Special treatment for athletes, who would have guessed.It is bad at
Bingham, but it is even worse at schools in Texas and Florida. These kids learn
young to take advantage of the system. We are certainly raising them correctly.
Okay. This student held five people at gun point and orchestrated a robbery. His
punishment was community service? Yet we sentence people who possess marijuana
to prison? I disagree with both activities, but come on, man! The punishment
must fit the crime. This student should be in jail until he is at least 21.
Remember, kids brains are not fully wired until age 21 or older. They are going
to make stupid decisions. How long do we black ball them? If they go through
the justice system and pay their debt to society then let it go. Look at
Michael Vick. He did a very stupid thing and has paid his debt with prison
time. Should he have been banned from the NFL forever? I don't think so.
Re: DutchmanHow can you compare a guy who holds people up at
gunpoint with Michael Vick? Everyone knows that holding someone at gunpoint is
a serious crime.Have you ever been to the south? In certain areas people
are raised around dog fighting. I'm not saying it is right, but they view it as
a sport.I think vick did his time and should be allowed to play in
the NFL. However holding several people at gunpoint should require a lot more
jail time than being involved in dog fighting.
The point Dutchman is that Michael Vick was involves with a lot of illegal
activity for years while being a college star and NFL athlete. If people paid
more attention or if things were different he might have got some help before he
hurt all the dogs and got thrown in prison.I'll have to read this
article. Sounds like a very worthwhile piece of journalism unlike a lot of what
is written today.
Why is most of this report nothing more than congratulatory pablum about how
great the reporters and the media are? Was the D News probibited from publishing
much of substance? After wading through all the professional back slapping we
finally find out on the second page that one young Utah player has a record. And
then we read more about how great the reporting is. One percent substance, 99%
ad for SI and CBS.
There is nothing wrong with anyone, regardless of their history, moving forward
in positive directions. Why do people want to hold someone down because they
make mistakes or even choose to violate law? The courts will punish them. This
is sufficent. Others do not need to continue and expand their punishment. These
people should be allowed to take advantage of whatever society offers them. Any
discrimination against someone beyond their court punishment is akin to branding
persons with a "yellow ticket of leave".
It is not a great day to be a Miner.
You know what they say about "Glass Houses" Chris B.... (see his
previous unflattering comments yesterday on BYU's dismissal of Brandon
Davies).I am deeply saddened for ALL of the young men involved in
both circustances. It places an uncomfortable spotlight on everyone involved...
at Utah and BYU; and an unfortunate black eye on the state and it's athletes.I truly do not believe that Utah is any different than any other state
(even per capita), in this area. Nor do I believe that ANY of these kids are
"BAD"--they simply made stupid mistakes that they should have the
chance to correct and move on.I will say that there is a huge,
fundamental difference in how each University handles such issues though.
Neither of them is right or wrong, just different, based upon the Motto,
Structure and Purpose of each University.I say, STOP THROWING ROCKS
at each others Glass Houses, because you never know when one of them is going to
ricochet back and hit you in the head!
@Dutchman "Remember, kids brains are not fully wired until age 21 or
older".Too many kids' brains are wired...with the knowledge
that the system will let them get away with just about anything. There are some kids that make mistakes in the heat of the moment that truly
need as much leniency as can be given. However, the kids out
looking to do mischief know that the system will give them a pass. The system
seems incapable of adequately discriminating between the two.
Mount Olympus,The point is did the kid holding other kids at gun
point pay his debt to society or not? Maybe he is paying that price by doing
juvenile detention or jail time right now. I don't know the particulars. Once
that time is served then he should be allowed to go about his business and if
that means getting a college education and playing college football then so be
it. People change as they get older, most of the time for the better.
My congratulations to SI and CBS for some meaningful investigative reporting.
Issues that needed to be identified were, and hopefully they will now be
addressed in a reasonable manner.
If a high school player has paid his debt then what difference does it make to
the University? Certainly the University and the coaches should do their due
diligence so that they know who they are inviting to represent the school but
other than that, its the player's past and he shouldn't have to wear the
scarlett letter for the rest of his life.
