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Utah football: Ute player makes most of his second chance after tragedy, terrible mistake

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  • southpride56 Saint George, UT
    Sept. 17, 2012 8:33 p.m.

    This die hard BYU fan Loved this story of redemption.
    Good luck with everything
    PS. The gospel is true

  • ImaUteFan West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 17, 2012 9:15 p.m.

    Wonderful story. Hope the healing continues for this young man.

  • Zoniezoobie Mesa, AZ
    Sept. 17, 2012 9:30 p.m.

    What a wonderful lesson in the midst of the vengeful hate-filled rivalry of byu vs Utah. There are good kids on both teams just working hard to execute a game plan. I think Utah may even have more RMs this year than the cougars. Too bad too many fans on both sides place such animosity on the opponent. Heck, it's just a game. The tragedy that Seni endured required a deep courage to overcome that most of us will never even get close to possessing.

  • MiP Iowa City, IA
    Sept. 17, 2012 9:42 p.m.

    Keep fighting young man. Miracles happen.

  • StGtoSLC SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Sept. 17, 2012 9:57 p.m.

    I hope SI does a followup story at the end of his college career and apologizes for how they made him look nationally in their article. Probably won't, though, as pieces like this don't get as many reads as bad news and exposes.

    Seni's a funny, friendly kid off the field, but a scrapper on it, and should make a much better name for himself through his play than for his prior juvenile actions.

  • MLH SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Sept. 17, 2012 10:11 p.m.

    RM's BYU 64 Utah 27 DNews had an article a few weeks ago I believe the number of RM's playing was 119 but I'm pretty sure the Y had the most by a whole bunch.

  • t702 Las Vegas, NV
    Sept. 17, 2012 10:31 p.m.

    Thanks for a great story of 2nd chances! Keep up the good work young man

  • El Chango Supremo Rexburg, ID
    Sept. 18, 2012 12:20 a.m.

    Wonderful story!

    As a BYU fan, I loathe the animosity that follows the rivalry. There are great kids with great stories on both teams. we should be able to cheer our team without having to wish the worst on the other.

  • Festus riverton, utah
    Sept. 18, 2012 7:03 a.m.

    This story has nothing to do with the rilalry. It is an inspiring story about a young man who because of suffering a loss made some bad decisions and than changed his life. I love stories like this one. I am going to strive to do better in my life. Thanks for sharing this with us. I'm rooting for Seni in life.

  • Monk Pleasant Grove, UT
    Sept. 18, 2012 7:07 a.m.

    Best of luck to Seni in his life - football, school, family, everything. What a great kid. Thanks for the story, Amy.

  • EdGrady Idaho Falls, ID
    Sept. 18, 2012 8:01 a.m.

    Please, armed robbery is not a "mistake." it's a crime.

  • Magna Ute Fan Magna, UT
    Sept. 18, 2012 8:09 a.m.

    Stay strong Seni. Best of luck to you.

  • suzyk#1 Mount Pleasant, UT
    Sept. 18, 2012 8:12 a.m.

    This story about a remarkable young man would uplift anyone who was in trouble whether mentally, physically or spiritually. And thank goodness for those who reached out to help him over this huge bump. It's a lesson of what happens when one makes a bad choice and how important repentance plays a part in the life of a less-than-perfect human being. The story gave me hope and brought much happiness to my heart. This world of ours is a toughie to get through sometimes but there will always be someone who cares enough to help, encourage and believe in us. This I firmly believe is there for us, all of us when we stay close to our Savior Jesus Christ..

  • EdGrady Idaho Falls, ID
    Sept. 18, 2012 8:15 a.m.

    If this kid were a skater and not a football player, he would still be sitting in a jail cell.

  • wiseoldwoman West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 18, 2012 8:19 a.m.

    Powerful testament to good coaches like Peck and Whittingham, they are in the business for the right reason! I admire them both. I wish ALL HIGH SCHOOL COACHES could be like Peck - but sadly they are not.
    And Seni, Your grief is completely understandable. Your turn-around choices ROCK!
    Stay the course.

  • FaifeauSam Lehi, UT
    Sept. 18, 2012 9:05 a.m.

    @EdGrady: Get off your high horse and look for the good. Maybe you know someone who is perfect and has never made a mistake. Jail or prison does not make a person any better than when he/she went in; in fact, it has been proven that it makes them worse. Ask those who have served time and you'll get the truth.

    Yes, it was a juvenile mistake by someone who should have known better, but because of tragic circumstances had his life in turmoil for a short period of time. That doesn't forgive the mistake or crime, but it gives us all hope for repentance and forgiveness. Forgiveness is the most difficult thing for ALL of us to practice, even when we ourselves need it most!

    And to wiseoldwoman: There are a lot of other coaches (and teachers) who silently make great contributions to their charges and go unnoticed. We should all take a minute to thank those who have mentored us.

    Thanks, Amy. Well said!!

  • ute4ever West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 18, 2012 9:22 a.m.

