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BYU rugby non-scholarship team once again a title favorite

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  • byu rugby Crystal Lake, IL
    April 28, 2011 9:44 p.m.

    I count playing BYU Rugby as one of my choicest experiences. Coach Smyth is a no-nonsense Irishman who, just seems to draw out a players' best effort. The caliber of team members was also unmatched. on a squad of 25, 24 were returned missionaries, 17-ish were Eagle Scouts, 14 were married, and several had children. A large number of the guys were grad school bound, and Rich Kafusi was in grad school.

    We had to train around our other commitments. Marlin Green and I got up every day at 5am to train before work and school. Most of our road trips involved flying down the highway with everyone in back studying.

    We all took turns imposing on family and friends for a place to crash and eat while on road trips. In fact, some of our loudest supporters attended away games.

    I am glad to see the development of the program and the relatively huge commitment BYU is making to Rugby. Unlike many traditional intercollegiate sports, Rugby has a active world-wide reach. It is awesome to see guys coming from all over the world to play rugby for, and study at BYU!

    Don Crawford, BS '94

  • RaininTime Orem, UT
    April 28, 2011 9:50 p.m.

    I love watching Rugby---great sport!!!

  • casual observer Salt Lake City, UT
    April 28, 2011 9:51 p.m.

    Play for the love of it. He and other rugby lads are The Men.

  • ATC Stockton, CA
    April 28, 2011 10:23 p.m.

    I love it how BYU and Cal are on a different level than the rest of the league

  • fresnogirl Fresno, CA
    April 29, 2011 12:04 a.m.

    Rugby has got to be the toughest, craziest, manliest game invented. I'm super impressed with these guys. Keep up the good work!

  • yarrlydarb Ogden, UT
    April 29, 2011 6:58 a.m.

    Here we have real sport, what "sports" are meant to be, according to the dictionary.

    "Physical activity that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often engaged in competitively.
    A particular form of this activity.
    An activity involving physical exertion and skill that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often undertaken competitively.
    An active pastime; recreation."

    Notice, not a single word about fame or money--common contaminants of sport.

  • DC Alexandria, VA
    April 29, 2011 7:04 a.m.

    Wait a minute - School first, then rugby? I thought there were supposed to be 4 other things in front of rugby. You mean you can put your sport higher up on the list without compromising your morals or your religion? Strange.

    Love the news about BYU Rugby. Becoming a fan of the game.

  • Striker Omaha, NE
    April 29, 2011 7:46 a.m.

    What a great article! I especially loved re-reading the scores, especially the 40-22 score! I wonder how the decision was made to have the title game in Utah?

  • butters Salt Lake city, UT
    April 29, 2011 8:38 a.m.

    the state of utah is a great rugby power. i'm not sure how national rankings work all around the country, but one publication i looked up once a while back had the formula they used to determine national rankings. they had each region of the country and a number from 1-5 given to that region based on rugby strength and the state of utah was actually it's very own region and received a rating of 5.

    byu is the flagship rugby program in the state, but my utes are no slouches either. byu did dominate them this year though. utah has great athletes but byu just has a better team and it showed at rio tinto this year. utah's lost twice this year, to the Y and cal.

    did anyone watch the collegiate 7's tournament last year? it was an exciting tournament and it was an awesome finals match where the utes beat heavily favored ca to bring home the 7's championship. it's too bad that the tournament is a saturday-sunday deal because i think we all know the cougars would have an amazing showing there.

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    April 29, 2011 8:54 a.m.

    Love it! Cougs are a well rounded program, striving for excellence in all they do.

    I haven't heard much about Utah's Rugby team. Maybe hedgehog will give us an update.

  • footballisgood Holladay, UT
    April 29, 2011 9:02 a.m.

    Please stop referring to Highland Rugby as having anything to do with Highland High School - the two used to be affiliated but have had no affiliation with each other for over 8 years. Highland is a U-19 club team, just like United.

  • seer kaysville, ut
    April 29, 2011 9:23 a.m.

    More of a question than a comment.....I was wondering if any other schools offer scholarships to rugby players? Amazing we can compete and win the championship and not have this be a scholarship recognized sport. I love playing rugby, but it is a serious sport that needs to be recognized.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    April 29, 2011 9:33 a.m.