I'm just curious: how does that 1-in-14 statistic for college football players
compare with college kids in general? And does the 1-in-14 number include ALL
police records, including "youthful indiscretions" like underage
drinking, tobacco violations, curfew, etc. ... or are 1 in 14 former armed
robbers?(I'm all in favor of giving kids a second chance, but maybe
not so much for violent or potentially-violent crimes.)
Part of the Utah culture is to not have consequences for one's actions, whether
a student-athlete in high school or as a state legislator. Its the same idiotic
cultural behavior that so infects Utah; and that is the real shame of it all.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that you would find similar numbers
among non-athletes with criminal records in high school/pre college. I think
this problem is more a "dumb teenager" problem than any specific
sub-group in the same demographic. I can only speak from my personal experience
but at my high school the kids who participated in athletics weren't the ones
out getting in trouble because their free time was used up at practices and film
study and such. It was the kids who didn't have anything to do after school that
were always breaking the law and in trouble with the police.
Lots of interesting issues being lobbed around but the real issue is money-
these kids are worth cash to these programs and so what is a little gun charge
when we can make big bucks here- nothing new here- this has been one of the
dirty little secrets of big time college athletics for years and as long as the
NCAA is around and its conception of what athletics is all about- this will be
around- these kids are a commodity plain and simple- whether it is in Utah,
Texas, Florida, or Outter Mongolia- get them in- use them up- go get some more
If this student had been offered an academic scholarship to the UofU no one
would have blinked. But because he is a good athlete, different rules seem to
apply. Jealousy? Maybe.The issue is that it was not the same as
"adult" criminal activity. The case was moved back to be a juvenile
courts, which is a distinct category that comes shrouded in secrecy and privacy
due to how we treat young offenders and juveniles in the court system. Until the
student is 18 years old there is no way of holding the student to adult
standards.And without criminal convictions, Coach Peck, Jordan
School District, Utah HS Athletics - none of them were concerned. Why would they
be? No criminal record.If the coach had have refused to play him due
to his background, he would have simply transferred to another school and played
somewhere. He would have gotten the scholarship regardless.BYU is in
the news for dealing with Davies in an honor code violation. Like it or not,
they stand firm. In the past they were criticized for looking the other way on
obvious rule breaking by McMahon & others in the past. You get criticized
Sports does not build character. It tends to reveal it. Davies would probably
have not got any kind of disciplinary action at most other institutions. But,
BYU has the honor code, and it is correct in holding students to the bar. Sports has saved many an at-risk kid from going south. Will continue to
do so. But can't save them all. If only 10% of college athletes have criminal
records, I'm impressed. I'm surprised it isn't higher. It certainly is at
some schools, though that's not all bad. Better to see a kid playing sports at
a high school or in college than on the streets and unemployed.
Not sure why this article focuses on Utah and Bingham High School... Urben
Meyer, in his 4 years at Florida, had 16 of his players arrested and put in
jail.As far as this article goes,.. it's hard to say if the
punishment fit's the crime if you don't know all of the circumstances. Example;
A 16 year old boy might have participated, just to receive acceptance from his
cousin and not for the money. But, when he is 18 he wouldn't need that
acceptance. Or....maybe the gun was not loaded. This obviously doesn't make it
right, but it does reduce the severity of the crime.The point is, that all
of the above opinions that say he should be serving jail time, should take the
time to know ALL of the facts before they spout off.
I find it depressing to see that there are so many people in my community
(particularly in the administration at a local high school) who are more
concerned about the quality of their football program than the well-being of
their student population. For safety concerns alone I would consider withdrawing
my children from Bingham HS. The school has no business allowing a public high
school to be used as a rehabilitation program for admitted felons. In addition
their leniency with their football players (not just this time), in my opinion,
is bound to attract more of the same caliber of "students."