    Not many times you get a little choked up reading an article about a football player's history. This was one of those times for me. I don't care which team he plays for, I am just impressed with everyone involved in this story. Congratulations Seni for a great start to the football season and I will continue to cheer for you from the stands...for both the work you will do on the field and the life you will live.

    Thanks for the inspiring story that hopefully will help everyone involved to remember the more important things in life.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Sept. 18, 2012 10:19 a.m.

    I very much loved this story and am happy this kid as seemingly turned his life around. But I do take exception to the attempt to paint the crime he committed as a "mistake". It was an armed robbery. They took a gun, pointed it at people, threatened them and stole from them. It is incredibly serious and not something to be considered a "mistake". Mistakes are things like using a tablespoon of salt when the recipe calls for a teaspoon, this was a crime that was knowingly and willingly committed, please quit trying to minimize it or explain it away.

    That said I hope this young man continues to work toward redemption, it would be tragic if he does not capitalize on the obvious breaks his staus as a football player have given to him. I highly doubt the university of utah would have taken him as a student if he had just been some guy that committed a similar crime and I hope he realizes he is being given opportunities most of the rest of us never would have been given if we'd done similar things.

  • NORCALUTE MoTown, CA
    Sept. 18, 2012 11:05 a.m.

    Everyone deserves a second chance, especially when kids are young and confused. I loved this story and it made me want to be a better person, mentor, example after reading it. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  • Daleycall Mesa, 00
    Sept. 18, 2012 11:23 a.m.

    Great story about overcoming and placing your trust in the Savior. He's paid his price to society and he's getting on with life. Good for you!

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Sept. 18, 2012 11:40 a.m.

    Duckhunter,

    "I highly doubt the university of utah would have taken him as a student if he had just been some guy that committed a similar crime and I hope he realizes he is being given opportunities most of the rest of us never would have been given if we'd done similar things."

    From many of your previous comments over more that a year regarding the U you have left the impression that most U students have serious problems and could never be admitted to your beloved BYU. Now you seem to be saying that U students are pretty good and that the U makes exceptions for its athletes. Which is it? Do you still believe U students are less than worthy and bad in general?

  • terra nova Park City, UT
    Sept. 18, 2012 11:44 a.m.

    The whole BYU-Utah thing is overblown. Who cares? Really!? It is a school, not a team. Both of them provide good quality education. Occasionally they play football.

    Glad this kid is getting things turned around in his life. Glad he had a caring coach. We should care even if they are not promising football players. Too often, we do not.

  • VegasUte Las Vegas, NV
    Sept. 18, 2012 12:45 p.m.

    It's too bad that there are ridiculous people who have to put their negative spin on every story regarding an opponent. I personally know several BYU players who made "mistakes" (yes - at that age they ARE mistakes), some much worse than Seni's, and the BYU coaches CORRECTLY gave them second chances because they were and are good people who are worthy of redemption. You cannot throw away a person because of a single incident, you must look at the person as a whole and decide are we better as a community, as a society, as a notion to have them free and productive rather than incarcerated. I praise coach Peck and coach Whittingham for their insight and their courage to stand up for this kid and help him become a man.

    As for other people who think that the same thing does not happen to people who do not play football, you are dead wrong. These stories play out every day across this country, they just aren't publicized like they are with high profile individuals.

    Go Utes! Go Seni!

  • guitarboy South Jordan, UT
    Sept. 18, 2012 12:54 p.m.

    Amy Donaldson could have just blown off this opportunity and written about something else.

    I am grateful for Viliseni "Seni" Fauonuku. I am also grateful for Amy Donaldson. I am grateful for coach Peck for enduring undeserved criticism when he does what is right. I am grateful for coach Whittingham for playing at BYU and crushing Utah all three seasons he started on defense for BYU, and for coaching at BYU, and for accepting BYU's offer to coach, then turning it down the next day to accept the UofU's offer to coach.

    What a great article.

    I am sorry about the death of Viliseni "Seni" Fauonuku's nephew. It hurts just to think about it. I am grateful for Viliseni "Seni" Fauonuku's example to me of what to do when you've made a mistake.

    I wish I were a better person. Amy's article, and Viliseni "Seni" Fauonuku's example, make me want to be one.

  • teeme73 Syracuse, Utah
    Sept. 18, 2012 1:08 p.m.

    Stay strong son, you obviously are wise, from your life experiences, beyond your years. Use your platform to help others, and in turn you will continue to heal yourself.

    Great story, we need more of these...

    Go Utes!

  • DonO Draper, UT
    Sept. 18, 2012 1:25 p.m.

    Sweet, sweet story. So glad Seni allowed it to be told. And Amy did a masterful job putting it together. Great, all the way around!

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Sept. 18, 2012 1:38 p.m.

    @dutchman

    That was an incredibly weak minded reply by you, I'm incredibly embarrassed for you. But of course in this instance we know this guy committed this despicable crime and we know that utah allowed him to become a plyer on their team anyway. I have no idea about the rest of the student body but doubt other than blechen they got away withit.

    @vegas ute

    So you are claiming that you "personally know SEVERAL BYU players" that have committed crimes worse than armed robbery, you realize armed robbery is pointing a gun at people and threatening their lives if they do not hand over their belongings to you don't you? I not only doubt that I frankly believe that is a lie. If it is true please give us exmaples and instances of them, you can ommit the names.

