Comments about ‘High school football: Bingham's Viliseni Fauonuku suspended two games’

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Published: Friday, Sept. 24 2010 3:00 p.m. MDT

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Saratoga Springs, UT

Obviously this is one of the more controversial subjects there is when it comes to sports and discipline.
Personally, I think the leaders (coach and administrators) dropped the ball on this one. For those that are saying he's innocent until proven guilty, go and read the case file and statements where Seni practically admitted to being guilty so let's not pretend to be in Lala land here.
Four players from Westlake were suspended for 3 games a piece for spray painting a rival school. For those who think holding people at gunpoint and stealing their wallets warrant a less punishment are crazy.
The right thing would have been to suspend him indefinitely before the season and then work with Seni, his family and courts to get a ruling ASAP and then work on an action plan to get his life back in order. By now, it would have passed over and he might have been cleared to play already.
If the U pulls their offer, JC is an option where he could really show how sorry he is and earn societies trust back in him (which I know he can do)!

Eagle Mountain, ut

At least Coach Walker at Westlake has the guts to suspend players for 3 games for going to Lehi and displaying their creative arts abilities. Maybe if the Westlake players had pulled a gun rather than paint, the punishment wouldn't have been so harsh. Either way, all players represent their school and community and should have been suspended for the entire year. All players made the decision to be involved in what they did.

West Jordan, UT

So what happens if a coach does this or even commits a lesser crime like a misdemeanor maybe a DUI or DWI that had nothing to do with the kids and wasnt even during football season? Should he/she be suspended for a few games instead of the whole season....or at all?

West Jordan, UT

There seem to be plenty of judges on this board who've found Seni guilty and are ready to sentence not only him but Bingham High School in general.
Would it suit you self-proclaimed judges if the Bingham football team were disbanded? No?
Maybe it would satisfy you to see the entire Bingham coaching staff and administration were all fired? No?
Ok, let's just shut down the school. One student has been charged with a crime so the whole place is rotten. Burn it to the ground and start from scratch.
Maybe that would be enough for those of you who want to be judge and jury on this. It seems nothing else is.

West Valley City, Utah

@ onewhowatches

To answer your question . . . last year the basketball coach at Hunter High School had some misdemeanor assault charges filed against him, and he was asked to take a leave of absence from coaching and teaching until the charges were dropped, or until the trial was over. He was not allowed on school grounds until all was settled. So does that answer your question?

and to all those who don't think this kid deserves to be punished i ask; what if he had held your kids at gun point and robbed them? would you still be saying "kids make mistakes"?

Salt Lake City, UT

I love BT1984. Dude, you look foolish. You defend the actions of ANY Bingham player or coach no matter what. Stop with the excuses. Grow up!!!

How would you have handled it? Can't think for yourself huh? Let me guess... you would have handled it.... ummm.....ummmm.....ummmm.... oh yeah.... exactly how the Bingham coaches and administration did. That was perfect. He is innocent... blah blah blah. He hasn't been found guilty yet? Are you serious? No, not in court. I know you Bingham apologists kept going to the code of ethics and how it states... 'until he is convicted the coaches will not suspend him. Now that Peck has suspended him, you are OK. Can't have it both ways. Either go by the letter of the law when it comes to the 'code' or not. Which way is it?

Perfect timing, not to have him, not for the playoffs or Riverton, not for Alta and Viewmont, but Kearns and CH. Nice!

Oh and the comments are not 'judges' they are people expressing opinions, you know kind of like your opinion that Bingham can do no wrong. Get out there are recruit my man.

Salt Lake City, UT

As far as the player, I really hope Seni turns this around. I don't know him personally, but I understand he has had it tough. I wish him the best and hope he is able to put this behind him, which includes the punishment that comes.

Maybe he does deserve a second chance, after he has made restitution. As far as playing in college, I am sure Kyle W will evaluate the entire situation. Hopefully it turns out well for Seni.

South Jordan, UT

What's wrong with BT1984 defending them? It's too bad our Judicial system takes so long to get anything resolved. With this happening earlier this spring it should have all been overwith by now. It sure is funny how everyone keeps bringing up the timing of the suspensions. You would think that the whole team is going to collapse without one player. The outcome will be the same this year with or without him.

Kearns, UT

We can all express our thought and feeling here but what good is it going to do? What we really need to do is express our concerns and feeling to Jordan School District and Utah High School Sports Association get them involved. This is a serious crime and I know as a parent of young kids this really concerns me.
If I understand right players getting in to a fight on the field get suspended for 2 games or when coaches
What are we teaching our children if we think this is ok and it was just a mistake. A mistake is cutting class, or getting into a fight but not pulling a gun on other people.

Lehi, UT

There are many parts of this story that demonstrate where we are as a society. As a current coach in a high school these are my thoughts:

Firstly, if this was my son, I would be disappointed in him, and that would be the end of football period.

