The only reason the star is a Cougar is because he desperately wanted to be one
Nice to see a coach taking a DUI seriously. Bronco could have just let it go
since he wasn't a member of the team or university yet. As the article
states, countless other coaches were more than willing to do that. And we see it today, a DUI is typically a 1 game suspension to coaches who
care more about winning than doing what is right. I had a family member killed
by a drunk driver so I have no sympathy for those who commit a DUI. I get sick
when I see college coaches give a kid a slap on the wrist for a DUI. We've
seen here in our state recently. It shows the coaches are almost as pathetic as
the kid who got the DUI. Just as bad is when the coach/fans hide
behind the "give him a second chance" as justification for getting the
kid on the field as quickly as possible. I'm fine with a second chance,
but punish them for what they did. A 1 game slap on the wrist for an action
that does kill people? Makes me ill.
Wow incredible, marvelous story...
After reading this story, my respect for Bronco and Kyle just went up another
notch.Bronco indeed practices what he preaches when it comes to
sincerely caring about the young men who enter his program.Thanks
Kyle for having the conviction and fortitude to make good on your second chance.
Now I understand better why Kyle and Bronco have such a close bond.Bronco may not be the only coach who would do something like this for a
player, but he's the only one I can think of.And Kyle's
devotion to Bronco and BYU may be even more unique.They're both
great examples of love and redemption.
Anyone who says that BYU can't win a national championship because of their
honor code is wrong. Kyle Van Noy is proof you can get the best talent with the
best character. I would take his honesty with any flaws over someone who hides
their mistakes. What a great kid.
Already a Champ KVN. Always remember the reason why joined BYU. Good luck with
the rest of the season!!!
President Uchtdorf has quoted a bumper sticker that reads, "Don't judge
me because I sin differently than you". Sometimes we are quick to cast
stones and condemn someone for their bag of sins. This is especially the case
with BYU sports. There is no question that the honor code sets the bar high. In
the context of the purpose of BYU athletics for the church, that makes perfect
sense. As ambassadors for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the
expectations need to be high. But, those expectations can create cynicism in the
observer when athletes with public troubles suit up and play. What this story
also helps the observer understand is the purpose of BYU sports for the athlete.
President Monson taught, "... we have the responsibility to see individuals
not as they are but rather as they can become. I would plead with you to think
of them in this way." I appreciate how this story illustrates this teaching
while demonstrating the crucial and sensitive balance between justice and mercy.
It seems as if those who aren't athletes specificslly star athletes
don't get 2nd or 3rd chances. I'm willing to bet had van noy or
Brandon Davies not been athletes they would have received harsher punishment.
Much respect. The gospel of Jesus Christ in action. Thanks, Bronco. Thanks,
Kyle. Thanks, Mr. Benedict. This made my day and will affect how I deal with my
students at the University.
I was unaware of the second run in with the law but, am glad BYU and Kyle
handled this as they did. Hopefully he's able to maintain what he has done
a great job putting together when he's at the next level. The environment
will be far different.
Where is does football come on the list of priorities again? I appreciate the
liberties taken for the sake of literature. But if just half of these details
Awesome! Just awesome. Too many times we judge too early, especially at BYU.
I'm a BYU grad and former athlete who believes in and lived the Honor Code,
but I've questioned at times the manner it which it is administered. We
kick people out of school for reasons that we DON'T kick people out of the
Church. The standard at BYU is HIGHER than it is the Church and that needs to
be revisited (ie we don't send people home from the temple for having
beards and we don't excommunicate 22 year olds for sexual sins). The
result has been a culture of "busting" your neighbor for not living the
letter of the law. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of making bad men
good and good men better, but BYU's administration of the Honor Code has at
times given the impression that young people who make mistakes have no place or
hope. Here's to more stories like these.
VAggieYou have absolutely no proof that BYU's Honor Code is
applied any differently to athletes versus non-athletes, in fact, both Van Noy
and Davies received much harsher punishments in terms of personal reputation
because their "dirty laundry" was aired in public, whereas, the
punishment for most non-athletes would only be known to close family and
I've loved sports since I was old enough to pick-up a ball. I started
playing organized sports at age 8 and have been privileged to win a number of
league and even national championships. I started coaching (on a MUCH lower
level) at age 19, and have been blessed with the opportunity to work with youth
and adults on more than 25 teams.But I love people in general,
infinitely more than sports at large. These articles show exactly
what "coaching" should be about. Winning championships is cool.
