I am writing in response to the NCAA's stripping athletes of their eligibility. In order to stay in compliance with the NCAA rules, athletes who do not enroll in college within one year of graduation lose a year of eligibility if they participate in organized competition that will give them a competitive advantage. Let me start out by saying I am a highly-asthmatic couch potato college sophomore and running a mile could kill me at this point in my sedentary life. Now, imagine trying to take me on in an organized game of basketball, softball, or even a race around the track. Surely, I would give anyone a run for their money and a competitive challenge.
Jared Ward, a senior at BYU lost one year of eligibility after returning home from his two-year LDS mission. Why did Ward lose his eligibility? He took on the fierce Bird Man in a race--and won! Confused? Me too. Ward traveled to California to support his younger brother in a regional cross country race.
Before the race started, parents, coaches, and other supporters had the opportunity to run a casual race just for fun. The race was timed and the participants came in quite the variety. The race consisted of people just like me and worse! In this race, Ward took on runners well into their 60s, some in their teens, and many in costumes. Any four-year-old would agree that it would be super competitive to beat certain super heroes in a race, but a man dressed up as a bird? That is what the NCAA considers competitive?
The NCAA recently gave a Marine back his eligibility after deciding he did not break the competitive rule Ward is being punished for. The Marine played on a team put together on base against other Marines. It appears that the NCAA does not find an organized team of Marines to be a competitive challenge or it does not give a player a competitive advantage. Athletes such as myself are shocked by the unfair ruling here.
On behalf of what is right #LetWardRun.