Brad Rock: Religion expert sees Cougars at a crossroads


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  • iNKSpot Wilsonville, OR
    Nov. 17, 2011 11:41 a.m.

    BYU set the standard nearly half a century ago by forfeiting play in the College World Series. After sacrificing so much over the years in defense of eternal principles, the Cougars would lose most their fan base if BYU became like every other school in the country.

  • Jeff S Sandy, UT
    Oct. 24, 2011 4:31 p.m.

    @Mendel, 10:29p On Oct 21.

    Fair question: "where are the data" on my statement that people have been fired from BYU for teaching evolution.

    "The Story of the Latter-day Saints" by James Allen and Glen Leonard, pp. 484- 485. Also, "The Mormon Hierarchy, Extensions of Power" by Michael Quinn, p. 810. A good overview is also in "Journal of Mormon History," v.5, by Richard Sherlock, pp. 33-59

  • 10-34, 14-35, 14-31, 14-23 0-4 bountiful, ut
    Oct. 23, 2011 7:45 a.m.

    Chris B,

    When the Utes transform into an 0-5 team will you please quit denegrating yourself as a Ute troll on these boards? If BYU is an average mid major what does that make the Utes who can't even help but turn the ball over 4 times a game to the PAC-12? How is it that this average mid major has beaten the conference brother you will be losing to on Saturday much to my delight? Get with the program and abandon your hideous pursuit of looking silly and down right unintelligent.

  • 10-34, 14-35, 14-31, 14-23 0-4 bountiful, ut
    Oct. 23, 2011 7:28 a.m.

    You can be rest assured that BYU will never change their stance on sunday play. They also will never get rid of their athletic programs. For as long as there is a stage set for play athletics and the unbending no sunday policy will be in place... A great evidence to this bold statement is with the way they handled the situation during the NCAA basketball tournament in March. Policies of the Lord never change and BYU will not adapt to the wicked world of sports just for BCS glory..... That glory is fleeting. Eternal glory is endless.

  • Allen#1 West Valley, UT
    Oct. 22, 2011 9:32 p.m.

    I am neither a Utah nor BYU fan but I would prefer to have a team win against a lowly WAC or MWC team than lose to a lower tier PAC-12 team.

    BYU did the right thing when they left the MWC...which will son be a has-been conference along with the WAC.

  • RaininTime Orem, UT
    Oct. 22, 2011 11:54 a.m.

    I doubt anyone will read my post, but what the hec.

    What keeps getting lost in these discussions is the problems with the entire idea of the BCS. It's very existence is about $$money and eliteism. Therefore to seek membership is in essence supporting any and all BCS mission purposes and consequences, whether one thinks it good or evil.

    It truly is a system of have and have not's.

    All of us, by our very Western Societal existence, support those who work on Sunday. It is far more than three occupations that are "needed" on Sundays. If you want a warm building in which to worship, people must work to allow you such comforts.

    I believe the idea of a Sabbath is to worship one day a week; and I honestly believe the actual day is of no consequence to God, just as long as a day of worship happens.

    God certainly took more than 144 hours to create this green earth; hence my worship ought to be more than 24 hours, or 12 hours or sunset to sunrise---which kinda makes being a Jew in Alaska an interesting dilemna.

  • Ted H. Midvale, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 10:54 p.m.

    Mormon ute, my bishop(ute fan believe it or not) is held to a higher standard agreed? Based on your logic its perfectly fine that I criticize him since I heard him swear once even if I have a mild swearing issue myself right? After all, it doesn't matter what I do since he officially represents the church and I don't right? Not hypocritical at all according to you.

  • Mendel Iowa City, IA
    Oct. 21, 2011 10:29 p.m.

    @ Jeff S. 6:21pm:
    Regarding your comment: "I understand that teachers in the early 1900s were fired from Brigham Young (then academy) for teaching evolution."

    This is how false rumors get started. Where are the data on this statement?

  • Anon 64 Oahu, HI
    Oct. 21, 2011 9:41 p.m.

    I knew that this Topic would get great feed back because it mixes both Religion as seen by Some Mormons and BYU Football. Also Religion as seen by some other faith groups.