    @seer

    I would love to see BYU make rugby a scholarship sport but they cannot due to title 9 restrictions. To do it they would also have to add another womans sport to equalize the scholarships between men and women. My guess is that they don't think they can afford to support two more scholarship athletic sports which is what they would have to do.

    So while the rugby team is obviously deserving of being elevated to a scholarship sport it will not happen until they can also afford to add another womens sport at the same time.

    That is just a reality of how our country is run these days.

  • DEW Cougars Sandy, UT
    April 29, 2011 9:43 a.m.

    Rio Tinto, that was a surprise to have it in Utah. The championship games usually held in Stanford just like College World Series in Ohmaha, Neb. How will Cal fare in high altitude?

    For Women Rugby, will they play Friday/Saturday format this time around?

  • butters Salt Lake city, UT
    April 29, 2011 9:54 a.m.

    i thought byu did have a women's rugby team. didn't they make headlines last year for not playing in the ncaa rugby tournament because of a sunday game or was it another team sport? they were seeded pretty high and were a favorite to win the nc too if i remember correctly.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    April 29, 2011 9:59 a.m.

    @Dew Cougars

    Is the BYU womens rugby team similarly successful? If they play both championships here is there a chance both could be playing for the championship?

  • bulldog72 Holladay, UT
    April 29, 2011 9:59 a.m.

    Cal was just downgraded from a Varisty sport back to club, so I don't know if they can still give money or not. Utah has out-of-state tuition waivers to offer (out of state players pay in-state cost). Kutztown, who has a pretty good rugby team, does have some rugby scholarships to give, and I think maybe Life University on Georgia (also a very good team) can give some money. But Duckhunter is right, Title IX keeps rugby from being a scholarship sport for the most part.

  • Pipes Salt Lake City, UT
    April 29, 2011 10:17 a.m.

    Nothing but respect for these guys! Studs one and all!

  • Austin Mom Austin, TX
    April 29, 2011 10:21 a.m.

    Woman's Rugby is also a club sport--not NCAA. If it had been an NCAA tournament they would have had to change it to a Saturday game for the (BYU Rule). Since it is under USA Rugby they didn't have to change it for them. The women are also on track to win a NC this year with a promise made that the tournament will work with them.

  • Happy Valley Stud Provo, utah
    April 29, 2011 11:01 a.m.

    Love and miss my rugby playing days at BYU. In fact, now as an alum I can't recall much what was taught to me in my classes but I do remember vividly all the fun trips, games, dinners, hang-outs, church, team devotionals, singing, etc with my team mates as a player. I met some of the finest exemplary men in my life through BYU Rugby. I don't miss running and training till I died, however I miss the faces of all the players, coaches, trainers, and all those who supported us. Those experiences will live with me forever.

    It taught me that even though I'm from the islands with my own culture but that at BYU there's one culture that stands supreme which bonded us together in that of the "gospel culture". BYU Rugby Forever!

    BYU BS 2007, MPA 2010

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    April 29, 2011 11:11 a.m.

    Liberal Democrats have done their best to destroy college sports. Wrestling, which was once a very successful sport at BYU, is long gone. Rugby clearly deserves to be a varsity sport as does hockey, but then the school would have to add more women's sports to keep balance. Women's sports, while very nice and worthwhile, produce no revenue for the school. Maybe the school needs to have a special fund raising effort to establish a financial base to support men's rugby, wrestling, and hockey while adding women's sports such as rifle or some winter sports? The men on the Rugby team deserve a lot of credit for what they do.

  • tings Herriman, UT
    April 29, 2011 11:17 a.m.

    I love rugby and have been a big fan since living in Australia. I would love for it to become more mainstream in the states. One way I think to do that is rugby league. I would much rather watch a league game then the union version that is played by the allblacks and in the colleges. The down system in league makes it a little more easier for the common football fan to understand it and personally more enjoyable and faster paced. I do wish the scrums were a little more important in league but am willing to sacrafice that for the rest of the game. When I went back to Australia last year I made it to 2 NRL games.
    For those who are familiar with it you cant beat the Origin series. GO BLUES!!!!

