The Eagle applauds athletic department's stance on rules

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Posted Wednesday, February 2, 2011 - 7:25pm

The Eagle staff applauds the USU-CEU athletic department for adhering to their policies, especially in light of the fact that it meant benching key players at two of the biggest games this season…Salt Lake Community College and Snow College.

The student athletes broke the Athletic Code of Conduct and their coaches suspended them, leaving the rest of their teammates to pull together to face Scenic West Athletic Conference opponents on the road. When the Eagles played SLCC on their home court earlier this season, it was 40 minutes of nail-biting action in a physical, defensive game. Last weekend’s re-match between the two schools was touted to be one of the best events of the season. Both teams had been in Hutchinson, Kan., in the past two years representing the SWAC conference. Each team is stacked with the talent of potential D-1 players.

So when the players broke USU-CEU rules, Coach Brad Barton did not ask the athletic director, vice chancellor or chancellor to forgive the athletes for their digressions or to go light on their sentences. He said the athletes broke the code and had to live with the repercussions of their actions.

Most people admit that “winning is not everything,” but it means a lot to coaches, athletic directors, students and colleges. It means added revenue and potential recruits. By facing two-top contenders in the conference without two of the team’s starters last weekend is daunting, almost of the David versus Goliath proportion. However, it’s a team sport, and the remaining players left on the Eagles’ roster had to step up and prove they could win. These players chose to live within the rules approved by USU-CEU.

The SWAC is known throughout the National Junior College Athletic Association as one of the toughest conferences in JUCO ball and rising to the top of the conference means defeating some of the toughest competition in the country. With their entire team, CEU has the talent and chance to be at the top of the conference.

Everyone makes mistakes. The staff hopes that every student athlete will learn by the mistakes of two young men. And we figure, a mistake is only a mistake if you make it twice.

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