    At BYU you sign the honor code (have you ever read that or do you just wave it).Playball and follow the rules. You get a top education at a top school and great TV Exposure for being Drafted into the Pro.

    Worth around $100,000 dollars per year in school and perhaps Millions over a lifetime. Other wise go to Logan and lead a more or less normal life.

    Go to a sub leval program like Weber State and take you chances. Or an NAIA School and take your fat chances.

    I would go for the Y, I would also get Married.

    BYU Sticks to their Guns on Honor Code Issues. Understand that going in and you will be fine.

    BYU just does not want the whole 9 yards they want a First Down, What they really want is a TD, Two Point Converation and to Recover the Onside Kick.

    Or all that and a bag of chips.

    No Sunday Play is their right DaPrivate School.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 7:42 p.m.

    I feel I need to make something crystal clear, because Ted H. and a few others have totally misinterpreted my position. My statements regarding BYU players representing the Church should not be construed to mean that each member doesn't have an obligation to live the commandments. Since when is the honor code a commandment? Do we all live the same standards each day that missionaries are required to live? How about President Monson? I don't think so.

    Have any of you been to the temple? I have news for you, you now are held to a higher standard than before you made those convenants. So, I say a BYU athlete is held to a higher standard and it is outlined in the honor code. Show me where a Utah athlete's standing in school or on the team can be harmed by violating that BYU honor code.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 7:23 p.m.


    Whoa buddy. I haven't said a single word about us as fans. I am talking about the kids playing sports and that is what Ted and I have been discussing. The bottom line is the kids who choose to play for BYU are held to a higher standard by the Church, hence the honor code. That isn't to say that an LDS kid who messes up at another school will not be subject to Church discipline, but their Bishop will help them through it in private and they will be able to continue in school and on the team. At BYU it is different and the Brandon Davies situation illustrates that.

    I have never, nor would I ever, claim that fans or members of the Church like you or I should be held to different standards. I take very seriously all of my committments to God and I hope every other Church member does as well, but you fool yourself if you believe a grevious sin committed by President Monson would be treated the same as if you committed that sin.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 7:05 p.m.

    Ted H.,

    Nowhere have I said it doesn't matter what average members do, but the Church handbook clearly differentiates between those who have an official capacity in representing the Church and those who are average members. You may not like that and you can have an opinion against it, but that is how God's inspired servants in the Quorum of the Twelve have written it. There are so many different levels of responsibility it is hard to list them all here, but someone holding a temple recommend is held to a higher standard than someone who doesn't, a missionary who has been set apart as an official representative of Christ is held to a higher standard than someone who has not, a Bishop, a Stake President, a Seventy, an Apostle, a Prophet. I am not making this up, it is stated crystal clear in the hand book leaders follow in handling discipline. I am just using that same pattern in stating that a church member who chooses to play sports for the church school has a greater responsibility, because they are recognized more readily as representing the church.

  • Shotmaster NEWHALL, CA
    Oct. 21, 2011 7:02 p.m.

    The only way byu will ever play on sunday or allow one of their players to be named player of the game by a beer sponsor, will be as a school with no affiliation with the lds church. The lds church, contrary to many of their fans belief, is all about moving the gospel of jesus christ over the world's goal line and not the football. Someday the church maybe forced by cost constraints to sell the school to sympathetic outside investors. as the church grows around the world, it will not be able to afford its worldwide membership to the same educational opportunities that is offered in the usa.

    The church will get out of the football or sports business and focus on building temples that will dot the earth and not little byu's. there will still be little y fans on every corner but no sunday night football.

  • RinAZ Mesa, AZ
    Oct. 21, 2011 6:53 p.m.

    This article is really kind of needless. BYU will never play on Sunday, period. So why even go there.

    Utah has just shot themselves in the foot.

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 6:42 p.m.

    @Aloha Saint George "I'm so surprised that playing on Sunday is in the Bible Belt. They are known for their strict Christian Values."

