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Doug Robinson: Is there still a place for BYU in college sports?

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  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    March 9, 2011 2:37 p.m.

    I'm weary of the "BYU can't play on Sunday" discussion in March Madness. HALF of the games are not on Sunday, until the final four, and then NONE of the games are on Sunday. That's just a cheap excuse to continually ignore the Cougars. They used to say BYU couldn't win because they had too many returned missionaries on the team; now they say returned missionaries are an unfair advantage. No matter what, if you don't like BYU (usually because they regularly beat your team) any reason will do. Go Cougars!!

  • mussingaround Palo Alto, CA
    March 9, 2011 2:39 p.m.

    Sounds like wishful thinking from a Utah homer who's hoping that BYU will pack it in so the Utes don't have to live in the shadow of the Cougars any long.

  • gogogoff Orem, UT
    March 9, 2011 2:41 p.m.

    With the OSU football scandal, I think more and more people want more shools like BYU, people with HONOR and morals.

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    March 9, 2011 2:41 p.m.

    Sure, Just not in the PAC12, Big12, Big10, SEC, Big East or ACC.

    Only in little known "conference" call the WWC (I think that's what they call it) and only in basketball.

    Hope this cleared up any questions you might have had.

  • scott Alpine, UT
    March 9, 2011 2:54 p.m.

    Why are Utah homers so anxious to see BYU abandon sports?

    Have the Utes lived in the shadow of the Cougars so long that the Utes have given up and are simply hoping the Cougars will go away?

  • bigsoccer Syracuse, UT
    March 9, 2011 2:58 p.m.

    BYU isn't the only team in the country that won't play on sundays.

  • Solomon Levi Alpine, UT
    March 9, 2011 2:59 p.m.

    hedgehog

    "I think..."

    That's new.

    When are you going to stop spamming BYU articles like you promised you would?

  • utahprincipal801 Sandy, UT
    March 9, 2011 3:05 p.m.

    I think the publicity of late has proven what we want the world to know. Yes, there are still kids out there who want to and can live up to high moral standards, and consequences do occur when we don't live up to our written commitments. Kids going to BYU should realize they let down a whole lotta people, not just themselves, when they do break the honor code, also. Yes, collegiate sports create challenges, but I, for one, hope BYU will continue to be a national collegiate sports contender for years to come. Go, Cougars!

  • JayDogg Orem, UT
    March 9, 2011 3:13 p.m.

    Once again Doug writes an article using flawed logic. Doug, the NCAA will deal with the headache of scheduling BYU, because ultimatley they care about money. BYU brings a crowd everwhere they go, and the NCAA knows that. Bronco said that having an HC is an advantage in recruiting, because he can recruit a more mature athlete, and that has obviously paid off in recent years. The HC is a stepping stone, not a stumbling block, for BYU athletics. The recruiting pool is not getting smaller; it is getting bigger. The life blood of BYU recruits are LDS kids, and the LDS church is continuing to grow at an alarming rate. Think the good b-ball player from NC who is considering BYU. He is a convert. That is one example of many. Sports are used as a missionary tool by the school, and the good publicity far outweighs the bad. Doug, please stop writing articles for Deseret News. I have never read a more flawed writer than you.

  • tron527 American Fork, UT
    March 9, 2011 3:17 p.m.

    As long as it makes money BYU will keep division 1 sports. If the athletic department ever starts showing up in the red then you could see some sports getting dropped. Being independent will not hurt BYU in football and the WCC will be a good fit for the basketball team. Also for those who are accusing Mr. Robinson of being a Ute homer I am pretty sure he graduated from Utah State, don't get the two mixed up.

  • Andrew J. Marksen Salt Lake City, UT
    March 9, 2011 3:18 p.m.

    At BYU athletics exist because of the university. If athletics no longer fits into the mission of BYU then the church will end them. Let the lessons of Ricks College be a warning and a reminder to all of the faithful. The LDS Church will decide BYU's fate and if athletics becomes a burden or a distraction they will be eliminated.

  • Andermart Pullman, WA
    March 9, 2011 3:23 p.m.

    Oh brother. Does anyone approve these articles before they come out?

  • Cougar Claws Lindon, UT
    March 9, 2011 3:24 p.m.

    Just wait until the church doubles in size, then BYU will have 4% of the nations athletes all to itself!

  • Shaden Lincoln, NE
    March 9, 2011 3:34 p.m.

    @JayDogg: I agree with your points in a way because I'm also a deeply dedicated BYU fan (and I assume that you are too). But I disagree with you that Doug's article is "deeply flawed"; he's trying to point out that BYU's goal of maintaining its religious principles is increasingly incongruous with the money- and winning-driven world of college sports.

    So, while I do agree with you that BYU does bring in money because of LDS sports fans worldwide, much of the rest of the country overlooks that fact because of the attention BYU gets instead because of other things, like the honor code and policy about not playing on Sundays. This does not mean that Doug's writing is "deeply flawed" or that he's trying to belittle BYU.

  • Riddles in the Dark Olympus Cove, Utah
    March 9, 2011 3:36 p.m.

    The more likely reason athletics were eliminated at Ricks College when it moved from a 2 year college to a 4 year university is the church didn't want BYU and BYU-I competing for the same athletes.

    When it was a junior college, Ricks became a feeder school to BYU. When Ricks became a four year school, it would have become a competitor.

    Athletics at BYU is helping to fulfill the mission of the school and the church by helping to spread the gospel message.

    As long as BYU athletics continues to produce more good than negative, sports will continue to thrive at BYU.

  • neimfrence layton, ut
    March 9, 2011 3:47 p.m.

    Whats the line? The only bad publicity is no publicity.

    Thank you, National Press. You just performed a highly publicized pre-screening on behalf of BYU for their athletes of the future. Sure, a few more athletes will stay away, but all the hoopla will also have the effect of attracting high-character athletes from a wider demographic who otherwise never would have known or been interested in BYU.

    The LDS Church and BYU will never drop intercollegiate spots. The Ricks deal was a different matter; BYU is the flagship of the franchise and is therefore in a completely different situation. And Church leaders aren't afraid of negative publicity. If so, there wouldnt be an honor code or, at the very least, it wouldnt be enforced.

    Sunday play? Not a problem. It would likely work to the advantage of the church and school to have to forfeit games every year in the name of a principle.

    BYU fans know the drill. Sports are not the end game. Theyre a fun diversion, but in the grand scheme of things, they are only that. Winning isnt the only thing. Its just a thing.

  • Woodyff Mapleton, UT
    March 9, 2011 3:51 p.m.

    What a absurd premise. BYU and the Church received a lot of positive press from this issue, even from Jon Stewart. The BYU's position was juxtaposed with the situation at Northwestern. BYU came our well in the press vs. Northwestern. Someone has to have standards and live by them.

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    March 9, 2011 3:52 p.m.

    Obviously the LDS Church is benefiting from adhering to its moral Honor Code, why would it choose to remove itself from the spotlight like that? There will always be those who enjoy cheering for the kids who have values.

  • fresnogirl Fresno, CA
    March 9, 2011 3:59 p.m.

