Doug Robinson: NCAA wrong again in case of BYU cross-country runner stripped of eligibility for costume race

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  • FromWA Olympia, WA
    Nov. 12, 2013 4:10 p.m.


    You are right, there is choice and accountability. The issue here is the punishment and the intent. The intent was obviously innocent, and the punishment was therefore remarkably harsh. I agree that a single event suspension seems fair and even handed. There should be an acknowledgement that a rule was broken, even if in ignorance, but don't go all heavy handed on him. This is like getting your license suspended for 2 years for turning right on a red light in a no turn on red zone because you missed the sign (assuming no accident or harm). A simple ticket would suffice.

    Those claiming anti-Mormon bigotry, get off your sensitivity wagon. This likely would have happened in any situation where someone took more than a year off. Admittedly, that may be most common for a LDS mission, but I doubt the NCAA thought "Get the RM kid!"

    It is not part of any socialist scheme.

  • LoveTheKittens Central, UT
    Nov. 12, 2013 1:26 p.m.

    Follow the rules or suffer the consequences, pretty simple concept...choice and accountability.

  • Scores Idaho Falls, ID
    Nov. 10, 2013 5:54 p.m.

    Something is pathetically wrong at the NCAA. They show their stupidity in this case against just plain good old common sense. The NCAA needs to wake up!

  • I Am A Runner South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 3:21 p.m.

    If Jared Ward had been an athlete of any other sport, the NCAA would have been most likely reversed by now. But the fact is that the NCAA doesn't care about cross country because Cross Country doesn't generate nearly as much money, and gets a ton less attention. NCAA, if you read this, stop showing bias to the sports that give you more money, and start treating all of the sports equally.

    To everyone Else who reads this comment, spread the word. Share it on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Myspace(if there are any crazy people who still use it), and any other social networking sites that I have Failed to mention. It is only fair to Jared since Nathan Harries, and Steven Rhodes got their eligibility back.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Nov. 10, 2013 3:14 p.m.

    I am sharing this with 30,000 of my closest friends on FaceBook.
    A good dose of public ridicule is what the NCAA needs.

  • ClarkeinAK Anchorage, AK
    Nov. 10, 2013 2:18 p.m.

    Another idiotic decision by the NCAA...they specialize in them!!! They are only concerned about making money for themselves...they have NO common sense at all.

  • KSUBYU Las Vegas, NV
    Nov. 10, 2013 1:31 p.m.

    The NCAA is akin to the ACLU. A law unto themselves with no accountability. They could care less about this kid or his well being.

  • ETC0228 North Salt Lake, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 11:45 a.m.

    I think the purpose of the rules is to level the playing field. However,the NCAA shows its lack of good judgement and most of all it's fairness when it can't distinguish between a runner participating a small,organized event and a Heisman trophy winner accepting money for his autograph. I could see the NCAA punishing the runner for participating in an organized event by not allowing him to compete in one event since he participated in only one event that broke NCAA rules because you can't keep a runner out of half of a race like you can for a football player. The real problem is the lack of consistency by how the NCAA treats the revenue producing sports and the sports that don't produce revenue.

  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 8:01 a.m.

    This sort of foolishness is nothing new. Does anyone remember how Jim Thorpe was stripped of his Olympic gold medals in the decathelon and pentathelon in 1912 because several years earlier he had played semi-pro baseball, earning $2 per game? Years later, in 1982, his medals were restored to him. Let's hope this case doesn't take as long to resolve.
    Petty-minded stuff like this is why the NCAA gets little or no respect.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 7:09 a.m.

    Some institutions simply need to be replaced.

  • Mark from Montana Davis County, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 7:08 a.m.

    I stopped caring about sports and this is part of the reason. There are few places where sports are about the sport. It is all about the money.

  • Louisiana Cougar Pineville, LA
    Nov. 10, 2013 6:04 a.m.

    So . . . Doug, what do we do to flood the NCAA with protest comments?

  • BU52 Provo, ut
    Nov. 9, 2013 4:21 p.m.

    The NCAA and the IRS have a lot of similarities.

  • eagle Provo, UT
    Nov. 9, 2013 12:59 p.m.

    The NCAA is stupid. This kid can't compete but it had no problem with Cam Newton.

  • Hemlock Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 9, 2013 12:37 p.m.

    The NCAA looks the other way on high profile players and conferences and then comes down hard on a cross-country runner in a fun race. Now they can proudly say, Look, we strictly enforce the rules. It is farcical.

  • MN Doug Rochester, MN
    Nov. 9, 2013 12:12 p.m.

    Seriously Bro. Ben Franklin? You're defending the NCAA? Do you work for them or something? So a kid fills out paperwork as honestly as he can, and instead of using good judgement the NCAA kills him on a technicality. But in the cases of former Alabama, Tennessee, Auburn football players admitting to getting paid,the Miami mess, and Manziel literally getting financial gain, they do NOTHING or do less than a slap the wrist. You see nothing wrong here?

  • Brother Benjamin Franklin Orem, UT
    Nov. 9, 2013 11:10 a.m.

    What part of this policy does Jared Ward not understand? It is the NCAA doing what it should be doing: enforcing rules. If he doesn't like it, then he should keep his denial to himself.

  • haunyocker Springville, UT
    Nov. 9, 2013 11:06 a.m.

