Comments about ‘Vai's View: Pac-12 membership comes with consequences for Mormons’

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Published: Friday, Sept. 30 2011 12:00 p.m. MDT

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Fort Worth, Texas

"But the Pac-12 doesn't care about General Conference. Neither does it care about playing [on] Sunday[s]."


That's also true for 60% to 80% of Americans:

Christianity Today notes that for years, Gallup pollsters have reported that 40 percent of Americans -- roughly 118 million people -- attend a church every Sunday.

But a new study done by an Episcopal Church researcher, Kirk Hadaway, and Penny Marler of Samford University concludes the actual number is much less than that. They did a "count-based" estimate of church attendance -- in other words, actual attendance figures -- and concluded that only about 20 percent of Americans go to a church on Sunday

Clearfield, UT

IMHO this article title is misleading. It makes it sound like the PAC-12 has it out for the LDS faith. I seriously doubt that is an intention. But outside of Utah the world continues to turn. I'm sure that most people who live in Utah already realize that and have no problems. This is trying to make a mountain out of a molehill.

Orem, Utah

Vai, You hit the nail on the head. I was very impressed with the WCC willingness to schedule around BYU. It is great to have a university like BYU where you can get a great education and also learn more about who you really are. I love it when Bronco says that his goal is to make his football team great on the field and better men when they are not playing football.


The LDS population percentage has been decreasing in SLC for years. The University of Utah students, faculty, and fanbase are all increasing in diversity as well.

As a state based school it about time that things get more secular for the University of Utah. The diversity and free thinking that embodies the PAC is probably the best thing about it (besides the TV deal)and we all know this state and the University could use a little more of both.

Holladay, UT

To Uteology. Vai's point is that the local fan base becomes limited to some degree when up against church conflicts, not that the rest of the county is thus or so. If attendance at the game Saturday is 100%, then your point is right on. If not, Vai's article would warrant some more attention.

Salt Lake City, UT

As a Ute fan, and being LDS, I'm not thrilled that the game is at the same time as the conference session.

I have a DVR for the game, and I know that the priesthood session will probably be posted online as soon as it's over (and in my mailbox the next month). So I know I have options for both events when it comes to missing either one live. But for me, it's a matter of principle. Seeing the session live with my dad and catching the game after is one way I personally will try to keep my priorities straight. That's just me. I don't begrudge other LDS Utes who will catch the game and check out the session later in some other media.

So, I'm sure I'll mumble, grumble, and murmur a little as I get into a dress shirt and slacks late Saturday afternoon, but I'll spend that time with my dad, hearing stuff I know I need to hear.

As for LDS athletes passing on the U because of this? A tempest in a tea kettle. A conference game and a Sunday game are TOTALLY different. I'm not worries about it.

Wally West

Somehow I knew that the Utes game would cement in the minds of the most hardcore BYU fan that that Ute nation is full of heathen apostates.

Then, I've always said there is little difference demographically between the students, fan base, athletes, & staff at the 2 institutions. Psychologically, they are galaxies apart.

Silent Observer

Apparently Mr. Sikahema isn't paying attention. LDS faithful do have a well-publicized option. The Institute is broadcasting the complete Saturday night session after the game.

But this isn't about general conference, or campus priorities, is it? It's just another variation of sour grapes from a BYU fan over Utah's PAC 12 membership.

Provo, UT

Great job Vai!! No need to worry. It will be no problem for the bretheren to record the game and attend the evening Priesthood session.


Coming from a BYU fan, Utah is handling this as well as they can. While half the school may be LDS, the school is still a state run institution. This state run institution is also joining a stable, AQ conference and receiving a ten fold financial boost for doing so. This is really not debatable.

Now, there will probably be a few LDS athletes that state Utah playing on Sunday as a reason to go to BYU. On the flipside, I'm sure there will be a Chase Hansen or two who state Pac 12 affiliation as a reason to go to Utah. This just seems like Noise.

Now, @CKS, you're probably correct in stating that the Pac doesn't have it out for the LDS faith. I would say 8-10 of the twelve institution's Presidents do not however, don't kid yourself, no one in California was pleased with the church making it's prescence felt during Prop 8. Furthermore, if Utah were a church run school I guarantee you they would not have been invited to join the Pac.

That being said, good luck. Hope you make the most of the opportunity.

Salt Lake City, UT

Hey Vai I love your double standard. Maybe I am mistaken but did you not play football on Sunday's in the NFL? I honestly really love how you are bashing about Utah playing during priesthood conference, when I know for a FACT that is has happened with byu.

My cousin played baseball for Utah, and they played AT byu in 2001 during spring general conference during the priesthood session. Yes byu baseball had a home game right during conference and the game started at 7 pm. As soon as priesthood conference was over at 8 pm at the Marriot Center, a bunch of people came over and finished watching the game. If you are going to bash Utah for this game, then maybe you should go check your own alma mater and make sure they have never done this same thing in the past.

Salt Lake City, UT

Honestly, I don't see this being as big an issue as it would have been say 30 years ago. Conference is now broadcast around the world and they can just watch it when they have free time since it's posted online a day or two after.


I imagine potential LDS recruits will look at the situation pragmatically - just as LDS players looking at the NFL/NBA draft do. Conference can be DVR'd, church sessions are scheduled throughout the day. BYU has some big donor names, too - pretty sure Steve Young played on Sundays a time or two.

If a kid wants to be a champion athlete, then he or she will look at the best athletics program for their situation. Maybe that will be the U, maybe it won't. I'm not sure the fact that the U played on Conference weekend will be much of a factor.


Vai, didn't you play a few Sunday games?

Fort Worth, Texas


Isn't Kyle Whittingham and most of Utah's coaching staff and players LDS?

Didn't Vai himself play on Sundays in the NFL?

So bashing Chris Hill about "Sunday" play is meaningless coming from Vai.

Some LDS will attend the sold-out Ute game and some LDS won't, to each its own. Just like some will play/work on Sunday and some won't.

Centerville, UT

I like your approach to watching both. However, one has to agree that it would be better for LDS fans and smarter from a marketing perspective to avoid scheduling games when your audience might have a conflict with attending.

Thus, knowing this Mr. Hill might want to bring up that issue with the PAC12 before the next schedule is being planned out. It makes no sense to push an uncomfortable game schedule on a community. This isnt about proving someone right or wrong but about making it easier for players and fans to enjoy a sports event.

Spanish Fork, UT

@Silent Observer

It's not so much the sour grapes but more so the religious discrimination that has most BYU fans upset.

Magna Ute Fan
Magna, UT

I am disappointed that they would schedule a home game during conference. It seems thoughtless, I guess. I am a little surprised and pleased that the conference session will be rebroadcast at the University of Utah Institute after the game. That seems quite thoughtful to me.

Go Utes! I am a Utah Man Sir (But I am a disciple first)!

Salt Lake City, UT

I like Vai, but personally I think he overstepped his bounds on this one. Has he spoken to Chris Hill directly? If not, he should not sit there and call him out like that.

Second, I wanted to attend Priesthood session live, but what was I going to do with that season ticket I purchased months ago, before the game time was even known? I had a great idea. I would watch Priesthood session on delay, and go to the game with a date.

Think about it. Thousands of young single adult men will be sitting in a meeting hearing how they should be going on dates. I'll be on one.

Mesa, AZ

Sure to be the most tweeted and texted score update during priesthood session. Its good to know the Institute will rebroadcast the session after the game.

Then, there's the fact that dozens of mission reunions that are always scheduled during the conference friday BYU game...

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