Winning at life is the real measure of a champion, and you can only do that by
helping other people do so as well. I've learned an awful lot from many
coaches for whom I played. But it is the ones who wanted to help me as a person
first, that I truly came to love.It is fairly obvious that that is
Bronco Mendenhall's #1 priority, and he has found the perfect school to
match his priorities. No doubt, they want to win. But their foremost goal is
strengthening people ... and they live that first, as this article and others
portray. Kudos to Kyle for stepping up as well.
USALover, while I understand your point, and we've heard the same argument
many times before, here is why I have a hard time arguing with the honor code.
Do you know who the Chairman of the Board of BYU is? President Monson. If he
wanted something changed at BYU, it would be changed. He could make a call to
President Samuelson at byu and tell him to change the honor code/enforcement and
it would be changed immediately. So we're then left to assume either
President Monson doesn't know what is going on a byu, agrees with what is
going on at byu, or is simply handling things incorrectly(according to you). I
guess I'm going to lean towards he agrees with what is going on at BYU.
Floyd JohnsonWhat are you mumbling about?If football
were the top priority for Bronco and BYU, as you seem to be suggesting,
Kyle's "youthful indiscretion" would have been swept under the rug
and fans and the school would have forgotten about it long before KVN arrived on
VAggieAre you implying Brandon Davies wasn't punished?My memory is that he was removed from the basketball team, his name splashed
in newspapers from coast to coast, his sins broadcast on major news networks and
an embarrassing dismissal from school. What more were you hoping for? A
flogging? A public scourging?Brandon Davies is a fantastic example
of a kid who made serious mistakes and made them right. In my mind, he has
every place at BYU and in my Ward Council, for that matter.Would the
sky fall or the Church be less true, if we changed policy at BYU and let
repentent young people who have sinned stay in school, keep their spot on
teams/clubs, avoid public humiliation and scorn from people who represent the
"other Prodigal" and simply don't understand the Atonement, the
purposes of mortality and grander picture of God's work in people's
Tons of respect to KVN and Bronco. Great story. Makes you wonder if Manti Teo
would have been better served to go to BYU. Maybe the BYU environment and
Bronco influence could have helped him avoid the trouble that caused him so much
scrutiny and negative backlash that he experienced his last year at Notre Dame.
You got to wonder. I really respect kids like KVN that make
mistakes and own up to them. Shows a lot of maturity.
Sports Are GreatI love the Honor Code. I lived it. I'm not
"arguing" with the Honor Code, nor do I want it changed. I want us to
revisit how Administrators council with, discipline and correct YOUNG PEOPLE who
make mistakes. And similarly to how we have changed Church Discipline in the
last 3 years (and if you're not aware of those changes, seek out your Stake
President and ask him), we need to change the way we discipline kids at BYU.For heaven sake, let's all exchange our long lists of rules and
start living principles. In the process, we might find greater light and joy in
the Gospel. And in the process maybe we wouldn't be number one in the
nation in Anti-Depressant medication and top ten in suicide. Good people make
mistakes, everybody falls short of the standard, we all need Him. And if you
don't understand what I'm talking about now, you eventually will.
Let's stop...STOP...judging people for sinning differently than we do.
USAlover, I really don't mean this as confrontational, but I think maybe
you missed my point. My whole point is President Monson can change anything he
wants at byu, whenever he wants to. The fact that byu is run a
certain way(including the enforcement and discipline associated with the honor
code) leads me to believe that is how President Monson wants it handled. If he
wanted it handled differently, he'd change it. It would only take one phone
call and immediately the discipline would be changed. And yet why hasn't
President Monson changed it? My guess is he supports how things are being done.
