bomb dropped

Breaking: PRCA Grievance Committee Reverses Decision, Worley Will Rope at 2023 NFR
Tyler Worley will rope at the 2023 NFR, and Coleby Payne will finish the season ranked 17th after not being allowed to count an extra rodeo.
Tyler Worley and Coleby Payne
Click Thompson and Hailey Rae photos

The Grievance Committee appointed by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association to rule on the grievance filed by PRCA heeler Coleby Payne reconvened today, and has reversed its decision to allow Payne to count 76 rodeos toward his world standings. Tyler Worley, who finished 15th in the world heeling standings roping within the 75-rodeo limit, will rope at the 2023 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, and Payne will finish the season ranked 17th after not being allowed to count an extra rodeo.   

Refresh your memory: Breaking: PRCA Grievance Committee Votes in Coleby Payne’s Favor

Multiple sources confirmed a week ago today that the three-man PRCA Grievance Committee voted 2-to-1 in Payne’s favor when their original decision was rendered on November 20th. One member of the Grievance Committee changed his vote today when the group reconvened for further discussion with Worley and Payne’s legal representatives and key PRCA staff to reconsider that original decision—which was overturned, and stands at 2-to-1 in Worley’s favor. 

The 75-rodeo count, which was put in place by the PRCA team ropers themselves, stands as the legal limit. Worley, who roped at 74 rodeos this regular season, will heel for Jake Clay at the NFR. Payne will not be allowed to count a 76th rodeo, which in this case was the $1 million Cinch Playoffs Governor’s Cup in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, even if a PRCA staff member relayed mistaken unofficial rodeo-count information. Worley roped at 74 rodeos, by the way, because he saved his 75thbullet in case he made the cut at Sioux Falls, which he did not. 

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The fact that rodeo is not a professional team sport, in which players’ business is managed for them, factored into this final decision by the Grievance Committee, sources said. Professional rodeo cowboys have always ultimately been required to keep track of and handle their own business, and that point stood today. 

This decision of honoring the event’s 75-rodeo count will presumably also dismiss grievances filed by 16th-place finishers in other events, who threw red flags after the original decision to allow an extra rodeo in one event, on the grounds that a bonus rodeo would also have allowed them inside the Top 15. 

Sources say today’s decision is expected to stand as final. The 65th annual NFR, which is worth a record $11.5 million, will run December 7-16th at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. 

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