    Yes, you are right. That is why the Dallas Mavericks and the Charlotte Hornets do not play home games on Sunday (unless on National TV - same deal as Jazz) and why Jacksonville moved Halloween to the last Saturday of October and why the major college sports are not on Sunday and major league baseball is not on Sunday except for national TV. On the other hand, there are a lot more people in the Bible Belt than Utah. So, you will always have a Sunday audience too for the non-active. So, this whole article is about nothing as Sunday play is not a factor with the Big 12.

  • Jeff S Sandy, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 6:21 p.m.

    It seems to me that religions, like society and everything else, change.

    It wasn't until sometime in the mid-80s before women could wear jeans at BYU. Perhaps a small change, but nevertheless a change. I understand that teachers in the early 1900s were fired from Brigham Young(then academy) for teaching evolution. Now I'm told evolution is accepted and taught at BYU.

    It just depends on how much change is needed and how quickly the change is needed.

  • Shotmaster NEWHALL, CA
    Oct. 21, 2011 6:00 p.m.

    @BigDaddyCoug, when the Church sells the school, it will bring a nice return on their investment! it will help to build more Temples,right? That is the goal??

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 5:54 p.m.

    Utah and TCU have never played football on Sunday. This is an excuse.

    Bust a BCS game a few times and you can get invited. Boise State is next. Just do it and stop making excuses.

    On the other hand, Louisville got in, but they didn't play on Sunday either.

  • Canyontreker TAYLORSVILLE, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 5:46 p.m.

    What a bunch of excuses. No invite because the Y, although now single, will not flirt at the party.

  • sammyg Springville, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 5:41 p.m.

    Ted 10
    Mormon Ute 0

  • anti-liar Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 5:00 p.m.

    This is where I greatly admire and respect the late, President Gordon B. Hinckley of the LDS Church for his bold leadership in eliminating, altogether, the intercollegiate sports program at BYU-Idaho. This was replaced by a well-developed, well-organized INTRAMURAL sports program.

    This is notable not only for the tremendous cost savings involved -- and increased emphasis on far more important things in life -- but also for an ironically NEW emphasis on the role of physical education in the everyday lives of its students. For example, FAR, FAR more students participate in team sports at the school, than before. These students are gaining a true Physical Education.

  • Macfarren Dallas, TX
    Oct. 21, 2011 4:34 p.m.

    What's so important about the almighty "next level" ????

    I am reminded of ancient Israel who wanted to be like everybody else as well. See what a king got 'em.

    Oct. 21, 2011 4:21 p.m.

    Mormon Ute:

    I hear what you are saying, but you are interpreting signs that simply don't exist. Have you see the (relatively) new facilities for the football team across from the old field house? The LDS Church does not waste money like that, and only the football team has access, btw. It's amazing, as is the practice facility. When I played 20 years ago, we didn't have those facilities. We had the field house. Mass investments have been and are continuing to be made to the facilities.

    Who cares what President Erying didn't say about sports... Obviously, the broadcasting facility has a broader mission than sports. Sports is simply a vehicle for drawing an audience, and it happens to be available on BYU tv.

  • hoost Walnut Creek, CA
    Oct. 21, 2011 4:13 p.m.

    They'll never play on Sundays. A laughable thought.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 4:05 p.m.

    I've already read reports that West Virginia will be offered the big 12, even though they can't join for a couple years.

    The big 12 will not ever invite byu, nor will any other BCS conference. They are an average mid-major and that is their peak.

  • Zoniezoobie Mesa, AZ
    Oct. 21, 2011 3:43 p.m.

    The University of Missouri board has granted permission this afternoon to its President to accept an invite to the SEC should it be extended. The SEC Presidents have not yet responded.

    Perhaps this is a step toward an invitation to BYU from the Big 12. Things could happen soon, with both Bronco and Holmoe voicing desire to join a BCS conference this week.

  • Denver Reader AURORA, CO
    Oct. 21, 2011 3:26 p.m.

    My children have all participated in soccer. Sometimes make up games were on Sunday. I took the example of BYU to help bolster my position that we don't play on Sunday, even when we are in a tournament. We have consistently excused ourselves from Sunday games based on our religious beliefs supported by BYU's position not to play on Sunday. I hope they keep that standard.

