The Chronicle’s View: U administrators didn’t bluff, they straight up lied

For weeks the Big SLC Poker Club had an event scheduled on the U campus, but it was cancelled by the U administration the day it was to begin.

The U lawyers were sly enough to wait until the day of the poker tournament to cancel it so there wouldn’t be time to contest the cancellation in court.

Thank goodness the U has good lawyers, but this was an incredibly unethical move.

It was not unethical because the U cancelled a poker tournament-that was actually a good idea. It is unethical because the administration is lying through its teeth to reporters over its reasoning.

The Big SLC Poker Club was going to charge participants $20 to enter a contest that offered prizes to the winners. The grand prize was a 12-credit scholarship.

That’s not gambling. No contestant would buy chips and walk away with a profit. It was a contest one paid to enter for the opportunity to win a prize.

It would, however, look and sound like gambling.

That’s the real reason the U cancelled it, but not the reason they gave. The official justification was the administration didn’t feel good about letting an off-campus vendor come on campus and take student money.

Huh?

Has the administration ever been to a football game? Maybe they can’t see the Famous Dave’s BBQ truck from those sweet box seats. What about the jewelry, book, pottery and beanie vendors? Last year, “glass tobacco pipes” were sold outside the Union.

But one could argue the selling of goods is a service. Poker just takes money and gives nothing in return. So what is the return from Dance Dance Revolution and Tekken 5?

The bottom line is the cancellation of the tournament was all about preserving an image. Many in the predominant religion and culture of the state say the faithful go to the Y, and the rebellious go to the U. Our administration wants to crush that ridiculous reputation. The U holding a poker tournament wouldn’t help that cause.

But is lying the way to do it?

The school told the poker club it was all about image, according to the poker club’s president. As soon as reporters whipped out their pens or flipped on the cameras, however, the story changed to this “off-campus vendor” garbage.

This decision was all about public image. The U wanted to avoid the appearance of evil but refuses to take that stance in a debate.

The administration waited until the last minute to cancel the event and then lied about the reason.

Great job preserving our image.