@USALover - I think Sports Are Great's point is you seem to be suggesting
you know better than President Monson how to run BYU. That is his point. He
correctly point out President Monson is the ultimate boss of BYU. Do you agree
or disagree? You are proposing a change to the discipline of YOUNG PEOPLE(good
job on emphasis with the caps). Sports Are Great's point is President
Monson has not proposed such a change, because it would be changed immediately
if he proposed this change. What do you make of the fact President Monson is ok
with how things are done currently? Again, if he didn't like something -
he'd change it.
Average BYU students have their Bishop/church leader handle Honor Code
violations and I'd bet that few of those are ever reported to the Honor
Code office. If you fail your church endorsement then you don't go to BYU.
Athletes, however, follow a different standard still since they are a public
face of the school.
First, great story. I have even more respect for Bronco and KVN after reading
this. KVN could have went anywhere and they would have accepted him open arms.
To remain committed to BYU shows his character even more than his play on the
field. Bronco showed what kind of coach and man he is as well.VAggie-you are blowing smoke. I knew several students who for whatever reason
went off the wagon in their time at BYU. They were booted or suspended and a
good portion of those eventually came back to BYU. They were not athletes.
Same types of situations, but they were not athletes. They went through the
process to get re-admitted and committed to shaving and living the honor code.
:) I am not saying that some athletes in some cases do not get
preferential treatment, but getting booted from BYU and re-applying later is
available to everyone who commits to live the honor code and has the academic
credentials to get in.
I wonder if anyone has remembered other athletes who have erred, been
disciplined, and returned to school and have had successful lives? I seem to
remember some TOP performers on recent football teams, who have set records, one
left school and one lost his senior year while his now wife left the
women's BB team, and returned to star after a period of time away.Their respective coaches demonstrated what is important by upholding the Honor
Code and showing compassion in aiding the youthful young men and women to turn
their lives around and rewarded their successes. What is most
important - isn't "higher education" a place to learn and "go
forth to serve" at a greater level in their life's pursuits?
Sports Are Great,Your assumption that because an institution
affiliated with the LDS Church has a policy then that policy is implicitly
endorse by President Monson is, frankly, outrageous. Policies are the result of
institutional history, culture, politics, bureaucracy, and any number of other
factors. BYU doing any particular thing does not mean that the Lord or the
Lord's Prophet want it that way.
VAggie,Davies did not escape punishment for his actions. He had to
endure public humiliation at the hands of the local as well as national media,
was dismissed from the team, and had to earn his way back by meeting numerous
conditions. On top of that, he had to endure the scorn and mocking of YOUR
FANBASE when they played in Logan, which was so disgraceful and mean spirited
that it led to a public apology from your university president.
Sports Are GreatNor am I being confrontational, brother. My emphasis
is heart felt and may have come across too emphatically. I totally sustain
President Monson and the Twelve. I have full appreciation of how our Church has
improved and re-improved many facets of it's programs in the past, and
fully expect that process to be onging in the future. I also put BYU's
administrative duties a tad outside the cadre of administering the Gospel. For
further explanation, we'd probably have to go to dinner.Peace
and respect to you. Last post...I promise. Everybody have a fantastic weekend.
VA AggieI was a student at BYU and I broke the honor code. I
confessed to my Bishop and never heard another word about it (and yes, it was a
serious offense). So, at least from my experience, a regular student has a
greater chance of not being punished than a student athlete that is in the
public eye.What I would question is whether an athlete of lesser
talent would receive the same amount of support. The article mentions that part
of BM's argument to school officials was that KVN had other options. Would
the same amount of support have been given to a student without other options
who then could not demonstrate his commitment in that way?Really
what I'm implying goes beyond the scope of BYU. It is easy to lend support
to the exceptional and often less appealing to lend support to those that are
not exceptional. However, I will say that in all of my life's experiences,
I found the attitude of helping the average joe more prevalent at BYU than
USA, I believe your emphasis is heartfelt, I truly do. And while I'm not
suggesting President Monson spends a significant amount of time on the daily
operations of BYU, he is the chairman of the board for a reason. And I still
maintain that if he wanted something changed he would change it.Jonny Harrison,Your assumption that the Lord's prophet
wouldn't change something at BYU that he felt should be changed, in his
position as Chairman of the Board of byu, is frankly outrageous. I never
suggested simply due to an affiliation that things are a certain way. The LDS
church has "affiliations" with hundreds of organizations. But do you
realize the big difference between BYU and the hundreds of other organizations
the LDS church affiliates with? President Monson is the Chairman of the Board
of BYU, and not of every "affiliated" organization. I repeat: Your
assumption that the Lord's prophet wouldn't change something at BYU
that he felt should be changed, in his position as Chairman of the Board of byu,
is frankly outrageous.