    Also this has nothing to do with BYU or the rivalry, this is all about one man and the crime he committed and his attempts to redeem himself. No one brought up BYU but you and when you did you attempted to claim that there are "several BYU players" that committed crimes worse than armed robbery. Absolutely pathetic.

  • ALLTHRTPCKS SANDY, UT
    Sept. 18, 2012 1:56 p.m.

    I will come out and apologize to this young man. I had never heard the story only what the media wanted to share and namely the SI article. I was quick to say football should not even be an option for a young man that commits that type of crime. However understanding the full story my hats off to Bingham their coaching staff administration and those that stuck by Seni. And Seni I am sorry for those thoughts. What a great article, what a great young man truly inspiring. Continue down the path keep up the great work.

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 18, 2012 2:20 p.m.

    I found this story to be inspirational and it brought a few tears to my eyes (which rarely happens). It gave me strength for my efforts to be a better person.

    It may be true in many instances, that Seni's opportunity at at a second chance to excel in society, is not one that usually mirrors another's opportunity under the same criminal circumstances. Still, if Seni makes the best of his opportunity afforded him by coaches and football, he can give hope, and set an example to others that need strength to overcome their challenges.

    Now, relative to my challenges, they are not what some may have who wind up in prison (the more extreme stuff), but I can still try and find love in my heart for some who don't overcome or are lost in prison. God himself has justice, but know that he weeps for his spiritually lost children.

    It's easy to point fingers and feel above those who commit felonies or whatever. But how would you feel, and what would you say if your son found himself facing consequences of the kind of sin here in this article? Be careful to condemn.

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 18, 2012 2:54 p.m.

    In response to those who think football saved Seni from jail. Okay you can go there, but Seni is blessed and has a chance to continue to improve and help others that might be given up on. But it's not just football players who get opportunities and breaks when it comes to wrong doing and consequences. How about the wealthy vs. the poor, what about the minority, what about politicians, and on and on.

    The difference here to note is that Coach Peck and Coach Whittingham went to bat for Seni based on his character when it wasn't popular to do so. Utah got blasted nationally and locally for this decision to accept Seni into the football program. Remember? Didn't Duckhunter make comments last year abiut this?

    Maybe the critics don't know as much as the sheep would like to believe they do. Sports Illustrated did what they did, ESPN does what they do, and my Utes and Coach Whittingham stood tall and defended Seni. Thank you for your heart and understanding of redemption. Utah can be a light and beacon for players as well.

  • SpaceCowboy69 Syracuse, UT
    Sept. 18, 2012 3:03 p.m.

    As a BYU fan, this is a great story about redemption and repentance. I am glad to see him make the most of the opportunities he has been given, and also wise coaches, Peck and Whittingham, on seeing his worth as a son of our Heavenly Father. For those of you who think he got special treatment because he is a football player and not a "skater", I think you are wrong. Colleges, universities, and high schools make exceptions all the time, but since they aren't athletes, you never hear about them. There are plenty of students who have criminal records, who have paid their debt to society and are now trying to better themselves. Another great story like this is Kyle Van Noy at BYU. He had to talk with Bronco after a high school drinking incident and had specific steps to follow to keep his scholarship. We all make mistakes. Some are just more public than others. Remember, the worth of souls is great is the sight of God. D&C18:10.

  • SpaceCowboy69 Syracuse, UT
    Sept. 18, 2012 3:05 p.m.

    As a BYU fan, this is a great story about redemption and repentance. I am glad to see him make the most of the opportunities he has been given, and also wise coaches, Peck and Whittingham, on seeing his worth as a son of our Heavenly Father. For those of you who think he got special treatment because he is a football player and not a "skater", I think you are wrong. Colleges, universities, and high schools make exceptions all the time, but since they aren't athletes, you never hear about them. There are plenty of students who have criminal records, who have paid their debt to society and are now trying to better themselves. Another great story like this is Kyle Van Noy at BYU. He had to talk with Bronco after a high school drinking incident and had specific steps to follow to keep his scholarship. We all make mistakes. Some are just more public than others. Remember, the worth of souls is great is the sight of God. D&C18:10.

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 18, 2012 3:26 p.m.

    Remember the scales of justice and mercy to work together when trying to balance our views. Hopefully our views avoid judgments if we seek to condemn.

    I judge for myself and my kids when I feel I have to. This means I decide on where I go and hang out, and where my kids go, and what activities they will be involved in. Hopefully those judgments will be right, but I am human and sometimes error in these judgments.

    I do submit that to judge someone's character overall relative to them being a good or bad person is treading dangerously on what God warns us against, and if we do go down this road, fear that you will be judged according to that which ye judge.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Sept. 18, 2012 3:32 p.m.

    @gdog

    I doubt anyone that read this article begrudges the guy receiving a chance and some support. But at the same time any attempt to minimize what he did needs to be condemned. He did it and it is not just a "mistake".