  • Ken Sandy, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 3:24 p.m.

    @Brave Sir Robin

    We should embrace our chance to represent FIRST and foremost our church. We should ALWAYS stand tall and together with all members of our church. I dislike the rivalry mostly for the religious division(often between members of our church). You are correct that more damage is done to the integrity and face of the church when BYU has a player misbehave. But our responsibility to stand for Christ is in no way lessened because we choose Utah.
    We make serious promises to God each week that we will remember him and do what is right. As members of the church(both BYU and Utah) let us not try and shove that great assignment and commandment aside.

  • Ted H. Midvale, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 3:15 p.m.


    The more you keep telling other people they represent the church and the more you excuse your own responsbility or that of other Mormon Utes the more embarrassed I am of a fellow Mormon.

    "But to the non-member masses, it looks very different. And if BYU sports is a missionary tool like you claim, then how people view it does matter."
    Agreed, to the non-member masses there is more focus on BYU - I've never argued that point.

    And please show me where I "claim" byu sports is a missionary tool.


    still waiting......

    Just another cop-out of your missionary responsibility by throwing it on the BYU football players.

  • Just an old guy Centerville, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 3:04 p.m.

    Wow, what a lot of interesting points, thoughts and a little dogma. I have an opinion just like you-all. BYU will play on Sunday the same year the Prophet announces that we will no longer hold Sacrament Meetings on Sunday. I think I am pretty safe in predicting it will not happen in any of our lifetimes. So enjoy BYU athletics, paint your face blue, display your flag and have a good time at the non-Sunday games. For you Ute fans, enjoy your games, whenever they play them. Just keep in mind folks that it is a GAME.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Oct. 21, 2011 3:02 p.m.

    Ted, the longer you keep engaging in this argument you're losing, the worse you look.

    When an LDS kid trots out on the field for any school besides BYU, he is an LDS kid representing his school. When an LDS kid trots out on the field for BYU, he is an LDS kid representing the Church's school. If you can't understand the difference, you aren't trying or don't want to understand.

    I've agreed with you on this point all along: It shouldn't matter what school you go to - if you're LDS, you should behave a certain way on and off the field. To God, a chop block looks the same whether the perpetrator is at BYU or somewhere else. But to the non-member masses, it looks very different. And if BYU sports is a missionary tool like you claim, then how people view it does matter.

  • Ken Sandy, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 2:50 p.m.

    @Mormon Ute, Although I see your point and a Ute myself, I'm with Ted 100 percent on this one.

    One's membership in the Church means infinitely more than the college one chooses to support. We should not belittle ourselves as proud Mormon Utes by stating we dont have a high standard ourselves. No need to point to someone else by saying they must behave better than we do. I am proud to say I represent the Church. And frankly, it shocks me any LDS person would not happily accept this responsibility.

    Yes, cleary there is more publicity for BYU when something such as Brandon Davies happens. However, that doesn't change that fact that we ALL have committed to acting like the Savior would. I hope no one shirks this responsibility or tries to excuse their own behavior by pointing to somoene "more responsible."

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Oct. 21, 2011 2:48 p.m.

    Brad, please look up the difference between "begging a question" and "posing a question."

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    Oct. 21, 2011 2:41 p.m.

    Since not playing on Sundays likely had no effect on those mid-majored cougars getting blasted -- AT HOME no less -- by 44-pts, courtesy of their Pac-12 big brothers on the Hill, nor their dropping of 7 of the last 10 to us as well, I don't see how the continuation of their Sunday embargo will change anything.

    It's not like they were going to get an invitation to play in a BCS bowl, so really...what's the difference?

  • fender Washington, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 2:38 p.m.


    I'm pretty sure I understand the church just fine; whatever it is you're trying to say...well, yeah, I would need a decoder for that.

  • Aloha Saint George Saint George, Utah
    Oct. 21, 2011 2:18 p.m.

    I'm so surprised that playing on Sunday in the Bible Belt. They are known for their strict Christian Values. Then again, I don't live their. If any place in the country that might succumb to working with a Christian school, I would think the Bible Belt schools- Big 12, SEC would be most emenable to this. Start with KEEP THE SABBATH DAY HOLY.