    Typical anti-Mormon bigotry. Same thing you saw in Romney's political loss.

  • Rocket Science Brigham City, UT
    Nov. 9, 2013 10:28 a.m.

    The NCAA shows it's true colors when it says naughty-naughty to Johnnie Manziel and programs like Oregon and then turns around and suspends someone in situations like this one. Johnnie Manziel is a now disgrace to the game but can be a leading contender for the Hiesman Tropghy again. Money talks, the NCAA is corrupt.

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    Nov. 9, 2013 10:21 a.m.

    It's all about money. The NCAA is semi-professional with football and basketball, especially. One needs to look no further than the example of Cam Newton of Auburn. He was not penalized, neither was Auburn, yet USC's Reggie Bush was for a much less serious infraction. Why? Because in the deep south, the S.E.C. is a multi-multi billion dollar industry and wields an unusually heavy hand in making decisions, not only for BCS bowls bids for their league, but in preventing so-called "death penalties" from infractions. This prevents mega dollar losses for the entire conference. Then, they will pick on the weakest, must vulnerable athletes and schools, (such as Colgate), at sundry times, in order to look as if they are doing their jobs. It's all political. Just follow the money.

  • Red San Antonia, TX
    Nov. 9, 2013 7:30 a.m.

    Give him his eligibility!

    This is a complete joke.

    The players in the System are getting hosed while the NCAA makes billions and coaches are able to jump from school to school for the biggest offer without any penalty at all.

    This needs to be overturned.

  • WestGranger West Valley City, Utah
    Nov. 8, 2013 11:25 p.m.

    The rights of the people of this country, so guarded years ago, are more and more often met with an appalling apathy by a large portion of our society. "Our government is messed us so I am just going to ignore it" is a common attitude. This is opening the door to abuses of power by bureaucratic organizations like the NCAA. The door is wide open for progressive style socialism and fascism and as we react only to what the media cares to report.

  • LetsBeRational Spanish Fork, UT
    Nov. 8, 2013 9:17 p.m.

    You gotta be kidding. I'm embarrassed for the NCAA. They must have had a big time program come back on them, so they took out their frustration on a little guy. What a joke.

  • CJ L. La Canada, CA
    Nov. 8, 2013 7:08 p.m.

    Penalizing Jared and the other two athletes cited is/was such a waste of the NCAA's valuable time. The NCAA never did me wrong while I competed under that organization, but this just makes me sad. I whole-heartedly add my voice in support of both this article and Jared Ward, and call the NCAA to overturn their decision to remove his eligibility, as dictated by the precedent set in the two other similar cases, as well as dictated by Ward's actions not being in violation of said rule. He did not participate in a "league," but a single coach's race. He also gained no advantage from competing in what should be seen as a "fun run." With no awards or even recognition accepted in that race, he should have been well within his right to run that event. Let Ward run. Go get em' at nationals Cougars.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Nov. 8, 2013 7:08 p.m.

    Sorry. Stupid spell check. Manziel, not Mansfield, on the previous post.

  • Dozer Provo, UT
    Nov. 8, 2013 6:02 p.m.

    This is incredible!! Maybe if he timed one of his mile runs during a work out that should also be grounds for ineligibility, right? That would be the same logic. It was timed, he planned the work out... What's missing? Did he have to run with a friend for it to count as a race? I can't believe people would misuse their authority this way.

  • Aggie238 Logan, UT
    Nov. 8, 2013 4:43 p.m.

    I agree that the NCAA is a mess. It's the primary reason I chose not to participate in collegiate cross country/track, even though I probably could have received a scholarship. Instead, I chose to pursue my own interest in marathons and trail ultramarathons, which has resulted in a lot of success and enjoyment for me, without anyone telling me what I can or can't do.

    That said, everyone in the distance running community knows that you don't count your local fun run as an organized, competitive event when you're documenting your amateur status. This kid was asking for trouble by putting that on his NCAA eligibility paperwork. I think the rule is as long as you don't take more than $100 in prize money, you're golden. If you happen to win a race and they offer you more than that, you turn it down or have the RD donate it to charity. Personally, I wouldn't take anything in that situation, just to be safe, and I certainly wouldn't list every Tom, Dick, and Harry 5k I'd run in the past year.

  • Chris Degn Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 8, 2013 4:31 p.m.

    Let's deluge NCAA w/ tweets like...

    @NCAA Do right thing and give XC runner Jared Ward back yr of elig u took from him 4 running costume fun run.

  • jamsenior SANTAQUIN, UT
    Nov. 8, 2013 3:51 p.m.

    Why does the NCAA exist? The scandals that happen in NCAA itself are as bad as some of the worst scandals it is suppose to police against. Latching the gate closed after the cow escapes is about all they do. Is there even an over site committee to police them? The worst organizational agency effort that ranks right with ObamaCare!!!!!!!

  • Obama10 SYRACUSE, UT
    Nov. 8, 2013 3:46 p.m.

    The NCAA long ago, stopped being about the "student-Athlete" and more about billion dollar TV contracts.

  • DEW Cougars Sandy, UT
    Nov. 8, 2013 3:43 p.m.

    Ncaa goofballs are biased?

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    Nov. 8, 2013 3:34 p.m.

    So what can we do to put pressure on the NCAA to reverse this ridiculous decision?

    When you throw the Mansfield case out there it really shows the hypocrisy of the NCAA.