Kids who have a criminal history, and who perpetrate violent criminal acts do
NOT DESERVE a free pass into college along with the potential
multi-million-dollar career path attached! Think of all the outstanding
law-abiding athletes out there who were waiting and praying for their chance at
one of these scholarships, fully deserving, but lost out to one of these
hoodlums! That is Disgusting! Every University in this nation should be fully
ashamed of themselves for encouraging this delinquent reward system. Hopefully
this article will motivate change in recruiting and scholarship policies! The
bottom line: If your athletic program is not built on integrity from the ground
up, then I don't care how many trophies or awards you've got on your mantle, or
bucks in your pocket - you have lost the game and failed your community.
In my opinion, the NBA, NFL, and MLB shouldn't allow anyone to play that has
criminal record. The message that is sent to our youth is that if
you are a superstar you can get away with stuff the rest of us can't. You can
still get rich.Michael Vick should have been banned from
professional sports. So should any drug abuser, wife beater, and other
@ Dutchman | 11:12 a.m. March 2, 2011 Murray, UTTrue... Most
(All) of us make mistakes while in our youth, however how many of us have
held-up multiple people at GUN POINT while they were robbed? This is not a
typical youthful "mistake" that we should just sweep under the rug.
From the Article - "I think it was clear that the U of U didn't know a lot
of the details about his case" ... "Again, (this story) isn't to place
blame on Kyle Whittingham or his staff"Okay - So now that they
know, what are they going to do about it?Some of the blame should be
on the coaches and administrators of the universities. Why are they not asking
these questions, and doing their own research. Kyle Whittingham knew this kid
had a run in with the law... He didn't ask for a police report, or for details
about the arrest? If they U of U didn't know, its because they didn't want to,
and that is just as incriminating. I would feel better if they knew the details
and then made their decision.
I am happy for SLC mom that no one in her family ever had a run in with the law
or did something that was regrettable. Fortunately she has led a perfect life
and has lived in a environment where no one in her family was held accountable
for their actions as a youth under voting age. It is a good thing that there was
never a need for forgiveness, reconciliation to individuals harmed, or to the
society seeking accountability. As for Whittingham ? It should be noted
that he DID revoke a scholarship to a projected starter on his team for not
following the standards of the athletic departments stand on disobedience to the
laws of the land. This was done swiftly after the player had been given a chance
to reform his rough and rowdy ways.
Great cover article about SI's investigation. This is the type of investigative
journalism we need more of.To the point of the Bingham/Utah athlete.
This should not be about him but about justice for those he terrorized and their
families. What justice do they feel now? Actually, according to the article,
they don't feel justice but rather fear.A choice made affected far
more then the perp.
I attended a local private university 20+ years ago and a couple of my roommates
played on the football team. They both had criminal records before coming to
college, received full scholarships, and continued their criminal activity while
attending this prestigious private university. The coaching staff was well
aware of it, I told them on multiple occasions, but refused to act on it until
after the end-of year bowl game when they were both quietly dismissed from the
university.This problem is everywhere, even schools with high moral
Wow. Coaches not wanting to know if one of their players was/is in trouble with
the law and if they are, don't want to know the details? How shocking. SI could
have saved their money and instead printed something like, "the sky is
blue." Give me a break!
Rewarding kids with scholarships when they don't deserve them sends a real bad
message! Look how it has affected sports on the pro level.When I played ball
(dual sport myself) If your grades weren't up to snuff you didn't play and if
you were involved in a crime you either got cut or you never made the team.Where
has this gone? Are universities so desperate to put a winning team out there
they're willing to cut corners and put other players at risk just to have the
team.I don't think it is worth it on so many levels and what SI has done is a
good thing to expose it.
Talk about no remorse! These guys are defiantly flashing gang signs. There is
definately a long history of double standards in this situation. It makes me
sick! The U better get ready to hand out some disciplinary action with these two
(or three). These guys also need some help breaking out of the gang-banger
stuff, (if they are really interested in doing that.) Based on my experience,
and what I see in the photo, these guys have not turned the corner, yet. I want
them to succeed but, they will need the right kind of help; the kind that shows
mercy, after their actions show they want to change and have restored what they
have taken (not just money). Does Coach Whittingham and his crew care about what
attitude these guys are displaying. good luck!
