Thursday, April 30, 2009

Does College Ultimate answer to Colleges?


Read a very interesting article about the University of Oregon ultimate club, as posted on our local OCUA forum.

Essentially, the team, listed as a club sport with UO, has been prohibited from playing in the UPA college regionals/ championship series. Speeding tickets( 4 on one road trip), under-age drinking, and public nakedness has all been detailed in the team's 'rap sheet'.

Now, I do remember my time at Western quite fondly. I do remember I played in the program with guys and gals that were wild. I do remember saying to another captain at 4 in the morning that the team "was a sh&tshow" and I was shocked that we were able to play as well as we did the next day. However, my team was always smart enough:

-Not to break state or provincial laws
-Not to play naked
-Not to get caught

I feel for the University of Oregan kids. I feel bad that they won't get a chance to win their national title (perhaps). I feel bad that they've screwed themselves out of club status for a very long time. Most of all, I feel bad that the team seems to have learned very little from the experience:
  • Repeated offences that lead to the punishment
  • Little to no negotation skills (lots of people at that committee meeting, but no real plan)
  • They don't seem to realize that what they did was wrong, as evidence by the following quotes
“Speeding, (underage) drinking, nudity — they’re not bad things,” he told the executive committee. “They’re things a big portion of the community doesn’t think are wrong.”

Pretty sure all three are illegal by state laws.

“To run around naked is just kind of a hippie, ultimate thing,” Becker said Monday. “We didn’t think there was anything wrong at the time.”

Kind of? Kind of sounds like you're just making it up

“I came to the UO to play Frisbee,” said Kenton, a senior history major. “That may sound silly, but a lot of people do. We recruit players from all over the country.”

Fair enough. I think we can all understand that passion as crazy as it is.

“I chose to come to UO because of the reputation of the team,” he said. “Not only are they the best players in the country, but they’re the most classy on and off the field.”

So now you're telling these people that these are the classiest ultimate team in the land. That's not going to be used against other teams in the club status pursuits.

At Monday’s meeting, Lowe asked that committee members reconsider the gravity of their decision, calling it “incredibly unjust and unfair.”

That kind of hyperbole is usually accompanied by a Che Guervera poster/flag in one's dorm room. Once again, I have to ease up a bit because when you're 20-25, this kind of overstating makes a lot of sense.

So, in light of all of this, I thought to myself "Why is this club team not going to attend regionals and finals on their own without the approval of their school. What is the relationship between the UPA and the University of Oregon?

Any UPA/ Law experts out there that can summarize the possibilities for this team, which have been banned from participating by their school in a renegade sport that is hosted by a third party and doesn't have a strong relation with the school itself?

I hope the team does get to chase it's dreams this season, and I hope all college teams learn that as the game gets more mainstream, the stakes and expectations of personal conduct get that much greater.


T1000 said...

All UPA college teams must submit a roster form that is signed/sealed by the school registrar; the practice ensures that all teams in the series do, in fact, officially represent a school (it is a "college" series after all).

In this case, Oregon has already submitted that roster form, so that particular piece of bureaucracy is no longer an obstacle, but their club suspension is such public knowledge in the community that the UPA certainly knows of it, and they will respect it.

The UPA has a reputation of its own to preserve, and they won't risk it here.

jhaig said...

Oregon isn't the first school to lose their team. Penn State's teams were stripped of their team status for two seasons for damaging local fields during a tournament they hosted. I know in that instance that the school administration contacted the UPA advising them of the team's disqualification and the UPA upheld that decision.

I'm not sure legally if there's anything that Oregon's administration could do since the rosters are already submitted, but you can pretty much guarantee that they wouldn't endorse the Ultiamte team's roster ever again if they went and played this season.