Laundry worker misses out on Bison national title ring
FARGO - The game was over for several hours and Ciarra Beckstrand was one of the few remaining people in the Fargodome.
FARGO - The game was over for several hours and Ciarra Beckstrand was one of the few remaining people in the Fargodome. It was her job to make sure the North Dakota State football laundry was washed and dried.
But what exactly her role was in NDSU's Division I Football Championship Subdivision national title led to a flap that answered the following question: Where is the line drawn on who and who doesn't receive a national title ring?
There are those among the student managers who say she should.
"If I lose my job over this," said student manager Chris Krick, "then I'm proud to do it because I'm doing the right thing. I'm not saying anything to put NDSU under the bus, but I'm just letting people know what happened and it's not right. And if I go down standing up for what's right, then that's what I'll do."
So what happened?
Ciarra Beckstrand was originally on a list to receive one of the rings, which were distributed last month on state-wide television at the NDSU Spring Game. But athletic director Gene Taylor said she didn't meet the requirement head coach Craig Bohl set - which maintains a person outside of administration has to work on the field in some capacity.
It was determined the laundry person did not meet the criteria.
"In Craig's mind, a student manager is somebody who is on the field dealing with the elements, dealing with players and coaches," Taylor said.
Taylor said Ciarra Beckstrand was not a student manager, but a laundry person. So instead of a ring, she was offered an option of a miniature trophy or a championship watch. That explanation originally did not sit well with student manager Calby Beckstrand, Ciarra's husband, but he later was more accepting after talking with Bohl.
"If anybody is going to be sensitive to anything about managers, it's going to be me," said Taylor, a student assistant in college. "A manager is somebody on the field, setting up, tearing down. She's in the laundry room, which is not a fun job. If I had known her role, I wouldn't have approved it on the front side."
Calby Beckstrand said Ciarra dealt with players all the time. He said he offered to pay for the ring, each of which is purchased by Team Makers booster group.
"It's frustrating to me they would do something like that," Krick said. "I don't want to take away from the glory and all of that, but I worked in equipment with the RedHawks and Bison so I know the little-guy role and all of the behind-the-scenes work."
That work, he said, including laundry at night after practice and for road games. So when the Bison would play away from home, Ciarra Beckstrand would go to the NDSU locker room complex at the dome when the team returned to Fargo. A 3 p.m. home game, they said, would keep her there until midnight.
Calby Beckstrand said his wife did not want to comment on the flap.
Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546.
Kolpack's NDSU media blog can be found