Secondly, school sports and activities are a privilege and armed robbery should definitely be a reason for suspension. If the young man wanted to play football he should have thought through his actions. And I agree with many former posts, that the coach should have suspended him UNTIL this issue was resolved.

Football or not, it didn't help the kid before he made a poor choice and I doubt it is making any difference currently. If football is the only reason the kid stays out of trouble, he is in trouble for the future.

Lastly, Armed Robbery is VERY SERIOUS. There is no way to sugar coat it. This is serious issue. If one of those five boys he robbed were my kids, I want this guy not only off the football team but in JAIL to think about his contributions to society.

Salt Lake City, UT

The coach and administration failed this player. He should have been suspended for the year. Winning does not make it ok to break the law. This has tarnished high school football and the student athlete. The Jordan District should take this serious and look into this.

sun devil
Salt Lake City, UT

Typical Bingham response. Win first, everything else second.

Vancouver, WA

I'm a proud graduate of both Bingham High School and BYU. As both, I see a number of big problems here.

1. I would NEVER support a suspension based on an accusation. Nobody should get suspended until the truth is ascertained. No way BHS should suspend him just because he's arrested. Not until they know everything.

2. I would NEVER support a suspension for committing a crime until the courts have ruled.

3. I would definitely support a suspension by the school or coach based on a violation of team rules or code of conduct -- once the truth is known. But it should happen AS SOON AS the truth is known (not timed for the easiest games of the year).

4. If there is a suspension for commission of a crime or violation of team rules, it should come with a caveat that the kid stay involved in the school and in the athletic program (football, in this case) in order to be reinstated. That way, you get the "football helps him with life" thing.

5. Chris B is a typical Ute fan -- every talented felon is welcome!!

Taylorsville, UT

I wonder what the kids who were held at gunpoint would want. Holding innocent victims at gunpoint is serious. Missing games against Kearns and Copperhills is a joke. If Coach Peck knew before the season started that this crime had happened why didn't he act then instead of waiting until half way through the season. I don't care what anyone says this was poor judgement by the coach and he should be severly reprimanded or even fired. Poor poor judgement coach Peck.

Layton, UT

Wow, two game suspension... and we wonder why athletes tend to think of themselves as entitled above-the-law types...

Kearns, UT

The kid should be suspended for the whole season. No ifs ands or buts. If I was a University, I'd not touch him with a 10 foot pole. He's going to be lucky not to go to jail. So much for his college football career. Maybe a D2 school after jail, eh? Hearing that he's a good kid but just made a mistake doesn't cut it.

Peck needs to have the guts to suspend him.

Where's Stockton ???
Bowling Green, OH

The seriousness of the charges go well beyond the discipinary discretion of the Principal and Coach. If the UHSAA does not step in and issue which should be an indefinite suspension until further inquiry into the matter then they have underscored the seriousness. A two game suspension would be practical in a simple cas of something of the nature of a simple assault...say as to a case of fisticuffs between students after classes. But the article clearly indicates that a potential life killing weapon was used. This goes well beyond the scope of a mere principal and a coach

Dave from Taylorsville
Taylorsville, UT

Chris B. and the other Ute Trolls in here. . . trash talk is one thing, but quit baiting people with outlandish statements.

Yankee Doodle- I made mistake when I was a teenager. I got drunk on a camping trip with some friends (first and last time for that), got caught TPing a friends house, and I took some sodas from a broken vending machine.

However, I have never been involved in armed robbery. I have never stolen something from someone face-to-face, much less their money and ID (and what ever else was in the wallets). To point a gun at someone as a lark or "in jest" is STUPID. To point a gun at someone and rob them, that's CRIMINAL!

If the young man is found guilty, he should AT LEAST be on a heavy probationary program - no high school football - and, after a lot of counciling and rehabilitative work, be allowed to enter college and let them decide if he's to play football at that point.

Kaysville, utah

JintheCouv, how wrong can you be??? Don’t punish/suspend this kid until he is found guilty in court? Wrong — just plain wrong.

The coach has a duty to sit the kid down and ask him directly about his actions. If he thinks he is lying, ask other witnesses. This should have been done as soon as the incident was known to the coach which I suspect was within days of it happening. Based upon the Coach’s findings a punishment should have been given. If the incident happened as reported in the paper, he should have been suspended for the season.

I do agree with your last point. If suspended for the season, the Coach should encourage him to stay involved in the program. If the kid wants a second chance let him earn it — but that chance would have to come if Whittingham or any other College coach were to offer it.

Suspending him for two easy games in the middle of the season makes it look like the Coach is trying to sweep this under the rug which I suspect is exactly what is going on. Perhaps the UHSAA should get involved!

Hurricane, UT

Who knows what really went on. Yea he had a gun, and he pointed at people. The court will take care of the issue. I don't know what to think about playing football or not. I just hope the best for him

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