re:} slcmomTo your point about other athletes that may have missed
out on a scholarship. I stand with you on this point. It is not doing anyone any
favors by doing the slc county two-step around the law, delaying accountability
or in this case ignoring the full accountability for armed robbery. The clear
message hear is if you are an all state athlete you get a pass, you have hit the
proverbial nail right square on the head. re: PoquiI do
not know that your stated comments are true or not? So I will take you at your
word. I believe you are speaking about BYU yes? I think your story would have
more validity if you simply spoke openly. Come on, 20 years ago and you are
still haunted ?I can see how people can be sickened by this whole
story and the slippery slope of ignoring the consequences and in this case, the
full wait of the consequences leading a person on to believe that there is
always a bail out or some way around facing up to the full weight of
responsibility for there actions. Only time will tell.
@EgbertThrockmorton | 12:16 p.mYou say "Part of the Utah
culture is to not have consequences for one's actions, whether a student-athlete
in high school or as a state legislator. Its the same idiotic cultural behavior
that so infects Utah; and that is the real shame of it all"What
world do you live in? I have lived all around the world and it is the same.
Society as in general is that way. Athletes are the worse. Because they are
talented and gifted in their sport they generally have less consequences because
of the money they generate. You really think that Utah is the only state or
Country that does not hold people accountable? Then you are naive and you need
to open your eyes. I have seen many held accountable in this state. The only
problem is society is becoming too lenient with the younger generation and
always state that they are just students and should be given breaks or whatever.
High school coaches are paid 2k a year to coach football not to investigate
crimes and get to the bottom of every off the field issue. 99% of you don't even
know the full situation. To come on here and start telling what you would have
done or what should be done from a article that doesn't give all the details
makes you look like idiots. Im sure Coach Peck tried to make the best decisions
with the info that he had, and do whats best for the kids involved. Im pretty
sure that they weren't playing him to win the state championship, cause his back
up is just as good and has a full ride to the U as well.
I keep being told that football and other sports builds character. I've rarely
seen it. Yes, research shows that participation in HS sports has positive
benefits if the participants are compared to students who have absolutely no
extracurricular activity at all. But, there are a lot of negatives to athletics
that we don't see in students who are involved in debate, drama, music, student
government, school newspaper and yearbook. Research shows that participation in
these activities is a much better predictor of long term successs than
participation in athletics. Lets drop expensive sports programs and focus our
attention on those activities that do the most good for the participants. And,
we won't have to worry about compliance with title IX either.
Wow, there are a lot of dippy comments here. "Paying you debt to
society" does not give you carte blanche to pursue any endeavor you wish.
Having a criminal record will prevent you from being hired by many employers,
being elected for Congress - heck, the military won't even touch you for that.
Behavior has consequences, and becoming the rockstar, football god of all time
may not be possible if you're going to act like a punk. It shouldn't be, anyway.
If you have big dreams and aspirations of achieving greatness in life, it is
incumbent upon you to behave like a good, law abiding citizen. It's just not
that much to ask.
One point many of you don't understand is the juvenile records are confidential
and not easy to get your hands on. Even if Universities wanted to, they may not
be able to access the criminal records of juvniles they are considering offering
scholarships to.My wife and I were in a car accident where we were
hit from behind by a juvenile without a drivers license driving a stolen car.
The copy of the accident report we got from the police didn't have her name on
it or any contact information for her or her parents. When we asked about it we
were told that because she was a juvenile we were not entitled to that
information unless we filed a court action against her. We never did find out
her name or any information about her.I think that is one reason the
Universties don't know about these kids. Until they become adults, the
information is not readily available. I think the NCAA should work with the
court systems across the country to make juvenile records available to coaches
and background checks should be mandatory before a scholarship is offered.