  • SoCalChris Riverside, CA
    April 29, 2011 2:22 p.m.

    Some of my best memories are of playing for the Cougars in the late 70s and early 80s. The movie Invictus referred to Rugby as a hooligan's game played by gentleman. So true. Especially at BYU. Amazing group of guys, from all over the world, just like nowadays. 30 years ago we lost to Cal in quarter finals, and they went on to win the championship - thanks mostly to a kicker who went on to play in the NFL. (If a try a been worth 5 pts like it is now we would have won that game!) Thankfully BYU finally got the monkey off their back and beat Cal for the championship in 2009. Let's do it again this year Cougars!!

  • VA_Ute New Bern, NC
    April 29, 2011 2:58 p.m.

    I played Rugby in high school and loved it. It was the first year there was a team in my high school and and we weren't great but it was so much fun. I remember watching Highland BEAT BYU in a scrimmage that year. I'm glad to see that the sport has progressed in Utah.

  • mkSdd3 Ogden, UT
    April 29, 2011 4:10 p.m.

    This is the kind of thing that I want to see more of on BYU TV. I know they will show baseball and other sports on BYU TV. It seems like they will show one game but how about the whole season of Rugby. Throw in Lacrosse also. I want to see all of these sports that aren't shown very often.

  • In Stitches Provo, Utah
    April 29, 2011 6:30 p.m.

    mkSdd3

    I was thinking the exact same thing! Let's see some Rugby. (But please have commentators explaining things along the way).

  • Jack Winters Provo, Utah
    April 29, 2011 6:35 p.m.

    Just out of curiosity, how much is each athletic scholarship at BYU? (I know that to endow one costs $250,000). Also, does anyone know how many endowment scholarships the Y currently has?

    Incidentally, the women's rugby team is a club sport, so let's not use my question as a Title IX soap box opportunity please.

  • BYU Rugby Forever New York City, NY
    April 29, 2011 9:18 p.m.

    Fun to read all the comments and know that there are BYU Rugby fans all around the nation!

    FYI, the Women's Cougar Rugby team is currently #2 in the nation and won their Sweet 16 match of the D-1 National Championship today, beating UCLA 31-10!!!

    Women's College Div. 1 Rugby has had a similar BYU-Cal match-up in the form of Stanford & Penn State for the past several years. This year the BYU Women beat Stanford to advance to the Sweet 16 and now look to have their best shot at getting to the Final ...

    My friends, we have a BYU Rugby Dynasty in the making ... not only for the men, as the record states, but also for the women who are improving as a team with each progressive season.

    I invite Cougar fans near and far to heed the call of "BYU Rugby Forever"!!!

  • cactusflats American Fork, UT
    April 30, 2011 7:07 a.m.

    If the mission of BYU sports is to reach millions and elevate the awareness of the church, rugby might have a better chance of doing that than football or basketball.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    April 30, 2011 8:34 a.m.

    @cactusflats

    That is a really good point. Rugby is an international sport and the opportunity to play it should attract both men and women to BYU, especially considering the quality of both programs. The games would also attract viewers to BYUtv internationally which of course would make them aware of the station and more likely to check back in to see other sports broadcast on the channel as well as some of its standard programming.

    That would seem to fit in perfectly with the stated goals of the program, the school, and the church.

  • hymn to the silent Holladay, UT
    April 30, 2011 3:22 p.m.

    Let's not get to excited about pushing rugby into a mainstream varsity sport. They have a little more independence as clubs, and it keeps the game pure...players play because they want to, although some players do get their tuition paid for (don't believe the headline; there are players on the BYU squad who are getting scholarships in other areas that wouldn't if they weren't rugby players). But all in all, club keeps Rugby from becoming what's wrong with college sports. It's a wonderful, violent, athletic game...and the players share a great camaraderie. They're not playing to get pro offers, they are playing because they love it. Best game in college sports.

  • St Gorgeous Raynham Center, MA
    May 1, 2011 1:06 a.m.

    Can not wait for the Rugby World Cup to start this year! Dangerous, yes.. but definitely not an unglamorous and obscure sport.

  • Munk Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 1, 2011 11:01 a.m.

    Rugger... now we are talking about a real sport.