    BYU does have a good incentive, Money. They have a great following wherever they go and it's getting bigger. Also , TV coverage. BYU sports will be targeting such markets as Texas simply because that's where the best football is in the country. It'll become a much bigger sell for coaches if they try and bring a kids to BYU; a 1000 miles from home, but Mom and Dad are able to watch their child play at least 8-10 games per year where they might not be able to travel.

  • CaptainL PROVO, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 2:17 p.m.

    One other point alot of people are missing is that even though we / players / BYU administration / students(of BYU), etc we are all just human beings trying to do the best we can and even if we are trying to live the gospel the best we can we are trying to live in the world and not be of the world. That is a big challenge and some do better than others and some struggle with that more than others. It is a learning experience too and takes time and we learn as we go, we make mistakes and don't represent as good as we should or could but the important thing is what is our attitude and the desire of our hearts. Sometimes the desires of our hearts aren't as much in line with the will of the Lord as it should be and it takes time to realize that and make the changes we need to make. We need to be carefull how critical we are of others as we all have our faults and weaknesses. Like I said recognizing and changing takes time and often takes maturity to be able to see things clearly.

  • Ted H. Midvale, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 2:14 p.m.

    Mormon Ute,

    You are wrong. I've got to believe, to God, you officially represent the Church.

    Arguing who is "more responsible" or "held to a higher standard" is a childish excuse by those looking to forgive their own issues.

    Do I not have the responsibility to be a good neighbor because my bishop has a "higher standard"?

    Do I not have the responsibility to be an honest worker becase my stake president is "held to a higher standard" at his work?

    Do I not have the responsibily to make any good decisions now that I don't go to BYU anymore and the prophet lives in the same state and he is "held to a higher standard?"

    You have alleviated so much burden from me. Thank you.

    It no longer matters what I do because since I don't go to BYU any more I don't represent the church.

    Poor bishop, stake president, and President Monson.

    They are the only ones who represent the Church.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 2:03 p.m.


    I didn't mean to say BYU doesn't compete, but we can already see it is becoming more and more difficult. Outside a BCS conference it will be impossible for BYU to generate the money necessary to compete for a national title on a regular basis. As the NCAA moves towards authorizing payments to players how is BYU going to compete with that and do they want to? Also, the corruption that exists in college sports may soon make it unpalatable for institutions like BYU to remain involved. That is a compliment to BYU, not a slam on them.

    I know BYU is committed to atheltics right now, but the reason I said you had your blue colored glasses on is you cannot see that there already are signs that support from Salt Lake is waning. The dedication of the new broadcast facility is an example. While the sports media made a huge deal over the state of the art facility at the disposal of BYU sports, Elder Eyring didn't even mention sports at the dedication of the building.

    As you said, sports at BYU is not about the money. Fans like you won't see it coming until it's gone.

  • Johnson72 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 1:54 p.m.

    "Sunday play is not an issue for the Irish either"... Nuff said!

  • Ted H. Midvale, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 1:53 p.m.

    Pathetic Mormon Ute,

    If you don't believe that every Mormon officially represents the church - you're a joke. I've got believe, that as you are LDS, you must ultimately agree what matters is what God says.

    If you think God sees a kid pick Utah and immediately excuses his responsibility from representing the church - wow. Typical clueless ute.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 1:51 p.m.


    The Church wants to provide a positive experience at BYU for all students. Athletes are just another class of students. They won't stop providing all that you say for all students, but athletes may one day have to go elsewhere. We are fast approaching a time when there are very few positive role models in athletics. There will likely come a day when athletes won't be anybody's role model. Our kids will have to look up to people who have made real contributions in the world.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 1:46 p.m.

    Ted H.,

    I will repeat what I said to Linus. There are different degrees of responsibility. When Bishops and Stake Presidents interview youth for ecclesiastical endorsements to Church schools they tell them it is a priviledge to attend that school and their tuition is subsidized by tithing dollars. As such they are expected to uphold a higher standard than members of the Church attending other schools. This is the reason for the honor code. They are being watched by the world, because the Church is putting them out there for the world to see. The Church is spending a lot of money to give them the opportunity and more is expected of them than the average member.