The article claims these althletes had "criminal histor[ies] that ranged
from drug possession to violent assault". Maybe I over-react to drug
possession, but these are all felonies. Does this mean things like
non-felonious assult or petty larceny as a 13-year-old were not in the stats, or
is someone reporting the more glitzy crimes to hide the fact that some of these
are Joe Muitalo got mad at a classmate in 9th grade and punched him in the arm
type of crimes? What type of crime when should exclude potential college
athletes? Also, are these accusations or convictions. If they include plea
deals maybe the lawyer said to another hypothetical case JuWan Jones, I believe
you did not steal Henry Milton-Standford's rolex, but out here in Andover there
is a view that the scholarshipped prep school athletes cause the crime, so the
jury will convict. take the plea deal, with just 10 hours community service and
six months probation, and no college is going to say "oh, we do not want
Jones on our basketball team because of a theft he did when you were in 8th
How long is Fauonuku's probation? Did this case involve a plea bargain? the
whole point of probation is that we do not believe that one crime should lead to
life in prison, and in some cases sending someone to prison may be the worst
choice. Should we punish a kid for the rest of their life for one stupid act?
Fanuonuku was suspended from two games, he is on probation with reporting costs,
and he has to do 125-hours of community service. He has been punished for his
actions. It would not make sense to re-punish him.If he had been
involved in armed robbery and then had all charged dropped that would be one
thing. However I am uncomfortable with the notion of societal institutions
stepping in and placing additional punishments beyond those mandated by the
True statement:We all make mistakes.False statement:We all rob teenagers at gunpoint and threaten to kill them if they
squeal.The fact that no one is perfect is no justification at all
for closing our eyes to the crimes committed by some. Using bad language or
jaywalking or even shoplifting a candy bar simply doesn't compare with armed
robbery and threatening to kill someone.
Football is a tough sport. Many successful football players are tough people.
We can wish for this, wish for that.Reality rules,it seems.
I think I do agree with the general conclusion that universities should seek
more information. Whther or not a university should admit a student who is
accused of violent assault to play on a hockey team where you intentionally give
him a weapon or a football team where you will put him under streess and make
him a weapon, is debatable. However I think we all could agree that the
universities should seek this information out.However, do these
schools ever ask players about past criminal records? A good start if they do
to make sure it is relevant is saying "we will do a background check, so
you want to write anything that is there down. This way you can give your side
of the story and show honesty. Most past criminal records will not disqualify
you from play. Lieing on this form might."One problem is the
live and let live attitude so prevalent on college campuses. On the other hand
a draw back to this study is focus on where people got accused, not where people
actually committed crimes.
Hanksboy, The D-News is largely prohibited from publishing the substance
of the cases. SI and CBS want you to have to go to their reports to learn the
fuller details. They will let DN know their general conclusions, and the DN can
go talk to the coaches involved, but SI and CBS are going to gaurd their
copyright on the body of the work.
I'm not really certain of the point of this whole investigation. Should
colleges and high schools look into the backgrounds of their players? Sure.
They shouldn't be blindsided by bad behavior off the field. Next
I'm missing something here!...This young man committed a crime, went to court
and has settled the matter.To my knowledge, there are no laws or
rules that prohibit a minor convicted of a crime from attending high school or
college (except BYU). So why can't this young man attend high school,
participate in choir, band and debate club. And if he can do those things, why
not sports? And when he gets to college, he's going to go to classes and
participate in clubs. Why not sports.So why the big investigative
scenario. Sounds like a way to sell SI and newspapers.
In all fairness Utah recruited him before he was arrested. Every team has dumb
teens who mess up anyways. Some crimes are very serious, but in general minor
Pretty sad day when high school students must be investigated for criminal
activities before they are allowed to play ball. What have we come to?
Thie truth of the matter is this: If a large 17 y/0 male pulled a gun on you
demanding drugs and money, would you consider 125 hours of community service as
adequate punishment, with no actual time spent in detention? I would suspect
most that think he served his time are either U ofU football fans who want him
to play, or individuals who think all people under 18 should be let off with a
slap on the wrist. I bet if was not a highly prized recruit, he would have been
sentenced more harshly, or processed through the adult system.In college
and later in life, he is going to believe he can do this kind of stuff and get
away with it because he is a star athlete. And he may be right. That is why so
many college athletes commit crimes as well. Read the SI article, it is
enlightening. It anazes me that football players who have committed numerous
violent crimes are still getting scholarships. I would have a hard, if not
impossible time getting a medical license if I did the stuff some of these kids
I have lost a tremendous amount of respect for the Coaching Staff at the
University of Utah. This kid should not be playing football on a scholarship.
