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Utah rugby: Future of club team remains uncertain

Published April 4, 2013 12:07 pm

Club sports • U. says team was suspended over misappropriation of school name
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The University of Utah rugby program was suspended by the school for the rest of the 2013 season as well as the 2013-14 season after using the university's name without permission, the school said Thursday.

"We were disappointed to learn the club was using the University of Utah mark after they were instructed not to last year," University of Utah communications director Keith Sterling said. "We are evaluating our future relationship with the club."

Rugby, which is part of Utah's intramural sports program, was originally suspended as part of a disciplinary action last fall, according to USA Rugby, the sport's national governing body.

Following that action, Rugby Magazine reported that the team and players registered with USA Rugby as the Salt Lake City rugby club. But during the fall Rugby 7s season, the team continued to compete unofficially as the University of Utah and games were reported as being played by "Utah" — which the school deemed to be a misappropriation of its name.

Utah's rugby coach Blake Burdette, when contacted Wednesday, would only say, "We are trying to understand the process of what's going on."

The magazine reported Wednesday that the original disciplinary action took place because of an unspecified rule violation involving a school-sanctioned van during the team's return from the DI-A playoffs in May of 2012.






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