    Ugh ... this is like those late summer articles that get written while we are all awaiting football season to FINALLY start. They have to write something, BUT there's really nothing to write about yet. I guess there is a point to the MWC Tournament after all.

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    March 9, 2011 4:03 p.m.

    The article sounds more like the author is trying to beat a dead horse and raise controversy to generate interest. BYU athletics will continue to grow and increase in the national spotlight. The honor code will be a positive recruiting tool overall. Just like BYU is there so young men and women who profess high moral standards can have a place to pursue their education with far less "garbage" around them, the athletics dept. is there so athletes involved in all sports who are looking for a similar experience can have a place to reach their potential in a morally uplifting environment. There are those who would tear that down if they could and there are students there who do not live the honor code but, overall, it is a fantastic place to go to school and to be involved in athletics.
    All the little yappy dogs in the media across the entire country can chase the big blue and white car and bark as loud as they want but it won't slow down.
    Go Cougars!

  • Andrew J. Marksen Salt Lake City, UT
    March 9, 2011 4:04 p.m.

    Athletics was dropped at Ricks (now BYU-I) because the athletics department and competitive athletics at that level were no longer needed to further the mission of the church or ther college. It is folly to say that the church will never get rid of athletics at BYU. The churches own track record simply does not bear that out. It is not about publicity or negativity or money. BYU follows the mission the church assigns it. Athletics is simply along for the ride.

  • Bluto Sandy, UT
    March 9, 2011 4:06 p.m.

    BYU is the shining light on the Hill.

    Just read the 10 to 1 positive articles for BYU, across the Nation this week, on the Davies deal.

    In light of recent scandals at Ohio State, Auburn, Kansas State, Northwestern, Pittsburgh, UConn., Notre Dame, where Administrators looked the other way, and made "Exceptions" to their own rules, in order to win at all costs....

    BYU is just fine, being BYU.

    Ricks sports were eliminated simply because BYU-Idaho became a four year school. BYU-Hawaii is a 2 year school, & still plays a full slate of D-2 sports.

    I think this article is a bit of a Strawman, trying to find controversy where none exists.

    As long as BYU "Sticks to It's Principals", issues can and will be resloved for the better, for both parties. The chance of BYU dropping sports are pretty slim, because of the honor code.

    The Crowton era will never be seen again. Everybody's paying attention.

    The Final Four has always been a Saturday/Monday setup, that is Tradition. Has nothing to do with BYU. BYU simply has to go through the bracket which has no Sunday play. No big deal.

  • JayDogg Orem, UT
    March 9, 2011 4:07 p.m.

    Shaden,
    Doug is using his points as reasons for BYU dropping athletics in the future. That is his main point. Go back and read the article. Your point about BYU and college athletics heading in different directions is a secondary point in the article, and not mentioned in my comments. Try commenting on things I actually write about.
    I wrote that the church gets far more good exposure than bad in athletics, despite what you say. Just go to other sports websites and see all the praise BYU is getting for sticking with the HC in the Davies situation. It far outweighs the bad.
    I never said "belittling BYU". I only talked about Doug's flawed reasoning skils. If you don't think Doug is a flawed writer, just go and click on his name, and you will find links to plenty of articles where most the comments are on his flawed way of thinking. Or better yet, just look at the comments above. The majority are against him.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 9, 2011 4:07 p.m.

    "and the LDS church is continuing to grow at an alarming rate."

    No it's not, the LDS share of the US population percentage-wise has been steady the last decade or two despite the fact that LDS members are known to have high birth rates. However, without the creation of a new LDS school there is an increased pool of athletes to draw from.

  • BleedingBYUBlue Seaside, CA
    March 9, 2011 4:18 p.m.

    This is the worst article I have ever read on Deseret News. I am baffled that someone would think this. How can anyone sit there and essentially say BYU is bad for college sports because of their "demands". BYU is the exact opposite of that for the exact reasons he mentioned. How does he not see that college sports and suffering because these programs are filling their teams with criminals and even then, when they get in trouble while in the program, they get a slap on the wrist. Underage drinking, DUIs, assault, drug possession, weapon possession are all things we've seen before and they get a "1 game suspension" much like the crap Ohio State pulled earlier this year with the "Tattoo Fest" and the players get to play in the big game because they committed a crime and were "sorry" and "didn't know". Yeah, right.

    This is what's wrong with college sports, not BYU.

  • Go Big Blue!!! Bountiful, UT
    March 9, 2011 4:31 p.m.

    The committee only needs to make sure that the y is on a Sunday free schedule for the first week of the tournament. It will always be a moot issue after the first two games.

  • JayDogg Orem, UT
    March 9, 2011 4:32 p.m.

    Atl 134,
    I was talking about overall numbers, not percentages. That still gives BYU a larger recruiting pool in the future.

  • In My Humble Opinion South Jordan, UT
    March 9, 2011 4:36 p.m.

    Ohio State just banned their coach for two games when he KNEW weeks in advance his players had committed NCAA violations. That's a school I have no respect for.

  • IFJazzFan Idaho Falls, ID
    March 9, 2011 4:46 p.m.

    Internet rumors and innuendo about the future of BYU sports going away have finally made it into the press. This ariticle is disguised in the current conservation of moral dilemma that may face a religious school and their sports program. What the article is really about is creating controversy and hopeful wishing by some Ute author hoping to see the demise of BYU sports. Comparing Ricks to BYU is ridiculous.

  • Dexter Salt Lake City, UT
    March 9, 2011 4:49 p.m.

    To write that BYU was "snubbed" by the PAC10 is simply not true. BYU was never even a consideration, and therefore would not have been "snubbed." "Ignored" is a better word to use.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    March 9, 2011 5:04 p.m.

    If I'm not mistaken Doug Robinson has a son either playing football at utah now of in the recent past. He certainly has a bias against BYU and it is apparent in his writing.

    But he does make a few good points. For instance I do think the church would end athletics at BYU if participating in them ever became a negative for the church, and school, overall. But I don't think that will happen in anything resembling the near future. That is every ute "fans" dream though. utah simply doesn't compete with BYU very well overall so seeing BYU end its sports programs would be the only way utah would ever be able to compete with them. These are ute "fans" afterall so the easy way out is what they seek. People like wedgie and christina only want the long nightmare of their inferiority to end. They have no desire, or will, to actually earn it.

  • troutman Washington, UT
    March 9, 2011 5:26 p.m.

    Please don't use the BYU as a source for a missionary tool for the Church. BYU and its Honor Code violaters have been a embarrassment to the Church. And no matter how you Spin it, that is not a missionary tool school. If you want to look at per-capita Church members, Utah State University fits the bill more of a missionary tool! Why, they have a lot of returned missionaries on their teams, who actually fullfilled 2 years of service. Not 1 year, not 6 months, but 2 years. Heck out of the 12 USU players on their basketball team 6 are returned missionaries, and they returned with HONOR!

  • Jimmy James Salt Lake City, Ut
    March 9, 2011 5:26 p.m.

