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UHSAA upholds decision allowing East High to compete in playoffs

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SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah High School Activities Association Monday upheld a decision to allow East High school to participate in the 4A playoffs this.

The decision comes following a public meeting where individuals could express their concerns.

On Friday, the five-member Board of Trustees decided unanimously to reverse some sanctions imposed on East High as a result of three ineligible students playing during seven games. The Board of Trustees reverses seven fortified games and allowed East High to compete in Tuesday's playoffs, but imposed a steep $6,000 fine. But they mandated that Timpview High forfeit two games, also for ineligible players.

Timeline of events
Oct. 16: East High is sanctioned by the Region 6 Board of Managers for using three players that were illegible to play. Their head coach was temporarily removed, fines were imposed and the players were removed.

Oct. 18: UHSAA vacates East High's season and removes them from eligibility in playoffs. They would keep only one win on their record.

Oct. 19: After an appeal and a silent protest, UHSAA allows East to participate in the playoffs and the seven game forfeit would be lifted. But a $6,000 fine would be imposed. They also forced Timpview to forfeit two preseason games and be fined $1,500.

Oct. 21:Herriman High issues a press release claiming the reversal is unfair and asking for reconsideration. Oct. 22: The Board of Trustees decides not to reconsider its decision after a heated public hearing.

After the decision, Herriman High issued a press release demanding that they reconsider and arguing that the Board had treated Timpview and East differently. Herriman claimed that the decision had wide-ranging repercussions.

"(T)his issue is bigger than one game, or one playoff tournament," the release stated. "This unprecedented decision violates the concepts of equality and justice. It destroys the integrity of our system. It upsets the competitive balance that is inherent in our historical playoff format. To participate in the tournament under these circumstances would be to endorse the outcome and condone the hypocrisy."

The first 4A playoff game will be held Tuesday with East High facing off against Mountain View at 4 p.m.

The meeting to discuss the issue was a feisty on, though ultimately the Board chose to ignore the concerns brought up there. Many of the coaches said the decision was "arbitrary" nature of the panel's decision - stripping Timpview of their wins.

"(There are) a significant number of schools that disagree with the arbitrary nature of the decision that was made by the Board of Trustee," said Larry Wilson, Herriman High School Football Coach.

Timpview's principal also called for some changes in the UHSAA.

"I would like the Association to look at its bylaws in the constitution and they are able to develop better guidance for these regions because they are the first line to deal with any infraction," said principal Todd McKee.


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David Self Newlin


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