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OPINION: A forfeit should be a forfeit across all sports

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Chloe Hislop | The Daily Wildcat

Malia Hargrove does a flip on the balance beam at the Feb. 1, 2020, meet against University of Utah. Hargrove has been training as a gymnast for 11 years.

No matter where you work, you are expected to show up when you are scheduled. If you do not show up, many places will either discipline or fire you. I think that is fair. You were hired to show up and work, so you should not be allowed to neglect your job. 

I believe the same applies to sports. If your team does not show up or cannot participate, you should forfeit that game and the other team should win. Strangely enough, these rules apparently do not apply to all college sports. I have two specific cases I want to talk about that happened here at the University of Arizona. 

The volleyball team:

If I am going to be completely honest, the volleyball team was not that good this year. They lost to many ranked opponents, did not win a game on the road until playing a weak 1-15 Cal team and failed to make the playoffs. I want to discuss why I feel they did not make the playoffs, though, because it was not fair. 

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Arizona was finally coming together as a team, taking a 9-9 record against a depleted USC team. With their record at .500, the Wildcats stood a chance to be selected for the playoffs later in the year. Arizona lost the first match to USC, but they were going to face them again in a couple of days. Then, an email went out saying the match against USC was cancelled and would not be made up. USC’s excuse was that they did not have enough healthy players to compete. Keep in mind, it was not because of COVID-19, it was because of on-court injuries. The upsetting part was the cancelation did not count as a forfeit, meaning the volleyball team would not get a chance to make up the match.

This put them in a very tight spot because with only two matches left against Washington State, one of the best teams in the conference, the Wildcats would have to win both to have a shot at the playoffs. They lost the first match and that ended their chances at the playoffs. 

The Gymnastics team:

Much like the volleyball team, the gymnastics team did not have their best season. The GymCats lost their first five meets and only won one all year. Gymnastics playoffs are a little different from volleyball, so they were able to advance. Their first opponent was supposed to be Temple and the winner would advance to regionals. 

When meet day arrived, Temple had to withdraw because of COVID-19 guidelines. The meet was ruled a no contest, and Arizona advanced. 

RELATED: Arizona gymnast Malia Hargrove prepares for the biggest stage of her life: The national championships 

In other words, Temple forfeited the meet and Arizona advanced because of that. So why did that count as a forfeit, but the volleyball match that USC did not show up to was not cancelled?

This is just one of the many silly rules that the NCAA needs to fix. The volleyball team deserved that win, but for whatever reason their rules are different, and they did not get credit for what should have been a forfeit. 

If you don’t show up to work, you should not be rewarded for it. Sports teams are not exempt.


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