    This is a fact that cannot be changed by all your blustering. That is why Brandon Davies sin became public knowledge and he lost his position at school and on the team. At another school, his sin would have been dealt with in private and he would have continued playing on the team. The public would have known nothing about it.

    Of course we should all maintain our standards and live up to our covenants, but we don't officially represent the Church.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 1:38 p.m.


    You are misinterpreting what I said. I said there is a different level of representation between players at other schools and those at BYU. The players who choose to go to BYU are told up front they officially represent the Church. That is why the honor code is so strict. Players at other schools do not represent the Church in any official capacity and many people outside their teams don't even know they are members, because they only see them on the field of play.

    There is a huge difference between officially representing the Church and living your values. Let's use missionary service as an example. As a missionary you are an official representative of the Church. If you commit a sin as a missionary, you will be much more severely disciplined than if you committed that same sin before you became a missionary. Why, because you officially represent the Savior and the Church. Same thing at BYU. If Brandon Davies had been playing at another school, he would have been subject to Church discipline in private. However, at BYU he is subject to the honor code and public scrutiny, because he officially represents the Church. See the difference?

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 1:23 p.m.


    I've got news for you, only one indpendent gets in just by winning. Notre Dame gets in if they are ranked high enough. No other independent gets in unless the BCS decides to grant them an at large position, just like all the other non-AQ teams. BYU has no better standing now than they had in the MWC.

    You are right about BYU being able to survive as an independent while few others can. Unfortunately they don't have the clout that Notre Dame does.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 1:16 p.m.

    Ted H.,

    The fact that you don't recognize a difference between what a player represents in playing for BYU vs playing for another school is pathetic. Of course there is a difference. Every player who plays for BYU, LDS or not, it told they not only represent the school, but also the Church. They go in with their eyes wide open. Often players who play for other schools and are LDS don't even get recognized as being LDS in public. They may be recognized by their teammates and coaches, but their is much more exposure for the kids who choose to play for BYU. They officially represent the Church, because of where they chose to play. LDS kids playing elsewhere officially represent their school and that's about it.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    Oct. 21, 2011 12:55 p.m.

    Many good athletes will choose another university if not playing on Sunday hurts their chances for to keep progressing with their sports goals. That being said, this is already happening as many of the great athletes will never join a program that will kick you out for what you do with your girlfriend in your own privacy ...

  • CaptainL PROVO, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 12:52 p.m.

    Sports at BYU is considered a big missionary tool, a few months ago Via Sikahema mentioned in his blog that he knows some of the brethren who think BYU sports is second only to the full time missionary program in it's effectiveness in getting the message of the restored gospel out to the world. That said, it is a tool to a bigger goal and just entertainment. Too many people want to put too much importance on getting to a BCS bowl and winning a NC. Those will always be the goal for the team but that is secondary to the most important goal. It would be easier to get to a BCS bowl if we were in a BCS conf. and that may get us more exposure , therefore it would be desirable but getting exposure is the main goal and winning is the key to that, whether we're in a BCS conf. or independent. That is why I have maintained that staying independent isn't a bad thing and we can get the exposure we desire is we just win. Utah is like so many other BCS teams that if they don't win, little else matters. Lessthanhalf theBCSteams willgetintoBowlgames.

  • welcomethemall Nampa, ID
    Oct. 21, 2011 12:50 p.m.

    Sorry for the multiple posts...

    I also wonder how many guys I hurt - whose knees I blew up or "bells" were ringing because I popped them. And I confess that while I never tried to hurt anyone permanently, I never felt bad when they took a while to get up.

    And, personally, I was most effective when I played with a chip on my shoulder. I know some guys who can turn that on and off... I was not one of them. I'm not sure I want my sons to have to learn that mentality in order to be "excellent". It's not consistent with being a good man.

    One can learn all the wonderful aspects of team sports by being on a good construction crew, which in the end produces something valuable to the world... a home. All I did was help send 60,000 people home with hangovers.