What a great story about commitment, loyalty, and redemption. Thanks to Jeff
Benedict for the three excerpts from his book. I appreciate Bronco looking at
the big picture when it came to KVN, and not simply a kid who broke the Honor
Code. His intuition has paid off for everyone involved.
Imagine if every college in the country held firm to not condoning or glossing
over things like this. And many other athletes do worse things than underage
drinking and driving. Holding people accountable is the answer to many of our
societies problems, rather than allowing them to use an excuse for their
behavior. Way to Man up KVN.
Sports Are Great:If the Church's educational system operates on
the same principals as the church, local leaders are allowed to functionally
operate under their own inspiration. Dictates from Salt Lake to any part of the
church are relatively rare. President Monson would intervene only under dire
circumstances. Think about it... How often does God intervene and
violate the agency of human beings?
@VAggieYou don't hear about the non-sport star 2nd and third
chances because the news doesn't cover it.I know for a fact
that lots of kids at BYU that make mistakes worthy of dismissal are given 2nd
and 3rd chances. I've witnessed it many times. I agree with
USAlover! Davies and Van noy's "punishment" was magnified and more
hurtful than anyone else's because of the media coverage. Everyone deserves
2nd and 3rd chances but only if their heart is in the right place. Van noy,
DAvies and countless other kids we don't know of are examples of it. Those
who don't want to take accountability of their mistakes go to schools with
lower standards. P.S. Kyle Van Noy showed his true character and
that means more to BYU than his football skills...but those skills sure are
"Sports Are Great": I don't believe we can blame everything -- bad
or good -- that happens at BYU on President Monson. Many things have changed at
BYU over the years and many will (and need to, as USALover points out). I'm
sure President Monson hasn't taken the time nor had the inclination to get
revelation on every jot or tittle of a policy there, and especially regarding
how those policies are implemented. We have our own stewardships, just as those
at BYU do. As Joseph Smith said of the Saints: "...they were depending on
the Prophet, hence were darkened in their minds, in consequence of neglecting
the duties devolving upon themselves... ." (TPJS p. 237). If we
follow your logic far enough, then everything that occurs at BYU, every rule or
policy or code and every implementation of the same, is sanctioned by God
through His prophet. Ain't no way...
I bet Notre Dame would trade Teo for Van Noy anyday! That fake girlfiend stuff
is just bizarre! Good character goes way beyond sports......this could be a
What an inspiring story! Kudos to Bronco and BYU for stepping up to help this
kid. The only troubling thing to me surrounding this are the hypocritical BYU
fans who will praise this happening at BYU, but at the same time are highly
critical of the University of Utah coaches when they try to help a troubled kid.
The U may not have the honor code, but they do have team rules and standards
that the players must follow. They do their best to help troubled players get
back on track. I see no difference between that and what Bronco did for Van
Noy. So I hope BYU fans can be more understanding and accepting of those
efforts at the U.
VAggie, you got nothing. I'm a BYU graduate and I screwed up
while I was there. I got a year of probation. Never played for any of the sports
teams there. Van Noy got worse, they wouldn't even let him
in.You know nothing about it.
I'm siding with "Sports Are Great": While I'm sure the vast
majority of goings-on at BYU are left to university administration, something as
central to the university as the Honor Code--with its higher-than-Gospel
stringency--surely has the approval of the Board of Trustees, which counts among
its members three apostles and is headed by the First Presidency. This is not a
school for those who are not serious about being there. Kids who are already
serious about trying to live the Gospel the best they can will have little
problem being asked to do even more while they are at BYU. Kids who aren't
that serious frankly don't deserve the privilege of having 70% of their
actual tuition costs being paid by tithing funds.