    Personally I do not believe he should have been allowed a scholarship at utah, I don't think he should have even been allowed to attend utah at the time he was allowed in. I do not believe whittingham would even care what happened to him if not that he wanted him there to play football so I'm not going to give him a bit of credit for trying to "salvage" this guy.

    That said I am glad he is trying to be a better person and that part of the story was very uplifting. I don't think he should spend the rest of his life being judged solely for one thing he did but the fact is that when you do something as serious as threatening peoples lives with a gun while robbing them it takes a lot of atoneing before society as a whole should consider you to be "better". Not there yet.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Sept. 18, 2012 4:33 p.m.

    How sad that some of the you who have commented can't be big enough to simply wish this young man well after the tragedy and heartache he has gone through. Duckhunter, nobody minimized the crime he committed or even tried to. They simply saw a young man in need of help and lifting up rather than more beating down. Prison or jail time only beats you down further and obviously the judge knew this young man had people pulling for him that could help him through the probation and get him back on track. He has redeemed himself in the eyes of the law, the school, and the community. Too bad guys like you can't be big enough to forgive like the Savior would. Those who helped this young man will be rewarded for being their brother's keeper.

  • Sports Are Great Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 18, 2012 4:46 p.m.

    No respect for criminals like him. Robbing someone at gunpoint is not a simple mistake and its a joke to try and blame it on a nephew's death.

    Anyone who commits a serious crime and robs someone at gunpoint should spend 20 years in jail.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Sept. 18, 2012 5:49 p.m.

    @mormon ute

    Yes people did. Donaldson attmepted to minimize it in her article and multiple comments were made saying he is a "great kid" or that he is "owed an apology" for how he was portrayed. Those are absolutely ridiculous statements and they deserve to be called out.

    He committed ARMED ROBBERY. He pointed a gun at several people and threatened their lives while robbing them. That is not waht "great kids" do and they are not owed apologies because their actions were reported.

    Now I have not once said I begrudge the kid future opportunity, but I'm also not going to pretend he simply "made a mistake" and that he is a "great kid". I'm glad he is on the road to redemption but his crime was extremely bad, extremely serious, and not to be minimized. No matter what ones circumstances in life, and plenty of people have had to endure the death of family without going out and committing violent crimes, one has to suffer the consequences.

    His consequences are public aknowledgment of his crime and he is not "owed an apology" for that. It is more than appropriate that he has to endure it.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Sept. 18, 2012 5:58 p.m.

    @mormon ute

    So where's the outpouring of support for the people he threatened and robbed? How about their trauma, caused by him? Did they get scholarships? Were they, who actually are victims, given apologetic and excusing writeups in the paper about their circumstances?

    Plain and simple this guy committed a horrible crime. I'm glad he is trying to improve but painting him as a victim of circumstance and situation is ridiculous. My criticism is toward those that would seek to minimize his deeds as nothing more than the actions of a troubled youth, as if that makes them understandable.

    Go ahead and wish him well, I certainly do, but don't start saying "he deserves an apology" or that he is a "great kid". Those sorts of comments are ridiculous.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Sept. 18, 2012 6:05 p.m.

    Oh and mormon ute, I'd be very interested to see how easily you would forgive him if he had pointed the gun at yourself, or a member of your family, and threatened to kill you while robbing you. It wasn't me he robbed so there is nothing for me to forgive but my empathy is for the actual victims of his crime. I'd also be interested to see how much emnpathy you would have if he wasn't a utah football player. Are you willing to give the same pass to all violent criminals? Should we let everyone that committs armed robbery off with a slap and then tell them they are "owed an apology"? Perhaps the thing to do is to award all violent criminals college scholarships and write apologetic articles about them in the newspaper so everyone can know what really great people they really are?

    Good grief.

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 18, 2012 6:27 p.m.

    I don't know all the specifics. I do know I think highly of coach Peck and coach Whittingham. I also know they took flack nationally when this happened and still supported this kid. Last time I checked, Seni is a long way away from being a star player. Still, his character was something many sacrificed to save (the coaches, family, friends, and a judge).

    I don't know a lot, but I doubt Duckhunter knows that much as well. It looks like there is a circumstance that is being judged at face value against a Ute (plain and simple).

    It may very well be that Seni has a long way of redemption to go. I don't make that call. He also may have overcome more than some may know, and be forgiven in the lord's eyes. Again, I don't know. I do know I felt the spirit when I read this story and I shed a few tears. There I am vulnerable.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Sept. 18, 2012 7:09 p.m.

    @gdog

    That's great, we all love a redemption story, we all wish redemption for all. But saying I am judging this because he is a ute is ridiculous. There is no dispute of this crime, he admits it. He has obviously been given leniancy and actually rewarded simply because he is a football player that was wanted at a school. That fact isn't in dispute either.

    Reality is what it is gdog, people do things and they deserve to have consequences for doing them. It would appear that his consequences are no greater than public exposure. He did no jail time, he paid no restitution, and he was actually awarded a scholarship to college. My pooint is that is not what generally occurs to people that commit crimes like he committed. My guess is that every armed robber in history would love to trade him consequences. That aside, calling him a "great kid" and "deserving of an apology" are what got me irritated. I don't care where he goes to scholl those are ridiculous statements.