    My issue with the BYU sports is this:

    BYU athletes are supposed to be ambassadors for the LDS church, yet, the only qualifications for being an athlete at BYU is a willingness to say "I won't smoke, drink, or have pre-marital sex". And to me, there's a lot more to being Mormon than just BYU's "honor code", like you know: serving others, being a nice person, etc.

    While some athletes have amazingly fit the bill of being both great athletes and great representatives of the LDS religion at the same time (like Riley Nelson), unfortunately most are just great athletes who happened to be raised Mormon and are in fact quite poor ambassadors of my faith.

  • phgreek Hooper, UT
    March 9, 2011 5:48 p.m.

    I think BYU will do very well...says the lifetime Notre Dame fan.

    Welcome to the I conference...where exclusive TV contracts and playing Whomever you like is the order of the day...in 5 years folks will complain about you having your own network..blablabla. Just smile guys...you made the right choice...just don't beat Notre Dame...K

  • crowntown1 Corona, CA
    March 9, 2011 5:54 p.m.

    Why are so many mormons here so arrogant like you've won anything. Your not duke in basketball and your no USC in football your BYU. Only members of the church care about or watch byu sports. Let's not get carried away. And second i am deeply disappointed that no one is reaching out to the young lady during this Brandon Davies issue. All I have been hearing is how spiritual you all are and how much you wish Brandon to "get back" or "repent" How about the girl? The reason he got national media attention was because he was a good player on the team. If it would have been someone else no one would've even cared. You guys pump your chests like you never do no wrong and then this happens.

  • Solomon Levi Alpine, UT
    March 9, 2011 6:06 p.m.

    troutman

    "Please don't use the BYU as a source for a missionary tool for the Church."

    BYU athletes represent BYU, which, being owned by the LDS church, makes them representives of the church as well.

    By extension, every student at BYU represents BYU and the church.

    That will never be the case with USU athletes no matter how many returned missionaries play for the Aggies.

    btw, there are LDS athletes at Utah State who are also Honor Code breakers; the Honor Code is just called something else -- the Thirteenth Article of Faith.

  • crowntown1 Corona, CA
    March 9, 2011 6:07 p.m.

    BYU is no Notre Dame Notre Dame is still much bigger than BYU. Notre Dame also plays big boys and is recruiting as good as anyone. Byu on the other habd is getting 1 star Instate poly's and slow instate DB's.

  • Solomon the Wise Alpine, UT
    March 9, 2011 6:16 p.m.

    Gifford Nielsen, Vai Sikahema, Steve Young, Kresimir Cosic, Ty Detmer, Mike Reid, Johnny Miller... just a few of the many, many BYU athletes who have been GREAT ambassadors for the church, yet jealous fans who root for other teams are too blind to see that. Who's putting sports over religion; BYU or those who are jealous of BYU?

  • crowntown1 Corona, CA
    March 9, 2011 6:21 p.m.

    Don't worry they won't be beating Notre Dame anytime soon.

  • royalblue Alpine, UT
    March 9, 2011 6:26 p.m.

    crowntown1

    "Only members of the church care about or watch byu sports."

    Which of course accounts for the Jimmer mania that has been sweeping the country and the numerous National Player of the Year awards that are starting to roll in.

    BYU received far more positive than negative press from it's response to Brandon Davies Honor Code violation.

    What about the girl? She's not even a BYU student, but I'm sure her local ecclesiastical leaders are reaching out to her if she's sought their help.

    Sounds like you're just casting stones because you hate BYU, rather than having any real issues.

  • LonestarRunner Salt Lake City, UT
    March 9, 2011 6:34 p.m.

    "Notre Dame also plays big boys..."

    Like Texas, Oklahoma, Florida State, USC, Georgia Tech, and...

    Notre Dame?

    Notre Dame may recruit alot of 4 and 5 star athletes, but that hasn't stopped BYU from beating the Irish.

    Get back to us when you have a valid argument, instead of hyperbole.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, Utah
    March 9, 2011 6:34 p.m.

    I like how he mentioned that BYU "rivals" Utah in sports in the last 30 years, almost as if to say they have been about equal. Here are the MWC championships won as of February 2011 (not including BYU's recent Men's/Women's b-ball championships):

    BYU: 135
    Utah: 47
    UNLV: 37
    New Mexico: 35
    SDSU: 31
    TCU: 28
    CSU: 27
    Air Force: 2
    Wyoming: 2

    Yeah, I'd say BYU has "rivaled" Utah the past ten years. And that was in Utah's glory decade of football. Go back the previous 20 years to the times of the WAC, and I imagine similar numbers.

    Back to the topic, BYU will be fine. Part of the reason they chose the WCC is because of their high religious tolerance. BYU will always have a home there, at least for now.

  • crowntown1 Corona, CA
    March 9, 2011 6:44 p.m.

    Why are making excuses for BYU?? They are a LDS school and they have to sign the honor code. It's laughable that you have to start comparing yourselves to other schools now. The point is you guys(fans) are delusional to think BYU athletes LDS or not are all these fine young men. You guys don't hang out with these guys in the clubs where they drink and party.

  • crowntown1 Corona, CA
    March 9, 2011 6:54 p.m.

    Re: Royal blue

    She is a member of the church, my beef is with all these BYU dorks who post their sympathy's and boast their spiritual advice and "Get Wells" to Davies but not about the girl he got pregnant? It's a bunch of hypocrisy to me. And yes only members of the church watch or care about BYU athletics. Are you gonna argue with that???

  • Parkercoug Parker, CO
    March 9, 2011 6:55 p.m.

    I disagree with the BYU-Idaho analogy. I believe politics ruled this decision pure and simple. BYU insiders did not want any competition for their players. But realistically Ricks could recruit very well. As long as they were a junior college they would have never dropped sports at Ricks; I am convinced of that. They built a new football stadium, etc. and suddenly dropped sports when they became a 4 year school. I believe the good the sports does far outweigh any negatives.

  • crowntown1 Corona, CA
    March 9, 2011 6:57 p.m.

    Guess what BYU has to schedule better opponents from now moving forward to get any kinda BCS buzz and they gave to win. If they could not achieve that in the MTN WORST what makes you think they can do that as an Indy? And please don't respond with "Because they are BYU"

  • crowntown1 Corona, CA
    March 9, 2011 7:06 p.m.

    I apologize for generalizing like that. BYU has fine young men who play sports there. But my point is they should be held to a higher standard. So BYU fans should not feel to protect themselves by making excuses. Just repent, do your thing and move on.

  • tonyloaf New York, NY
    March 9, 2011 7:08 p.m.

    Notre Dame football is on TV every week during the football season because there are so many Catholics in the country. As Mormons continue to grow in numbers the national media will respond because there will be money in it for them. And because the BCS is all about money, they too will respond when BYU starts to draw a larger national audience. Just as the BCS made special rules just for Notre Dame, if they see money in it, they'll bend over backwards to accommodate BYU. I would say BYU has a bright future on the national college sports scene because every year there are more Mormons.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    March 9, 2011 7:19 p.m.