It is interesting how we have commenters on both sides and they are both
nonsensical. We have @VAggie saying that at BYU we have players
getting special treatment? Really? I think you need to look up the definition
of that. Was it special treatment for Brandon Davies to sit out the NCAA
tournament?You really believe that every single student on BYU
campus that is caught for breaking the honor code is kicked out right on the
spot?Also we have USAlover that believes that the university should
be more like the church and be more lenient on the students. REALLY? While yes this is "college" people are allowed to attend any
university they want to. If they want to attend BYU, BYU-I, BYU-Hawaii I
don't feel bad if they get kicked out for breaking the rules.Every person knows what they are signing up for when they go to these schools.
The church subsidizes a lot of the cost of going to school. If you want to do
all the regular "college" things then pay more and go to a different
school. There are plenty of people wanting to go to the BYU schools.
Shenandoah,I don't think that "Sports Are Great"'s
point is that President Monson controls and has his thumb on every policy at
BYU. I think the point is that President Monson, in his role as Chairman of the
Board, has the capacity and responsibility to change policy at BYU if he thinks
it is not right. I find to believe that President Monson would not allow
President Samuelson and other administrators at BYU to make their own decisions.
I also find it hard to believe that President Monson would stand on the
sidelines and not intervene in policies he felt were in error to the detriment
of the student body.I believe all "Sports Are Great" is
saying is President Monson would suggest (some may say require) a change in the
way the honor code is administered if he felt it was not being administered
@Mormon Ute "The only troubling thing to me surrounding this are the
hypocritical BYU fans who will praise this happening at BYU, but at the same
time are highly critical of the University of Utah coaches..."The day K.W. and the U of U require a recruit (that they really want) to sit
out an entire season, and not just a game or two, for a DUI, and the kid agrees
to do it and actually honors the agreement-- then I would be agreeing with what
you said there. As it stands how can you call out hypocrisy when we know that a
DUI at most universities would be swept under the rug or, at most, result in
missing a couple of games.I was under the impression that there is a
DUI sticker that players can earn and put on their helmets at the U.
Mormon ute, I dont think any byu fan has suggested similar things shouldn't
happen elsewhere. Speaking for myself, I just find it pathetic when a fan or
coach uses the "give him a second chance" excuse as justification for a
slap on the wrist for a serious offense, just because we want the kid to play.
The lack of a specific honor code in no way diminishes the
seriousness of a DUI. I think the thing byu fans are applauding here is the
second chance given after a serious punishment of sitting out a year. Bronco
could have just let it slide since he wasn't even on team. Just don't
try and suggest a one game slap on the wrist(which some local coaches have done)
is similar to how bronco handles things or to what happened in this case.
Mormon ute,By "back on track" do you mean back on the field?
I'll be rooting even harder for Bronco and KVN!!! This is a great series,
Mormon UteGive us an example; I don't recall Utah ever offering
a highly, sought-after recruit a release from his LOI so he could enroll at
another school and then telling him, after he said he still wanted to play for
Utah, that he would have to wait a year to get his life in order before he would
be allowed to enroll at Utah.Giving a kid a slap on the wrist for a
serious infraction of the law is not the same as giving him a second chance
after he's paid the price for his infraction.
Another affirmation that Bronco is absolutely, 100% the right coach for BYU.@ MormonUte - As a Cougar fan I totally respect what coaches at the U
and other colleges do to help teach young men life lessons. Hats off to Coach
Whittingham for suspending Brian Blechen when he deemed it necessary.
Unfortunately, there are many more incidents of turning a blind eye by coaches
MHO, if this isn't what the BYU sports programs are supposed to do for the
men and women that participate in them, then we don't need to have them. On
OUTSTANDING example of why BYU sports exist in the first place. Thanks for a
great article that reminds me why we have these programs. It isn't about
the National Championships or bowl games or Final Four appearances, it is about
helping young men and women become all that they can be. Nice to hear about
programs reinforcing behaviors that make men and women of integrity. Proud to be
an Alum today.