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    Sept. 18, 2012 7:45 p.m.

    Duckhunter

    Did I say that Seni deserves an apology or is a great kid? Where? I don't have a take on what punishment should have taken place. I won't compliment the relative judge here either, other than he joined in on the outcome that Seni benefits from. A certain repsect for that exists, but I can't have my cake and eat it to when I fault a judge somewhere for some ruling.

    Some of what you have a problem with in my previous comments were directed at you, but some were meant to be general except that you were on of top my @duckhunter address.

    I will say that you have been much more readable the last month and a half for me. What does that say? I don't know.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Sept. 18, 2012 8:05 p.m.

    I didn't say you said that, but it was said. Here it is.

    "StGtoSLC

    SALT LAKE CITY, UT

    I hope SI does a followup story at the end of his college career and apologizes for how they made him look nationally in their article. Probably won't, though, as pieces like this don't get as many reads as bad news and exposes."

    Like I said I love a redemption story as much as the next guy but the guy doesn't deserve an apology for goodness sake. He committed a very serious crime, he pointed a gun at people, threatened their lives and stole their property. And for all of that I would say he has come out of it without much in the way of punishment and plenty in the way of undeserved opportunity. I'm glad he is making the most of it and I am glad he seems to have some remorse but some of the comments on here almost seem to portray him as heroic and somewhat of a victim. Nothing can be further from the truth. He has been given opportunities few people ever get despite his criminal behavior.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Sept. 18, 2012 9:01 p.m.

    Duckhunter,

    My compassion for this young man has nothing to do with him being a Ute player, but I know you won't believe that because that's just the way you are. Also, from what has been reported in the media about the robbery the kid didn't touch the gun, the older relative did. He just went along. In most courts of law that makes him an accessory not the primary in the crime. Add to that he was a juvenile with no prior criminal record and a very good student. The courts take all of these things into account, but obviously you don't. In juvenile cases the courts also take into account the kids support structure and whether or not he has good people willing to help him get on and stay on the right path. Duckhunter, you are just always looking for ways to put down the Utes program and players.

  • somekidsmom south jordan, UT
    Sept. 19, 2012 7:09 a.m.

    @mormon ute

    Seni was the one that brandished the gun. Not only that, but he threatened the boys with death. I believe he said, "I better not hear about this on the news, or I'll come back and kill you." Have any of you ever have someone point a gun at your head? I wonder if anyone thinks about how the victims are dealing with that traumatic event? I agree with the other people viewing this not as a mistake, but for the crime that it was. Everyone deserves second chances, but he didn't really have to pay for the crime. He didn't pay restitution to my son at least, or do any time. He has had some traumatic events in his life with the death of his nephew, I agree. But does anyone really think about how the crime he committed affected the victims or their families? We lived in fear for a very long time after this occurred. It's interesting to see how many people are so upbeat about him and his life.

  • my point of view south jordan, ut
    Sept. 19, 2012 9:39 a.m.

    @somekidsmom
    Thanks for pointing out what so many in the South Jordan community know. I'm all for second chances when "mistakes" are made, but give me a break, robbery with a gun isn't a mistake, it's a choice!! I've made plenty of mistakes in my life, however none of them included armed robbery. I feel for the victims and sympathize with you and your family for how fearful you must have felt at this time. I truly hope that Seni has turned his life around, I really do. I do know however that there have been others who have been DISMISSED from the Bingham football team for transgressions that are nowhere near what Seni has done (let's not forget the "Code of Ethics" that Dave Peck is proud of). It can be dressed up anyway they want, but the reality is, if Seni hadn't been a football superstar, nobody including his coaches would have gone to bat for him. Also, having a student at Bingham who had classes with Seni last year (Sr year), tales of him being an excellent student are grossly exaggerated to say the least! My support is for you "somekidsmom".

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Sept. 19, 2012 10:11 a.m.

    Duckhunter,

    For you to claim that you do not care where the kid goes to school is ridiculous. You are abviously obsessesd with the University of Utah otherwise you would not be posting comments on Utah matters every single day. As I stated, over the course of more than a year you have very plainly opined that the students at the U are an inferior bunch and couldn't cut it at BYU either morally or academically. Those are you stated points of view. So, in your mind you are thinking Seni fits right in with a student body you caste as inferior. Did you personally investigate Seni's case? Do you know every single fact? It seems as though many professional law enforcement and court people have and they come to a diferent conclusion than you.

  • DaRwIn Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 19, 2012 9:38 p.m.

    Duckhunter,
    I normally agree with your posts, I like seeing someone that isn't afraid to share their opinion. But your remarks on this acticle and how you treat the comments of others with very judgmental statements is very showing of your true character. Your extremist comments are disgraceful at times and it makes me ashamed to be cheering for the same team as you. I'm sorry that when you were a teenager you never made a single mistake in your life. It quotes him as sayin that he was so down that he would do anything that his cousin said, if you have never been that low than you can't speak on whether it was a mistake or not. From a psychological point of view he was not in his right state mind (depression, especially in this case can do that) which led him to commit this crime this MISTAKE. It was a mistake, he admitted it! Mistake: a wrong action or statement proceeding from faulty judgment. It was a mistake as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Please provide the source for your inadequate knowledge of the usage of the word "mistake".