    Well written article. In a lot of ways it would be better for BYU to drop intercollegiate sports as was done at Ricks Collegde (now BYU Idaho). BYU proclaims to want to compete at the highest levels and puts it's sports heros (Jimmer and Jake) on a pedestoool (even though they violated the honor and the obligation of serving missions as all other young LDS men are expected to do). So it is not likely that BYU can have it both ways. I am VERY proud that BYU stands up for honor and integrity. Sadly, the goals of sports achievement don't really appear to be compatible with BYU's overall mission, so maybe the Church should seriously consider dropping sports. The fact that these high profile LDS athletes continue to violate the honor code only brings more ebarrassment to the school and the Church.

  • phgreek Hooper, UT
    March 9, 2011 7:25 p.m.

    @crowntown1,

    You miss my point. Talk to me in 5 years regarding the state of BYU football, and their recruiting. BYU as a standalone is actually less threatening than when they were in the MWC, so big boys will play them (early in the season before their conference play starts)

    I really don't care much about "Stars" next to a kid's name. Does he fit the scheme and can the staff develop him. Bronco usually does a good job...lets see if the changes in staff get him the results he wants. With ESPN on board, A solid young QB, BYU will make some noise and get a ton of exposure...all looks positive from where I'm sitting.

  • Unbiased Viewpoint Draper, UT
    March 9, 2011 7:40 p.m.

    Common from someone of a different faith, Mormon BYU haters are strange birds. I will never understand it, no matter how many ways you try and justify it. The school is an extension of your faith. Lay off the kids who make an occassional mistake. After all, none of us are perfect. As an outsider looking in these boys and the school do a lot to bring goodwill to your church.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    March 9, 2011 7:47 p.m.

    Actually BYUHAWAII is a Four Year school. I don't think they had Intercollegiate athletics all those years but are a four year school. I think there athletics costs a whole lot more than it would at BYUIDAHO. Travelwise that is.

    That is the confusion is how they can justify having Intercollegiate AThletics but not BYUIDAHO. I would not mind them returning there. I heard it won't happen. but than again I only heard numerous times that Ricks would never be a four year school. NEw center seats 15,000 maybe time to bring them up there. Big Sky Conference or Division II one would be good fit I think.

    Eventually could bring Money to school. I do not think BYU Provoe Or BYUH will drop intercollegiate athletics anytime soon.

  • slgs5aggie Cedar City, UT
    March 9, 2011 7:54 p.m.

    How about the thought that really, NO college kids should be playing on Sunday. That seems like the best answer for me. Pros play on Sunday, when they are grown men making a living and choose that. College plays every other day. Just seems right. I thought it was weird when college games started happening on Sundays. Last time I checked it was not just one religion that believed in a Sabbath day.

  • awsomeron1 Oahu, HI
    March 9, 2011 7:57 p.m.

    Did you ever think that BYU was Right and the Rest are Wrong!!!~

    Instead of BYU Playing On Sunday perhaps they are the ones that should Not Be Playing on Sunday.

    Sunday is not just a another day and it is not ment to be one of the most roweded dys for shopping of the week.

    Working on Sunday requires Good People of All Faiths to work on Sunday or lose their jobs. Yhat leaves them sometimes out of Church for years and or with no one to take their kids to Church.

    Laie is Closed On Sunday and for the Most part so is Safford Az. The public parks are not open for organized sports on Sunday.

    EAC (Thatcher Az) who played with Ricks before the name change, also did not plat on Sunday. In Safford or Thatcher you could lose your TR Playing on Sunday.Youth could lose their kiddie work ticket.

    You could go to the park and play catch aand cook food but not play league sports. Or Golf events.

    It is wrong as aq member to believe that the Church should change on the issue.

    If you have beliefs then abide by them.

  • DeltaCougar Delta, ut
    March 9, 2011 8:24 p.m.

    Hey Johnny. Johnny Come Lately. You are way late getting on this train.

  • NevadaCoug Overton, NV
    March 9, 2011 8:29 p.m.

    BYU will not cave and start playing on Sunday. It is more likely that the NCAA will cave to BYU. All BYU has to do is put themselves in position to contend for a national title in a sport, and the NCAA will have to reconsider its scheduling.

    Consider the case of Men's Rugby. How many games did BYU have to forfeit before the NCAA finally caved and changed the championship from a Sunday? Year after year, it seemed, BYU was forfeiting the semifinal game because the championship was on Sunday. No longer. And what happened after the day was changed? BYU won a championship with two or three years.

    Do the same in other sports, and things will change. It would certainly help also if ALL religious based institutions would take a stand against Sunday play. (Here's looking at you, TCU and Notre Dame.)

  • Unbelievable West Jordan, Utah
    March 9, 2011 8:35 p.m.

    Just exactly why the Y should continue competing in athletics.

  • CougarOnTheProwl Murray, UT
    March 9, 2011 8:47 p.m.

    what a rediculous article, BYU has successfully been playing college sports for an number of decades. You dont need to play on sundays to make it work and BYU continues to prove it. If BYU was to do away with sports that would be quitting and thats just not gonna happen. Get some new material Doug this nonsense of an article is a waste of peoples time.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 9, 2011 9:26 p.m.

    " Last time I checked it was not just one religion that believed in a Sabbath day. "

    Actually there is, or at least Christianity is the only one that uses Sundays. Or should we take Saturdays and Fridays off too? Anyway college football shouldn't be on sundays because that's when NFL games are. There's a simple separation there. But what about all the other sports? There's NBA games every night of the week so it's not like Sunday HAS to be avoided though it does tend to be avoided anyway aside from tournament time.

  • fresnogirl Fresno, CA
    March 9, 2011 9:28 p.m.

    crowntown1

    I might respond, "Because we are BYU" if I could make heads or tails of your rambling statement. I can read 4 languages fluently but I still can't figure out what you are trying to say. Slow down, organize your thoughts and try again tomorrow.

  • Osgrath Provo, UT
    March 9, 2011 10:07 p.m.

    What I love most in this thread are the people who presume to counsel the Church on whether it should allow inter-collegiate athletics in its flagship university. Of course, in their arrogance they also make the declaration that an LDS athlete who doesn't serve a mission is being dishonorable. I do have to disagree with one such person - this latest incident brought no dishonor to BYU.

    This is born out not only in the articles that the media published about it, which clearly were mostly favorable, but a lot of the commends in the ensuing blog threads. Just the choice of words and attitudes in those posts attacking BYU's decision indicated that those people are really not the kind of people in whose opinions I care about (kind of a character issue), and the rational and well-balanced people praised th university's actions.

    I do like my opinions, of course, but I'm not about to tell the Brethren how to make their administrative decisions.

  • Ratman Salt Lake City, UT
    March 9, 2011 10:25 p.m.

    @"Unbiased" - "Common(SIC) from someone of a different faith, Mormon BYU haters are strange birds. I will never understand it, no matter how many ways you try and justify it. The school is an extension of your faith".