Holy cow, I didn't know any of this and I am so glad that the DN decided to
print it... I have to buy the book now... I had tears welling up before I even
got to the 3rd page... I live in Texas half the year and in Oregon
half the year and I have followed BYU and KVN closely... Or at least I thought I
had... What a tremendous young man KVN was and has become... when you are a HS
star and popular it's very easy to get caught up with the wrong crowd, but
it is extremely difficult for a young man to recognize it and make a decision to
correct his course, particularly if it means sacrifice... This story
also demonstrates what kind of relationship a quality coach should have with his
players... I suppose there are others out there who might do the same thing that
Bronco did, I just know of them... If I am a recruit, and I know
this story about a coach that is recruiting me? I definitely want to play for
him... I want a coach that is that concerned about me as a person.
USAloverSalt Lake City, UTYou raise some interesting points,
but not necessarily debatable.Whether it is appropriate or not to
set a higher standard for entrance and remaining at BYU than for belonging to
the church or even attending the temple is not a question for you or I to
determine.The pivitol point is and always has been this: the
standard has been set, it is clear, and every student who attends BYU has
agreed, in writing, to abide by those standards. We can choose to abide by our
word or not. We cannot choose to set the consequences of our choices aside.Perhaps if more individuals would consider carefully the commitment they
are making before entering, there would be room for more students who are
willing and grateful to make and keep such commitments.
As a young man I found myself afoul of the honor code on one occasion. As I
look back on that circumstance I now see it as what it was, a learning and
growth opportunity. I was never an athlete or any more special than any other
student. What I received was compassion, forgiveness and a path back to good
grace. Were there consequences, sure, was there a need for a path to
forgiveness, absolutely. This was never publicized, I never felt
ridicule or humiliation. I look at what both Brandon Davies and Kyle Van Noy
went through and have nothing but admiration. @ VAggie, as one who
has been through it, I can assure you that neither received any special favors
that any other ordinary student would not have received. Am I glad that Brandon
returned and Kyle elected to attend BYU, I leave that up to you.
Usalover/ Solomon Levi,You have no clue what I know. They
weren't punished as hard institutionally by the university itself, as many
other byu students who break the same or similar rules, and in some cases less.
To those who wonder why Honor Code violations are treated differently:Those who have had responsibility to deal with violations of Church standards
know that the Lord sees each individual as someone who needs, or does not, need
things handled in a certain way. It is always what is best for the individual,
whether it be "go thy way and sin no more" or a church council with loss
of privileges or excommunication.I have no doubt that those who
violate the Honor Code are considered in the same way at BYU by those in
authority.It would not surprise me that those attending BYU (as four
of my children did) are held to a higher standard to teach them how to live the
higher stadard when they leave the university.
oh how we do adore our Royalty.
KVN,proud to have you as a cougar.
I laugh when I read that people think the honor code is applied either harsher
or less stringently on BYU athletes. It's the same code; it's
largely the attitude and visibility of the person who violates it that
determines the outcomes in most situations, same as it is in formal church
disciplinary councils. I've sat on quite a few of the later and assure you
it's not the act/violation of principle with a fixed outcome, it's
largely the person's pattern of behavior and their attitude about making it
right. Friends who worked in the standards office confirmed the same re: leaving
school etc. People headed the right direction get consideration, those who
flaunt or act with arrogance typically see more restrictions. Good luck to van
Noy, and thanks for sticking around for the senior year.
Manti Teo - thanks for doing great things at Notre Dame; my midwestern friends,
to a one - all say what a classy guy you were there and how people respected
you. That respect didn't go away with the internet thing, head-shaking
notwithstanding. Keep doing good things and be your best self. You made a
good choice for yourself and will never regret it.
I'm grateful to see his change and see what kind of person he has become.
He is still improving and so are all of us. It's important to realize that
nobody is perfect and that is what the church is all about, helping imperfect
people like ourselves grow to become better people. Being his brother I have
seen him at all different stages of his life and he is a GREAT kid. I am forever
grateful to BYU and Bronco for giving him the chance to prove himself.Go Cougs!
I actually enjoyed this series. It increased my respect for Kyle. As a Utah fan
I've always despised the banter about the Y having to make due only with
recruits that could fulfill the strict requirements to play for the Cougars. The
truth is some people are prone to making mistakes but that doesn't mean you
should give up on them. Also you have to give Bronco credit for going to bat for
Kyle who appears to have cleaned up since relocating to Provo.Go