  • DaRwIn Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 19, 2012 9:43 p.m.

    Duckhunter,
    I normally agree with your posts, I like seeing someone that isn't afraid to share their opinion. But your remarks on this acticle and how you treat the comments of others with very judgmental statements is very showing of your true character. Your extremist comments are disgraceful at times and it makes me ashamed to be cheering for the same team as you. I'm sorry that when you were a teenager you never made a single mistake in your life. It quotes him as sayin that he was so down that he would do anything that his cousin said, if you have never been that low than you ant speak on whether it was a mistake or not. From a psychological point of view he was not in his right state mind (depression, especially in this case can do that) which led him to commit this crime this MISTAKE. It was a mistake, he admitted it! Mistake: a wrong action or statement proceeding from faulty judgment. It was a mistake as defined by the Marriem-Webster dictionary. Please provide the source for your inadequate knowledge of the usage of the word "mistake"

  • Monk Pleasant Grove, UT
    Sept. 20, 2012 7:39 a.m.

    Wow. Just looking back on the comments on this article. I read it a few days ago, thought about it since and checked back just now. @Duckhunter, you spent a lot of time going after this kid's portrayal in this article. Seems a tad wasteful, maybe?
    Seni made a mistake that was a crime. He had his day in court. The judge considered the whole case. He received a punishment and is fulfilling it. Where is the problem? There is a reason we refer to it as the "corrections" system. Seni, with the help of the courts, is working on correcting a mistake he made. His mistake also happens to be classified as a crime. He has a record befitting of the mistake he made. That won't go away. It's his to deal with.
    The U of U is not the corrections system. They probably would be fine without Seni on the team. (No offense intended.) But, they chose to give him a chance. If it works out for him, then they are proven right. If not, they made a mistake.
    Call off the dogs, dude. Your argument isn't very strong.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Sept. 20, 2012 10:20 a.m.

    @monk

    What's my "argument"? As usual people like yourself are arguing against something that doesn't exist. I've stated multiple times that my issue here is not the university of utah or even that he is playing for them, my issue is with the people here trying to pretend he is a "great kid" and that he is "owed an apology". "Great kids" do not do what he did, he does not deserve that title, and no one "owes him an apology".

    What needs to happen here is that those of you minimizing the serious of his crime, not mistake, CRIME, need to apologize to people like somekidsmom whose son had a gun pointed at him by seni and threatened with his life while being robbed. You need to quit trying to pretend that this is just a "great kid" that "made a mistake" and aknoweldge that short of rape or murder he committed a crime that is about as bad as anything can possibly be.

    Once again I'm glad he seems remorseful and is trying to improve but heaping praise on him and minimizing his crime is ridiculous. That is what I'm criticizing.

  • somekidsmom south jordan, UT
    Sept. 20, 2012 11:00 a.m.

    After the armed robbery occurred, we were afraid of retaliation for reporting the crime. We covered our windows which are visible from the street while we watched tv at night trying to avoid being seen and a victim of a drive by shooting for a long time. When my son moved out on his own, I was in constant worry of him being ambushed on his way home from work at night and being killed. I really don't think any of you can grasp the gravity of the situation. Or the fallout of being a victim of a violent crime. Seni did have his day in court, but the record will not follow him since he was charged as a juvenile. The only way people know about this is from the SI article. The article was trying to make a point of athletes getting away with violent crimes. It showed Seni as well as other athletes. It is not an isolated incident. It is a growing problem that needs to be addressed. As far as Seni turning his life around? He's just going to school and playing ball- not too hard when you have a full ride scholarship?

  • DaRwIn Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 20, 2012 11:27 a.m.

    In no sense of the word "mistake" is it referring to him not committing a crime as you have stated multiple times. Isn't committing any type of crime a mistake? Because I've never heard of a crime that wasn't deemed to have been a mistake by that person. It certainly wasn't a perfect decision, hence it makes it a "mistake". Your skewed judgement of the meaning of the word mistake is troublesome at best. It was indeed a crime, a mistake, a mis-judgement, a very bad act. What he DID was absolutely wrong, but he went before a judge and he served his penalty which was handed down to him by the United State Judicial System.
    Forgiveness is key in any type of process. I am sorry for those effected by the actions of Seni. He is trying to make things right and become a better person. It doesn't change what he DID. The people saying that he is a "great kid" are saying so because right now that is what he is striving to be, encouragement is key.
    One action does not shape character, character is built over a life time.

  • UT Sports Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 20, 2012 11:42 a.m.

