Utah coach Scott Cate is barred simply because he gave school too much money

In a bizarre turn of events, a Utah football coach has been forced out of his job in essence because he gave too much of his own money to the school at which he served as a volunteer coach.

Longtime Cottonwood assistant coach Scott Cate — Deseret News
Longtime Cottonwood assistant coach Scott Cate — Deseret News

As reported by the Salt Lake Tribune, Cottonwood (Utah) High football offensive coordinator Scott Cate was forced out of his position by a new Granite School District rule that prohibits donors from coaching any athletic teams at the schools to which they gave. The bizarre regulation essentially punishes Cate, who was a long-serving volunteer at Cottonwood in a variety of different roles after selling a self-founded telecommunications company.

If you're wondering why the school made the decision in the first place, look no further than the district's new donations policy which, according to the Salt Lake Tribune, "stems from state audits into high-profile high school football programs and is aimed at creating more transparency in donations." The policy is supposedly going in place later in July.

There was certainly no question that the new regulations were designed with Cate in mind. The press release put out by the district about the new rules specifically mentioned Cate and his past donations, and optimistically envisioned seeing him cheering in the stands this fall.

By his own admission, Cate has donated some $4 million worth of capital projects toward the Cottonwood football program, funding a new turf field, weight room and press box, among other initiatives. The coach began his long-term affiliation with the school when his children played for the Cougars, but continued after they graduated and went on to collegiate careers; his final son, Alex, was a quarterback who graduated from Cottonwood in 2006 and went on to play at Oklahoma State.

A star collegiate quarterback at Utah himself, Cate was expected to design the Cottonwood offense for the top recruit in the state of Utah in fall 2012. Cooper Bateman, an Alabama-commit, was expected to thrive in Cate's potent offensive sets, which have helped Cottonwood emerge as a perennial powerhouse in the Beehive State.

Now Cate is looking for some way to contribute somewhere, all but ensuring that the hours and money he has pumped into Cottonwood will dry up overnight.

"I'll go somewhere else where they don't have this rule," Cate told the Tribune. "The 'Cate Rule,' or something. Maybe I'll start a quarterback school, or I'll go to another district."

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