    Allow an active High Priest in the LDS faith to explain: Among many (not all) of the cougar faithful, there is a preponderance of arrogance and self-righteousness which puts off other people, even many active LDS. Further, it seems that many cougars, including you, believe it is some sort of religious obligation to root for your school's athletic teams. I can assure you that such trivial matters are far from the main purpose of the church, which is to bring people closer to Christ. Although I don't agree with Rock's article completely, I believe he was correct in mentioning that church leaders would not hesitate to shut down BYU athletics if it continues to create embarrasment for the church and impedes, rather than enhances, the missionary effort. When BYU began its athletics program, many of its trustees had misgivings. Continued honor code violations or hate-filled outbursts by BYU's athletes could bring about the end.

  • donburi Oceanside, CA
    March 9, 2011 10:30 p.m.

    Why all the negative comments? I think many of you are missing the point. Doug is not saying that BYU should or will drop sports. He's just bringing up some thought provoking issues that are very relevant due to today's collegiate climate and recent happenings. I've never read anything Doug has written that is negative towards BYU. So either my reading comprehension is messed up, or all the negative commenters reading comprehension is messed up.

    Anyway, great article Doug (as usual). Let the yapping dogs yap.

  • R.Burgundy Cedar Hills, UT
    March 9, 2011 10:46 p.m.

    BYU is not going to abandon their Sports program! BYU has started a trend by going Independent. I predict within 5-7 years Schools like Texas, USC, Florida and others will look at the BYU model and do the same thing! The Money is to big for them to pass it up. Texas and USC AD's have already talked about it.(see internet)Big 6 conferences are a little nervous of losing the big name Schools. One reason the Big 12 has not expanded is because they are waiting to see what Texas decides to do. Notre Dame is smart! they turned down the Big 10. If joining a conference was so great, then why didn't the Irish take the invite? Something to think about!

  • Riddles in the Dark Olympus Cove, Utah
    March 9, 2011 10:55 p.m.

    Ratman

    "When BYU began its athletics program, many of its trustees had misgivings"

    You really think that any "misgivings" BYU trustees might have had back in the 1800's are shared by BYU's trustees today?

    BYU athletics isn't embarrassing the church.

    In fact, the vast majority of publicity generated for the church by BYU athletics is positive. Even Brandon Davies' suspension received far more positive than negative responses from the national media.

    How has BYU enforcing rather than giving lip service to an Honor Code embarrassed the church?

    The arrogance Utah fans talk about is really just jealousy of the Cougars doing well.

  • Uteology Fort Worth, Texas
    March 10, 2011 1:57 a.m.

    gogogoff
    I think more and more people want more shools like BYU, people with HONOR and morals.
    --------------

    Yes, morals like this...

    BYU apologizes to USU for ill-advised Jumbotron message -- Deseret News (Nov 18, 2010)

    BYU football: Max Hall reprimanded by Mountain West Conference -- Deseret News (Nov. 30, 2009)

    BYU football: Max Hall apologizes for tirade -- Deseret News (Nov. 30, 2009)

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    March 10, 2011 6:29 a.m.

    The wringing of hands is way over played.

  • DC Alexandria, VA
    March 10, 2011 6:41 a.m.

    Doug, all BYU had in football their first 3 or 4 games was their running attack. While I admit that losing Unga was a big blow, saying that BYU lost because they lost Unga is an overstatement. BYU started 1-4 for many other reasons over not having a running attack.

    As far as BYU ditching NCAA sports, not going to happen anytime soon. Win or lose, it's still the best missionary effort the church has outside of the actual missionary program. Sports are the front porch of a university - it's all most people see or focus on when they see your school.

  • Name Already Used Fort Duchesne, UT
    March 10, 2011 6:57 a.m.

    I'm going to get "creamed" for bringing this up. In my humble opinion (as a True Ute and a Mormon) the worst publicity ever received by BYU resulted not from Honor Code violations, but from arrogance. I was far more embarrassed (as a member of the church that owns BYU) by Max Hall's comments than from mistakes of choice made by Unga or Davies. I'm happy for BYU's basketball winning season. BYU's Honor Code is fine--there will be violations (People understand the frail human nature.) What is more inexcusable is a lack of humility and respect for all others. This can be forgiven of a non church school like Utah (I'm a proud supporter of Utah)--it can hardly be expected from or forgiven of a religiously professing student body or their stalwart fans. Get off from your "high horse," Cougars.

  • Conservative Democrat Omaha, NE
    March 10, 2011 7:12 a.m.

    I teach in a small town that has no LDS members. Everyone I know in this town approve of how BYU upheld their standards. For those who say that LDS members or BYU students are arrogant, I say "Yes, there are a small percentage of LDS faithful who are arrogant, but it is not limited to BYU or BYU sports or the LDS." I have seen first-hand how people can be ignored, shouted down, criticized, persecuted, and just plain shunned just because they have different opinions or life-styles than the predominant mores in an area. Yet, every community I have lived in outside of Utah has seen LDS members (and BYU Grads) held up as examples to be followed because they do strive to adhere to standards and include people from other faiths. It is because of these shining lights that the Omaha Planning Commission approved the building of the Winter Quarters Temple. The LDS members in the area had voluntarily come to the rescue of the city after a natural disaster and helped with both the cleanup and the rebuilding of churches, businesses, and individuals. In other words. they just practiced BYU's religion.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    March 10, 2011 7:23 a.m.

    Dropping sports at Ricks? Big mistake. Expecting adherance to the honor code? The right thing to do. My guess is that a far larger percentage of regular students at the Y run afoul of the honor code than do athletes. Playing on Sunday? Leave that to the pros.

  • CopperGuy Thatcher, AZ
    March 10, 2011 7:33 a.m.

    As Big Media and Big Money continue to engulf the NCAA, the collision between BYU -- it's mission, standards and religious practices -- is unavoidable. The two sides will part company at some future date.

  • TheHailstorm South Weber, UT
    March 10, 2011 7:41 a.m.

    Robinson called out the snobs for education , but clearly he did not attend the announcement luncheon. Utah was also sought out because of their research and the way the then PAC 12 schools could share educational opportunities. I am growing weary hearing about the so called Honor and dignity of the student body and the respect of the sports program when we have Max spouting hate words , ( see Respect Others in the honor code , reprimanded by the league but NOT by the coaching staff as there was a bowl game the next time that they played), and then we have the taunting of the Jumbotran operator when they won a close in-state rival game, couple that along with the major uproar caused by the BYU replay officials when they play San Diego State. Please give these moral,holier than thou, comments a rest. I am LDS and active but I am ashamed at the arrogance of some of the students, fans, and faculty at BYU. Sometime I would hope that the BYU soapbox would just go away and not continually stir their pot with these moral victories and superior chest thumping.
    Please save me pain and moral lectures.

  • Y-Not-u Bluffdale, UT
    March 10, 2011 7:47 a.m.

    Be not fooled Y fans. There are a handful of very powerful LDS authorities that would dump the sports programs in a minute. When they are at the top, they will do so with little regard to anyone, just like they did at Ricks.

  • IndianaCoug Bloomington, IN
    March 10, 2011 8:15 a.m.