    To rectify past blunders is impossible, but we might profit by the experience of them.
    - GEORGE WASHINGTON, letter to Fielding Lewis, Jul. 6, 1780

    When you make a mistake, don't look back at it long. Take the reason of the thing into your mind and then look forward. Mistakes are lessons of wisdom. The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power.
    - Hugh White (1773 - 1840)

    If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down but the staying down.
    - Mary Pickford (1893 - 1979)

    Mistakes, crimes they are both referring to the same thing in this sense. It is the ability of one to grow from that mistake or crime that truly shows character, heart, intelligence. If there is nothing learned than the crime will always remain a crime and never a mistake. We are all human, all vulnerable to making mistakes, committing crimes, being less than what we wish we were. The way we grow and the way we approach these weaknesses is who we really are. I for one applaud Seni on growing from his imperfections!

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Sept. 20, 2012 12:00 p.m.

    @darwin

    You're right character is built over a lifetime. He needs to spend his lifetime doing just that. One year later is not long enough. Character is not restored at this time, period.

    I'm very interested to know if you give the same allowance to all of the other armed robbers out there? Are they all "great kids" that just made a "mistake"? Should we let them all off the hook with no jailtime, no restitution, no real punishment at all and then give them all college scholarships, call them "great kids" and declare that they should be apologized to? Or do we just do that for the ones that can play a sport? For that matter what should anyone apologize to him for in the first place? What has been done to him that requires an apology? Should we apologize for letting him go unpunished and then rewarded with a scholarship? I can see how hard that must be for him to cope with.

  • VegasUte Las Vegas, NV
    Sept. 20, 2012 3:28 p.m.

    Ducky - you can believe what YOU want to believe. I don't have to justify myself to you. I know what I KNOW, if I outlined the incidents of the people I personally KNOW, you would just call me a liar anyway, so don't worry about it.

    Seni is an example of a good kid put in a bad situation who makes a mistake, atones for the mistake and is given a second chance. It is a shame that there are people who are piling on simply because of the program he plays for. If he was at the Y, the people that are piling on him right now would be praising him. On the other hand, there would be people piling on him that are now praising him.

    Shameful that a great individual story of redemption is polluted by a persons hate for the program he plays for.

    Congratulations Seni. Keep up the good work.

  • Monk Pleasant Grove, UT
    Sept. 20, 2012 3:34 p.m.

    @Duckhunter. Ok, you think he isn't a great kid. I disagree. He made a huge mistake that was also a crime. Great kids that I know have done the same, and recovered. He is still relatively young. He is trying to correct his mistake/crime.
    At the time the original story came out when Seni was still in high school, the portrayal in the local media and SI painted a picture of a hardened thug gangbanger blood and/or crip. That wasn't the case - it was totally untrue. He was a kid in a low place, who desperately needed some counseling or mental health help, and didn't get it. The occurred while he was struggling. That is why Amy says he is owed an apology. If someone did the same to you, I would say that you were owed an apology.
    The message from most others here to you is still the same - be more charitable in your judgement of others. You have spent a lot of time going after this boy. - Back off, brother. He was a teenager when this happened. He will be accountable, but not to you. Drop it already.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Sept. 20, 2012 4:38 p.m.

    @vegasute

    In otherwords you don't know of 1 single BYU player that did anything "worse" than armed robbery. You know the only things really "worse" are rape and murder. So what you are telling us is that you know "multiple" BYU athletes that committed either rape or murder. But without even naming any names you cannot tell us of one instance, not one. In otherwords what you are claiming is completely 100% false.

    Also seni was not "put in a bad situation". seni by choice took a gun, pointed it at people, stole their property, and then threatened to comeback and kill them if they told on him. He hasn't "atoned" at all. He was not punished in anyway, in fact he was rewarded with a scholarship and then received an apologetic write up in the paper claiming he is a "great kid". Then a bunch of utah "fans" like yourself tried to pretend it wasn't his fault, he deserves an apology, and anyone that points out that he is at fault and doesn't deserve an apology and that he basicly got off scott free and was rewarded to boot, are maligned. Classic ute"fan" behavior.

  • VegasUte Las Vegas, NV
    Sept. 20, 2012 5:31 p.m.

    Ducky - you spin how you want to spin. That is what you do best. I won't play along to appease you. You can put words in my mouth all you want.

    BTW - I did not say Seni was not at fault, I am saying he deserves a second chance and he deserves a shot at redemption. The "bad situation" I was referring to was the death of his nephew and his thinking it was his fault. I stand by my statement that it is shameful "that a great individual story of redemption is polluted by a persons hate for the program he plays for."

    I do feel bad for the mother of the boy that was wronged in the robbery. For her I do have empathy. I am not sure I would feel the same way that I feel now if I had been in the same situation. Her anger is based on the fact that her son and family was hurt and wronged by Seni, not by the uniform Seni wears on Saturday.

  • VegasUte Las Vegas, NV
    Sept. 20, 2012 5:39 p.m.

    @ Ducky: "I highly doubt the university of utah would have taken him as a student"

    "Also this has nothing to do with BYU or the rivalry"

    Then why did you bring it up first? You're stepping on your own tongue. Typical byU "fan" behavior.

  • VegasUte Las Vegas, NV
    Sept. 20, 2012 5:59 p.m.

    Also - Ducky: Here is what I originally wrote: "and the BYU coaches CORRECTLY gave them second chances because they were and are good people who are worthy of redemption."