    My point is this... maybe it's not a bad thing if the Church eliminated football. Surely the Roman model of entertainment - trained "warriors" crippling each other to the wine-soaked, spasmodic cheers of the masses - might be anathema to a people trying to teach a gentler way. I wonder...

  • Starfarer Mesa, AZ
    Oct. 21, 2011 12:45 p.m.


    "I merely state the obvious: values are relative, save faith itself."

    And that is why you don't understand.

    You think the church exists to "further it's primary agenda."

    You don't seem to understand the Church at all.

  • welcomethemall Nampa, ID
    Oct. 21, 2011 12:37 p.m.

    I loved playing football - for some years it was all that kept me in school and out of jail. (That and a healthy fear that my dad might kill me.) And I was blessed for a little time to be able to play at the D1 level (did I just date myself?)

    Now that I am middle-aged, I question the wisdom of having played to the extent I am not sure I want my boys playing. I'm effectively crippled, not having experienced a pain-free night of sleep in over 20 years. I worry that multiple concussions are beginning to affect my quality of life. (Those of you having read my other posts are nodding your heads in agreement.)

    And frankly, in spite of all the wonderful things I learned (teamwork, sacrifice, hard work, never giving up, losing gracefully, winning even more gracefully) it is not a very Christian sport. "Do unto others before they do it unto you." In years when the Cougs could block, there was not very much Christianity in their technique. I've never seen a legal cut block or crack block and thought, "Now THAT'S how the Savior did it!"... (to be continued)

  • Fubecao Alexandria, VA
    Oct. 21, 2011 12:37 p.m.

    BYU won't ever play a game on Sunday. But I highly doubt they'll ever shut down the football or athletics programs due to involvement in a conference that requires Sunday play. The obvious solution, which I'm surprised no one has mentioned, is that they will simply forfeit any specific games scheduled for Sunday and keep playing the games on other days.

  • gb13 Herriman, Utah
    Oct. 21, 2011 12:28 p.m.

    Is it not my position to "instruct" on the matter of Sunday play, only to provide an individual's perspective and opinion (based upon what I understand) - as it relates to the matter. Therefore;

    If a University (especially, state-owned)has agreed to Sunday play then all its players are bound by their agreement to the University (if they accept a scholarship). Thus, as it relates to the University of Utah (since they have agreed to all the rules of PAC-10 play), all the Utes players are simply bound by that agreement to play on Sunday - if the game is scheduled on Sunday. The point therefore, is that both the specific player and the University have to weigh their options "before they agree to accept the scholarship or enter a specific Conference." After they have agreed to the terms, they must perform as agreed or separate themselves once again. The position of "Agency" exists until the choice is made.

    @BYU, they "will never" agree to play on Sunday and therefore that issue becomes mute. The individual does not lose their individual agency, they "choose" to surrender it in the same manner as the first example above. End of discussion.

    Oct. 21, 2011 12:12 p.m.


    No 'Blue Colored Glasses' on here as you suggest. Just the facts... BYU continues to compete at the highest levels in just about all of its sports. Doesn't mean they are at the very top, and football has had some less than stellar seasons since Lavell left. However, there are rarely games where BYU doesn't compete, regardless of the team and sport.

    They are committed to their athletic programs. There is a bunch of confusion with everyone who thinks any of this is about money... it isn't. BYU doesn't need money.

    As for competing, I assure you that BYU strives to compete, and continues to desire to be the best. They just won't compromise their standards to get there. If that means we don't win another NC or ever go to a BCS game or conference, then so be it. Doesn't mean BYU will drop sports or that any real fan will stop attending. It is a great tradition for LDS families to love BYU sports. We will all continue to support them and the programs will NEVER be dropped.

  • fender Washington, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 11:49 a.m.


    I insinuate nothing, but find it amusing that you immediately jump to the conclusion that I think Mormons are racist. That in itself speaks volumes. You can concoct whatever rationale gets you through the night regarding the change in a long held doctrine that according to the church required a revelation. I merely state the obvious: values are relative, save faith itself. The meaning of Sunday observance differs from one Christian group to another, as you surely must know. Its meaning for Mormons and BYU can and will change if the church determines that it furthers its primary agenda.