    RE: Uteology

    "Yes, morals like this...
    BYU apologizes to USU for ill-advised Jumbotron message -- Deseret News (Nov 18, 2010)BYU football: Max Hall reprimanded by Mountain West Conference -- Deseret News (Nov. 30, 2009)BYU football: Max Hall apologizes for tirade -- Deseret News (Nov. 30, 2009)"

    You are using flawed logic here. BYU, as an institution, did not do these things, they only sought to rectify the problem. Rather, TWO individual students made mistakes. That's hardly representative of the institution or the student body. The only reason these two instances even made it to the press is because they are so atypical of BYU students. Things like that happen every week at the Big Ten school I teach at and no one bats an eyelash.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    March 10, 2011 8:32 a.m.

    I respect BYU a great deal. The academics is tops. The campus is a great environment for kids to go to college. It sets a high standard and I respect that. I think a lot of non Mormon Ute fans are going to grow increasingly tired and probably frustrated by PAC 12 fans who are going to mock them and have some "fun" with them because most sports fans outside of Utah see the U of U as a Mormon school. It could get interesting because the PAC 12 won't have BYU to mock so they will probably turn on Utah to vent some of that anti Mormon vile. Here is a question for the BYU folks: If the excellent accounting program at BYU could only prepare graduates that had to take jobs that required them all to work on Sunday (I know this is fictious, but stay with me) would BYU continue to offer degrees in accounting? By the same token BYU will not play football on Sunday (good for them) but the players who go further will have to work on Sunday in the NFL. Any thoughts?

  • Mary E Petty Sandy, UT
    March 10, 2011 8:54 a.m.

    The lessons of history are a great teacher. We can and should learn from the past. Obviously, mankind hasnt; and as long as mistakes are made, hopefully, there will be the means for us to learn from others experiences and discuss the issues.

    This article is one man's reflection about a particular moment in history and its consequences: a fall from grace and the actual effects and potential collateral damages. Even though elements of the event have happened many times before in history and have been discussed and analyzed, I, for one, am grateful Doug Robinson and the DN have provided this forum to address these issues in today's climate and with such a wide audience of varying knowledge, skills, and experience.

    It has been fascinating to see all the different ways people look at this latest Honor Code episode and the reactions to it. Clearly, participants, observers, writers, and readers are taking sides. And the line between good and evil is being more clearly illuminated for mankind. The discussion is most welcome, if just by this reader, who prefers to learn vicariously from history (and the actions of others), rather than from personal foray.

  • TheSpiker Alpine, UT
    March 10, 2011 9:18 a.m.

    Dutchman

    Sports programs in general are not intended to prepare the participants to play pro sports. A 2005 study showed that 21% of college athletes think that they will go pro and only 1% actually ever make it.

    Sunday argument = fail

  • fresnogirl Fresno, CA
    March 10, 2011 9:29 a.m.

    Y-Not-u

    Oooh conspiracy theory; not doubt by someone "in the know."

  • Rexburg Reader Rexburg, ID
    March 10, 2011 9:37 a.m.

    I think this is the golden era of sports at BYU. And I think that is true precisely because of its commitment to the Honor Code.

    Also, BYU-Idaho's decision to abandon its athletic program wasn't based on religious or honor code issues. The school was at a crossroads with the transition from a two to four-year school and decided to go another direction. BYU, Provo has fully committed itself to running a successful athletic program, so I don't see it going away anytime soon.

    Still, the article brings up some good, albeit sad, points about decaying ethics in intercollegiate sports.

  • Hawk Littleton, CO
    March 10, 2011 9:55 a.m.

    "...if athletes continue to bring public embarrassment to BYU."

    While there have been isolated incidents that have brought embarrassment in the past (e.g., multiple-player incident during Crowton era), does every player suspension bring "public embarrassment to BYU?" Public embarrassment to the player perhaps, but it seems that there is FAR more respect given to BYU than condemnation when they enforce the honor code. Yes, there is occasional ridicule about the code from the outside world, but BYU and the Church have never been embarrassed by criticism about -- nor apologetic about standing up for -- their beliefs. Considering that it is probably only a 1% issue and after listening to the formal press confereneces, etc. by Holmoe and Rose, I sense concern, but not embarrassment on BYU's part....

  • JBQ Saint Louis, MO
    March 10, 2011 10:30 a.m.

    When statistics are used to document criminal records, you have to understand the large numbers of players on teams. Rosters for college teams usually carry about 80 players. Most are there for "honor and glory" and do not play. They are "water bucket" spear carriers. This means that the actual numbers are skewed. Fourteen per team in the top ten and seven percent in the top twenty-five are therefore astronomical in actuality. Teams crry a two team depth chart with some players doubling over at more than one position. This means that you are probably looking at number that correlate to about fifty players. I would also bet tghat the number probably cross function predominantly to the top 22 players which could mean about half of the top players in the top ten on each squad had criminal backgrounds.

  • jimhale Eugene, OR
    March 10, 2011 10:40 a.m.

    It might be important to ask: How important is the Honor Code to BYU overall?

    It is very likely the reason the University has grown so large. It is very likely why BYU is academically harder to get into than any school in the PAC-10/12 except Stanford and California.

    Did the recent controversy help or hurt missionary work? I'll bet it helped. It was fodder for positive work place discussions all over this liberal city. It probably was everywhere.

    In the end, this life isn't about winning anything...except respect.

  • G-Force Washington, UT
    March 10, 2011 10:47 a.m.

    Many non-LDS athletes are reluctant to sign up for what they might consider the life of a monk to play sports at BYU. You can bet rival coaches mention all of this when they're sitting in a recruit's living room. Yes, they may mention this, but what about this recruiting conversation in the living room? Just think about it, Mom, Coach so-and-so from this top 10 college football team says I can maybe play football with some of the 138 players with criminal records almost 14 per team. I may also have a chance to play with the 7 percent of the players on teams finishing in last year's top 25 that have criminal records, including charges for assault, domestic violence and burglary. Wow, Mom, I dont want to be a monk, I want to play for a top football program and really live.
    Is there still a place for BYU in college sports? Ask your Mom.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    March 10, 2011 10:47 a.m.

    jimhale,

    The honor code means everything to BYU. It will far out last atheletics.

    Dutchman brings up some good points. An interesting analysis would be to compare the percentage of athletes at BYU who have violated the honor code vs the percentage of other students who do. I know those numbers are not reported, but it would be interesting to see the comparison.

  • dalefarr South Jordan, Utah
    March 10, 2011 11:35 a.m.

    Although I am a lifetime member of the Cougar Club, i have concluded that multi-million dollar big time sports are not compatible with the honor code. The move to a smaller confernce for basketball is a good first step. The BCS is not worth what it takes to get there.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    March 10, 2011 12:05 p.m.

    BYU has already dropped swimming and track - two big sports. I can see dark clouds on the horizon for the Y as the NCAA moves into more sunday play. Also, I think this Brandon Davies deal is going scare alot of African American mothers to death (fair or not) and they will steer their kids elsewhere. Just guessing but I am thinking 10 more years and BYU is out of NCAA competition. I don't see the NCAA making any special rules for the Y anymore... i think the missionary exemption will be the next casulty.