    The purpose of what I wrote was to point out that this kind of thing happens at BOTH programs, whether you like it or not, whether you accept it or not. It happens at ALL schools! You are the one who turned it negative against the other school. What I wrote was never intended to be a Utah vs byU thing. I clearly stated that the byU coaches "CORRECTLY" gave the kids second chances. That was not a negative dig at byU, that was a positive reinforcement. I am sorry to everyone else that I got caught up in your negativity.

    If you took the time to try to read what people say rather than turn their words into your personal crusade, maybe you could learn something.

    Now, I think it is time you start turning your mind toward trying to come up with a byU player who will be drafted in the NFL ahead of all Utah players, just like you did last year. Whatever happened to Fangupo anyway??

  • DaRwIn Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 20, 2012 6:32 p.m.

    I am a BYU fan, I do not look down upon others, I do not believe in doing such. To place "classic "ute" fan behavior" at the end of you post clearly shows what your true reasons for commenting are. You sir are a very contentious individual. I would look inward instead of outward. You have people on here that are encouraging a young man that is trying to become a better person. And all you do is attack them for doing such. It is disappointing seeing someone do that. I hope you the best, but please this self righteous attitude is sickening.
    This young man is an example to others that have messed up in there life and are trying to turn their lives around. Forgiveness is preached, but it is not followed as much as it should be.
    "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone." John 8:7

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Sept. 21, 2012 3:12 p.m.

    @vegasute

    Nice try leaving out the more relevent part of your post. I'll remind everyone.

    "I personally know several BYU players who made "mistakes" (yes - at that age they ARE mistakes), some much worse than Seni's,"

    Thaqt is a direct quote from your post, YOU said that. YOu are saying that you personally know SEVERAL BYU players that committed acts worse than pointing a gun at people, threatening to kill them, and stealing from them. And this is exactly the sort of ute homer post I am talking about. This kid committed a heinous crime, one that still affects innocent people to this day. And you are claiming "SEVERAL" BYU players have done worse. Yet even without naming any names you refuse to give us even one example of a BYU player that has done something "worse". Heck you haven't even given us an example of one that did something even half as bad.

    So put up. Let's see it. I want to know what "several BYU players" have done that is worse.

    You can't, because it isn't true.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Sept. 21, 2012 3:18 p.m.

    @darwin

    Reading comprehension is important darwin. I haven't "attacked" this guy at all. Far from it. I have aknowledged the heinous crime he committed, is it your contention that we should ignore that fact and continue to heap unwarranted praise on him?

    I see somekidsmom's posts as very powerful testaments to what truly occured and the long term ramifications of it. As I've said numerous times, and you are apparently incapable of comprehending, but I am glad this guy is attempting to be better, but he does not deserve praise, he does not deserve an apology, he does not deserve anything other than for the rest of us to keep a very careful watch on him for a very long time. If he ever does become a man of character we will know but it doesn't happen overnight and it is not wrong to point out that he basicly not only got off scot free but that he was actually rewarded.

    I find the insinuations on here that he is somehow owed something by the rest of us troubling, and I find the unwillingness to admit the heinousness of his crimes very disturbing.

  • FaifeauSam Lehi, UT
    Sept. 21, 2012 3:46 p.m.

    During conference this year President Dieter F. Uchtdorf spoke about how we shouldn’t judge others and how we have no right to do so, only the Lord has that authority, and the one line that really stood out to me was the “Don’t judge me because my sins are different to yours”

  • FaifeauSam Lehi, UT
    Sept. 21, 2012 3:56 p.m.

    Ducky, what he really "deserves" is for ALL of us to leave him alone and not be dragged through the mud day after day. How many young people have committed suicide because people won't leave them alone and allowed them to get on with their lives? I think somewhere it says something about "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." This indicates to me that if people continue to bring up the past, each sinner will continue to think about what he/she did. We don't know but that a psychiatrist is working with him to help him see the error of his ways. Been there, done that and it helps.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Sept. 21, 2012 6:33 p.m.

    @FaifeauSam

    I would probably agree with you if not for the fact that I didn't bring it up. It was printed in a newspaper for all to read and commnet on. I probably never would have said anything at all about it except that it is a story in a newspaper put out for the perusal of all.

    This story was publicized, attention was brought to the situation, very public attention. Then people started making comments about the situation, many of them before I ever did. And many of those comments were simply wrong, heaping praise on a guy that committed a very serious crime and other than some public attention apparently got off scot free.

    But I'll say it one more time and perhaps some of you will get this. I am GLAD he is seemingly trying to become a better person. I am GLAD he claims that he feels remorse. I am GLAD that he has an opportunity to improve himself and I am GLAD he apparently has a support system.

    I will not pretend he is heroic, great, or deserving of an apology. I will simply hope he is truly trying to be better.

  • HYPNOTIQ Deer Ridge, UT
    Dec. 12, 2015 8:30 a.m.

    I read the Sports Illustrated story and often wonder how many others the Utes are hiding. Viliseni Fauonuku, Dominique Hatfield, etc, the list could be a long one.