SEATTLE, WA
    Nov. 9, 2013 3:44 p.m.

    The NCAA has some very high standards. I understand some BYU fans object to the decision. But we shouldn't expect the NCAA to lower its standards simply because people are upset. Universities understand the rules. If they don't intend to live up to the standards, then don't participate.

  • Shelama SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Nov. 8, 2013 11:58 a.m.

    So THAT's why I didn't play for the University of Utah. I was ineligible! I always thought it was because I had no talent.

    Back in the days when I was a Mormon, playing church basketball in the ward cultural hall – with my bishop as coach – was a highlight.

  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    Nov. 7, 2013 5:58 p.m.

    This sounds like little more than more anti-religious bigotry by another secular, government-funded institution to me.

    Nov. 7, 2013 5:12 p.m.

    So Johnny Moenyzelle gets a quarter for making cash signing autographs and this kid gets a season for 3 church ball games? NCAA is completely incompetent, corrupt, and out of control.

  • cavetroll SANDY, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 2:10 p.m.

    First off, this kid wasn't playing in an LDS church league, it was a Baptist church league. This league could have been more organized than what posters are used to.

    Second, Maudine, you are probably correct, most posters on here, as well as the DNews and the Tribune more than likely wouldn't care about this if the kid wasn't Mormon. But this story plays very nicely into the persecution complex some Mormons enjoy and project to others.

    Third, @ ClarkHippo, I couldn't care less what the kid's religion is, I'm not gleeful that a Mormon lost a year of eligibility due to some inane enforcement of a rule. The NCAA is quite a capricious and arbitrary organization. When dealing with the NCAA and its rules enforcement committee, it is much better to be a big name program from the East Coast with big money attached. Those programs tend to get off a lot easier on the sanctions.

  • rlsintx Plano, TX
    Nov. 7, 2013 12:53 p.m.

    You have to get prior approval to be on teams other than a college team to retain your NCAA eligibility. Kid should have paid attention to this and checked, it's nothing new.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 12:46 p.m.


    True, because it seems to LDS that what goes for a little recreational activity once a week is being made into some huge issue. Truthfully, what it would probably tell a future athelete when asked the question on an NCAA form is to just not admit to any pick up game or church game he was involved in as it has opened up a can of worms beyond any seeming reason. And the NCAA has shown an ability to be quite arbritary in their rulings. As an SC fan I'd know.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 12:06 p.m.


    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.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 10:04 a.m.

    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.

  • duck Saint George, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 8:37 a.m.

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

  • Don37 Nottingham, MD
    Nov. 7, 2013 7:49 a.m.

    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.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Nov. 7, 2013 7:22 a.m.

    Church ball = a competitive, organized league?


    Now THAT is funny . . .

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 6:18 a.m.

    Rules are rules, right guys?

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 3:12 a.m.

    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.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Nov. 6, 2013 11:19 p.m.

    @ 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.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Nov. 6, 2013 11:15 p.m.

    @ 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.

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    Nov. 6, 2013 11:12 p.m.

    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.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Nov. 6, 2013 9:10 p.m.


    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.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Nov. 6, 2013 9:05 p.m.

    “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.

  • mountain man Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 6, 2013 8:42 p.m.

    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?

  • WestGranger West Valley City, Utah
    Nov. 6, 2013 8:02 p.m.

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

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Nov. 6, 2013 7:54 p.m.

    @ 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.

  • BYR West Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 6, 2013 7:40 p.m.

    Kalinda, obviously you miss the point.

  • kiaoraguy Provo, UT
    Nov. 6, 2013 7:39 p.m.

    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

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Nov. 6, 2013 7:08 p.m.

    The nerve! Expecting people to follow the rules!

  • Cinci Man FT MITCHELL, KY
    Nov. 6, 2013 4:46 p.m.

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

  • Mike Johnson Stafford, VA
    Nov. 6, 2013 4:46 p.m.

    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?