  • MiP Iowa City, IA
    March 10, 2011 12:36 p.m.

    Doug is great.

    BYU can do what it wants and I don't see them dropping sports anytime soon.

    G-force: liked your comment. But let's look at the flip side. Most moms like discipline, but they like forgiveness too. Especially when it means their sons get to play in the NCAA tourney. If their kid is kicked off for violating a rule, perhaps a rule that doesn't make doctrinal sense to her or her son, she may regret telling her son to "live like the monk."

    jimhale, another reason why BYU is academically more difficult to get into is that it's a private institution and therefore doesn't have the obligations of a state run school (such as Utah/USU). IMO, if the honor code has anything to do with admissions becoming more difficult, it is because of LDS raised kids who are taught that BYU is the only school for which they can "stay good." Therefore, those going there are already steeped in the belief system. I would think this has less to do with non-LDS individuals wanting an honor code (save those international students who are grateful to be studying in the states).

  • Alpine Coug Alpine, UT
    March 10, 2011 12:48 p.m.

    @ patriot

    Whoa friend! Afraid that you are a bit premature with your pronouncements about the "demise" of swimming and track programs. As a grandfather of a track athlete, I was very interested to learn of this "news."

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    March 10, 2011 1:03 p.m.

    MiP,

    Good points. From what I have read of Brandon Davies' background, his Mom sent him to BYU for the academics and the honor code. Also, Michael Lloyd's mother is totally supportive of BYU, even though her son was basically asked to leave the basketball team.

  • alternate Salt Lake City, UT
    March 10, 2011 4:33 p.m.

    Doug, you made one comment about the criteria as to why BYU did not go to the PAC10.

    "In the end, the considerations for membership seemed to be dictated by TV sets (read: money), Sunday play, political leanings (read: too conservative for the liberal Pac-10 crowd), and, according to some snobs, academics."

    There is no question that BYU wins on TV sets and potential money that can be generated. But they lose on Sunday play and politics. The academic thing is not a snob thing, it is an attempt to justify the bigotry and religion and politics. No other reason.

    The bottom line, deal buster, only compelling reason, and you really have to go no further, is one word religion. Had BYU not been a religious school with a no Sunday play standard, they would already be in the big 12 or pac 10.

    You can leave all the on field banter of this team is better, does not make a difference. Religion shut out BYU. That may not be bad!!

  • 3grandslams Iowa City, IA
    March 10, 2011 4:36 p.m.

    There is a big time place for the Cougs! This is a "rivals" wish that they not compete anymore. Why not you lose so often to them in every sport.

    Add into the mix all the praise BYU has recently received and the many "hits" looking up the honor code and all my neighbors asking about the church, Yes, there is a huge place for BYU in the athletic world. Do you really think they took the step to independence to cancel the program a few years later?

    Keep dreaming rivals, there is more to BYU athletics than just playing the game.

  • Y4LYFE Lubbock, TX
    March 10, 2011 4:42 p.m.

    What a lame article. BYU has a code of honor, the rest of the nation does not. Deal with it. As long as this "limited" team is still beating utah in most sports I don't think there is any question about Y sports. BYU is playing several national games and is a national brand. That doesn't just go away with a bad season.

    After BYU stays in the regular Sportscenter routine throughout the 2011 year I wonder what the tune will be from those questioning carrying sports.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    March 10, 2011 5:14 p.m.

    @ratman, name already used and hailstorm

    Ad I, as a resident of this state, am embarrassed by the continual crude, vulgar and generally classless behavior of utah "fans". The university of utah is the flagship university of our state and the lowclass behavior of a large segment of its fans, students and employees is a humiliation to our state. It reflects on all of us and now that behavior will be seen weekly by fans of schools in most of the western states. Seeing as though the pac10 is a higher profile conference than the one utah was previously in this means even more people will see these louts behaving in classless ways.

    Unfortunately individuals like yourself are so concerned that BYU fans may behave arrogantly that you ignore the absolutely abysmal behavior of a large segments of utah "fans" and the embarrassment they are to our entire state.

  • Outsideview Federal Way, WA
    March 10, 2011 6:27 p.m.

    "BYU embarrassment" comes from BYU administration leaders as much or more than BYU athletes. Remember the low class firing of dedicated athletic officials and coaches. The only reason BYU would be embarrassed lately is because people outside of the church criticize them for getting worked up over something as minor as sex. The fact the some kids at BYU have sex wont stop just because you do away with sports.

    One of the most important things to remember is "BYU is not the church".

    Let BYU settle into their comfort zone of midmajor status and they can continue to do fine.

  • Jake2010 Hoolehua, HI
    March 10, 2011 7:48 p.m.

    BYU will always be on the collegiate sport landscape. You just don't throw away a money generating missionary tool that has had incredible success since the 80's if not 70's. So really I don't think Doug is trying to stir controversy. I think he is trying to sift the smart wheat from the gullible tares. That is like saying that the LDS church will begin to tear down temples. No hand will stop the work from progressing and the sports department at BYU is a huge missionary tool. IT will be around forever!

  • CTguy30 Colchester, CT
    March 10, 2011 9:42 p.m.

    Reading some commments and the opinions of Mr. Robinson, and for all those thinking that this whole "Honor Code Issue" is an embarrassment to the church, to BYU, don't actually see what's taking place. Though this is unfortunate turn in a young man's life, and how even more unfortunate that a private matter became explosively public...we have before us the Atonement of Jesus Christ being put to use. Anyone who tries to shame others for not keeping the statutes of the church are hypocrites themselves. As church members, you must learn to forgive, and bare each other up, especially in a time of their deepest sorrow...I believe that's what you'd like the Savior to do for you when your impurities are called up. I reiterate the words of Pres. Kimball, "The best way to repent is to not have to." But all the same, we all fall short of perfection. BYU and the LDS Church stand for redemption of sin through the Atonement of Jesus Christ; there's nothing embarrassing about that.

  • junkgeek Agua Dulce, TX
    March 10, 2011 10:04 p.m.

    My problem with BYU football is that has decided that it no longer wants to compete for championships and wants to chase the almighty dollar.

  • junkgeek Agua Dulce, TX
    March 10, 2011 10:11 p.m.

    I'd really like to see someone quantify the "missionary tool" that BYU athletics is. How many converts because of BYU sports primarily? (And that means you can't count those who had LDS friends already who fellowshipped them...)

  • Max Syracuse, NY
    March 11, 2011 6:19 a.m.

    I don't think the question is whether or not BYU should be involved in athletics, the question is AT WHAT LEVEL should BYU be involved in athletics. I think the move to the WCC is perfect for BYU. I have never believed that big time athletics was part of BYU's mission (for all the reasons stated in the article). In the WCC, they will be competing against like-minded religious based schools. Perfect. Keep the athletics, but keep it in perspective.

  • IndianaCoug Bloomington, IN
    March 11, 2011 6:52 a.m.

    RE: junkgeek

    "I'd really like to see someone quantify the "missionary tool" that BYU athletics is. How many converts because of BYU sports primarily? (And that means you can't count those who had LDS friends already who fellowshipped them...)"