He should have been removed off the list and the opportunity given to a kid who
possess better character. Peck should have also done the right thing. Same on
you Kyle and Dave.
This is exactly why BYU's recent actions are so admirable. Many of these
athletes don't feel the consequneces of their actions until they have done
something really stupid that hurts lots of people around them. BYU holding to
its Honor Code is a great way to emphasize the need for student athletes to keep
their commitments to thier team and community.
I believe the point isn't punishment. It's rewarding these kids once we are
aware of criminal behavior. Mind you, I said CRIMINAL not even INAPPROPRIATE.
The NCAA academic requirements are clear and difficult. Many athletes work very
hard to get into and play for their dream college. To watch these thugs break
the law, then 'steal' scholarships to those who are more deserving is just
wrong. It's called Winning At All Cost and Coach Peck, you don't teach a good
lesson when you reward bad behavior. A player uses armed robbery as a way to
get over a family death isn't just blowing off steam, it's CRIMINAL. And your
job as an 'adult' is to get him therapy. Real therapy...not found on the
football field. It's called character building and you won't find it in a play
A step in the right direction would be for any kid who is invited to come on
campus for a visit, he and his parents, must declare in writing that the kid has
never been arrested for any class one, class two or class three demeanor,
regardless of age. If they have then they must give the university the case
number and contact person. The university would then be required to follow
through and investigate, and then make a decision. Failure to reveal this
information once a scholarship is offered would be grounds to revoke the
scholarship immediately. If the kid has been arrested for DUI the university
should have a program for the kid if they offer a scholarship. IF he has been
arrested for shoplifting, etc, again a warning light, not necessarily a reason
to deny. Assault and battery and threatening others lives would be a big huge
warning light. Kids do stupid things, but after dealing with
hundreds of thousands over 34 years of working in the school system, it is very
few who do this type of stupid thing. I would have no problem
requiring this of anyone being offered any kind of scholarship.
It's all about the booty. If they think they can get more of the booty, they'll
always try. When the sports programs stop offering so much booty, there might
be an incentive to look more closely at backgrounds. But the way it stands now,
there's just too much booty to go around: for the fans, for the players, and
especially the programs themselves. Cut out the payolla, and the booty and let
the players actually play!
One of the best stories I've read, one of the best I watched on CBS news.
It would be useful to know how many of these kids with so-called criminal
records go on to commit crimes while in college. Or another way of looking at
it would be, what percentage of college athletes who commit crimes while on
scholarship had criminal records before college? If it's a high percentage then
it might be worthwhile for colleges to include looking up criminal records of
recruits, knowing there's a good chance they'll mess up while representing their
So, how does a kid with all the life drama and dead weight around his neck get
from the doorstep of prison to the new start he says he wants? First, he has to
be clean and sober and stay away from those who use and abuse. There are no ifs
ands or buts about that one. In the gang-banger world that likely means no
contact with old friends, their play grounds or their play things. If someone's
daddy is a gang banger, that includes him too. This could be a very hard slog up
a very muddy road and excess baggage must be left behind. To change behavior one
must change thinking. To change thinking one must rid himself of adverse
influences and replace them with positive ones. We are what we think we are. In
this case, the kid has to find his affirmations in doing the right thing.
In short, the boy needs a plan. He must understand it, participate in its
creation and be committed to it. Those around him must monitor the plan and
provide direction and support. Waver and the kid lapses into old thinking and
old ways and old friends and falls off the cliff. Will it happen this way? It
depends on the kid and those around him - especially the father.
This just proves the saying "in the eye of the beholder". I doubt that
anyone here has all the information to be truly fair and place judgement any
better than the court system.
The ugly side of sports is coming to light. The end does not justify the
means.As an avid fan of local sports it hurts when a team loses.We put
athlestes on to much of a pedestal.We are much to hard on them when they
lose.Sportsmanship is what it should be all about. What real value is there in
teaching our children that nothing matters but winning or doing well in sports?