    That's a great question. I wish it was one that could be answered. While I highly doubt there are more than a handful of converts who attribute their conversion to sports, BYU, or BYU sports, I know that thousands of people had their first exposure to the LDS church this way. In fact, I'm sure many others have had experiences like I had this last week with the Brandon Davies story. I've had several students, colleagues and friends ask me about BYU, the LDS church, and our standards. Prior to this week most of questions I got about the church were from people who knew I was a big BYU football fan. It would be cool to know how many people started investigating the church because of football, honor code violations, etc.

  • ezfisher Salt Lake City, UT
    March 11, 2011 8:45 a.m.

    I don't think Doug was trying to tear down BYU or BYU fans. On the contrary, he seems to be a supporter of BYU. He was simply presenting the question many people are thinking about but nobody wants to ask.
    I have always enjoyed Doug's articles. His humor and insights are outstanding. If you are offended by this one article, you must not be familiar with his work. He is one of the best sports journalists in the state; maybe the country.

  • Farid @ Pocatello Pocatello, ID
    March 11, 2011 8:48 a.m.

    "You also have to wonder how patient church leaders will be if athletes continue to bring public embarrassment to BYU."

    With all due respect, are you kidding me?

    The coverage of Brandon Davies' suspension was wholly positive. Countless stories were written about how impressed the writers were that BYU made that decision without worrying about their ranking or possible financial loss.

    Every time a Harvey Unga or Brandon Davies is suspended, the appreciation for BYU (and the LDS Church) goes up, not down.

    Maybe BYU should create some kind of athletic "Survivor Island," where a dozen athletes compete to see who won't get thrown out of school for an Honor Code violation.

    Like the curvy Hollywood starlet once said, "The only bad publicity is no publicity."

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    March 11, 2011 8:58 a.m.

    Some people stay away from BYU because of the role the Church plays in their private lives, but others welcome it. It also looks like the NCAA is bending over backwards to try and accommodate the "no Sunday play" rule. From what I've read BYU has drawn praise for enforcing their rules even when it possibly meant giving up a chance at a final four appearance. So why the long sad article?

  • Eddie T Baton Rouge, LA
    March 11, 2011 10:44 a.m.

    Who is this straw man you're destroying? I'm an Aggie, post-Mormon, and bear BYU nothing but ill, but I know nobody who says "There isn't a place for BYU in college sports."

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    March 12, 2011 12:06 p.m.

    BYU academics are above the level of the University of Utah. I have this on authority of at least one person who attended both institutions.

    I know since the coming of Coach Mendenhall BYU has openly spoken of the honor code in football recruiting. There are lots of schools that are in the NCAA even though they make even their athletes live up to high academic expectations.

    The military academies which have more strict rules than BYU continue to particpate in the NCAA.

    The end of inter-collegiate athletics at Ricks College has more to do with its becoming a 4-year-college. It would have then had to compete in a new set of athletics and that would have taken a large outlay of funds. The tract-system used by BYU-Idaho would have also proven difficult for athletic plans.

    In the Davies case I think we have an occurance where keeping the athletic program is encoraged. This has given the Church exposure that is on the whole positive. Maybe it has caused more libertines to realize they have no desire to join the Church, but these are not the people missionaries will baptize anyway.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    March 12, 2011 12:16 p.m.

    I think RitD may have pointed out the biggest issue in ending BYU-Idaho athletics. This of course causes us to ask "why then have BYU-Hawaii athletics". Well, BYU-Hawaii clearly draws from a different pool, much more international than BYU. BYU and BYU-Idaho largely draw students from the same areas. If you split the top LDS athletes who want to go to Church-owned schools in half, than each school will end up with half the draw.

    This works in other things that are not zero sum games, like professors, students and fine arts productions. However in the highly victory oriented world of NCAA sprots, being able to win is key and this occurs best when you do not openly compete.

    Lastly, just imagine the bad blood that could be caused if BYU and BYU-Idaho both heavily recruited the same athlete.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    March 12, 2011 12:24 p.m.

    I would not go as far as some and say that BYU will "never" drop intercollegiate sports. I will say that I see no reason to think that they will leave intercollegiate sports because of the factors that were spelled out in this article.

    To begin with BYU showed by taking their men's soccer team into a minor sports league that they were willing to think out-side the box when that would help best. Possibly the biggest factor in being in the minor league was that it allows BYU to take the soccer team on international tours whenever it wants. With soccer being a much bigger sport virtually everywhere but the US having the soccer team tour to build aawareness of BYU is key.

    Just this week BYU players have won championships in at least two track events. College sports are a lot more than football and basketball. It is only in football that BYU is going independent.

    There will have to be a lot more repeats of the Rugby incident before BYU even considers leaving intercollgiate sports. Interestingly enough if I understand the women's Rugby team has no official link to BYU.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    March 12, 2011 12:27 p.m.

    Does anyone know definitely, is the women's Rugby team actually affiliated with BYU. I have read some things that suggest it is not. Why it is not I am not sure, but this may either be caused by or cause of the very belligerent attitude on the part of the Womeen's Rugby Association toward the women's team not playing on Sunday.

    I know the women's rugby case is not NCAA. This is an important distinction to make. If Robinson could point to a case of the NCAA not holding to the rules on Sunday play it would be one thing, but when it is a non-NCAA organization the issue is different.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    March 12, 2011 12:28 p.m.

    Bluto,
    BYU-Hawaii is a four year school.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    March 12, 2011 12:34 p.m.

    I have known people who joined the LDS church after first being BYU sports fans. I am not saying this to prove it is a good missionary tool, that needs to be determined by much deeper discussions. However it proves as false the claim that only LDS people are BYU fans.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    March 12, 2011 12:48 p.m.

    Dutchman,
    Your preparing players analogy fails because football is not a degree program. Most college football players do not go on to play professionally, so the analogy breaks down. On the other hand, most doctors have to work some Sundays, but BYU still has a pre-med program.

    I have never accepted the doctor/football player equivalency, but I think that is a thought that really is worth considering.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    March 12, 2011 12:53 p.m.

    Patriot,
    When did BYU drop track? They just won two national championships in events yesterday.

  • Why do we play Las Vegas, Nv
    March 12, 2011 11:32 p.m.

    I attended the MTW tourney this weekend and felt a little uneasy about the "jimmermania" . I saw saw signs comparing him to Noah, "let the floods come, we don't need Noah, we have jimmer". I saw a fan walking through the stadium after the new Mexico win with a sign reading "you just got jimmered".I saw groups of fans litererally bowing to him when he scored. This was a big venue for a lot of people to see BYU for the first time as a national power and I think we kind of squandered the oppourtuninity to show the other fans what BYU is all about. Instead the "jimmermaniacs" gave them a look at fanatism and hero worship at it's worst. The In you're face, I'm better than you, you just got jimmered, fans showed a lack of humility and frankly poor sportsmanship. We are about to journey into the national spotlight, let's show the country what BYU stands for. Remember proverbs 16-18. pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. You can all call me a nut, but look inside yourself and ask why do we play?