  • Kami Bountiful, Utah
    Oct. 21, 2011 11:47 a.m.

    I think that if the church wants to (1) help support its athletes gain employment as professional athletes and therefore provide good, positive role models for the youth, and (2) provide a wholesome environment for these athletes to get a college education, and (3) to help these athletes find a companion with LDS standard, etc., I don't see a choice but to continue providing sports at BYU.

  • Bluecat82 Minneapolis, MN
    Oct. 21, 2011 11:41 a.m.


    "You forget about the athletes themselves. Ty Detmer and Jason Chaffetz are two athletes that joined the LDS Church at BYU, and there are many others. Then the effect and influence that those athletes have on others in immeasurable."

    Kresimir Cosic...Jeff Chatman...Timo Saarelainen...it's a long list.

    A list I'm pleased to count myself a part of...even though it was "just" soccer in the 70's :)

  • Utes11 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 21, 2011 11:32 a.m.

    Your poll questions were interesting. Let's face facts. If a Univ wants to compete for a National Championship in the 'BCS Era' then they have to be in an AQ Conference. Boise State, TCU, and Utah have shown us what happens when you go undefeated in a non AQ conference. The old boy network gives you a pat on the head and a consolation prize. Notre Dame has become irrelevant. BYU's schedule as an independent is mediocre at best. "Competing for a NC" does NOT mean that you play Idaho, San Jose, Idaho State, and New Mexico. BYU has to be in an AQ conference to even sniff a chance at the NC game. Which conference would take a small private school that is 'high maintenance' and is in a small TV market? To get into the NC game now you would have to go undefeated AND hope that the winner of the SEC Championship game has a loss on their record.
    Only then would you have a hope to play the Pac-12, Big10, or Big-12 Champion with the best record. "It ain't happening."

  • fender Washington, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 11:31 a.m.


    I insinuate nothing, but find it amusing that you immediately jump to the conclusion that I think Mormons are racist. That in itself speaks volumes. You can concoct whatever rationale gets you through the night regarding the change in a long held doctrine that according to the church required a revelation. I merely state the obvious: values are relative, save faith itself. The meaning of Sunday observance differs from one Christian group to another, as you surely must know. Its meaning for Mormons and BYU can and will change if the church determines that it furthers its primary agenda.

  • Ted H. Midvale, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 11:24 a.m.

    @Mormon Ute,

    However, I do completely agree with your assessment of

    "As I said in another comment, college sports has strayed from its original purpose. As it goes further and further astray it becomes more and more difficult for shools like BYU to justify sponsoring teams."

    You are spot on that it has become very difficult and will continue to be so for BYU to fulfill its main mission and have sports teams be a high priority, because so many other things(including value and character) are lost among top sports programs.

    But above all - I maintain that every Mormon in the world represents the church. It is nonsense to argue about who is "more responsible" for representing the church. I would never justify my poor behavior by saying "the bishop is more responsible than me to represent the church." If such is one's logic - then no one is really responsible other than President Monson.

    If any Mormon Ute criticizes BYU fans or players for not properly representing the Church - they can drop they hypocrisy and start with the guy in the mirror.

  • RSL1 Washington, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 11:23 a.m.

    Competing athletically at the highest level possible and doing so with integrity and honor is important. BYU will never drop athletics and never play on Sundays. BYU's football program basically funds all other athletics. Why would they drop it just because we are not in a BCS conference?

    I love seeing BYU as the underdog. We should never get in the top 25 in football or basketball. Yet we frequently get there. Ever since I can remember (and I am 45) I have been hearing about how BYU can't do this or that and compete. How we won't survive. We are still here, we haven't compromised, and we still compete. I love it.

  • Linus Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 11:18 a.m.

    @Mormon Ute: To say that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who play a sport somewhere other than at BYU do not represent the church is to deny the covenant that members make at baptism, which is to stand as a witness of/for Christ at all times and in all places. Please, Mormon Ute, don't speak for the church, and don't speak for those whose covenants really mean something to them. Thanks.

  • Bluecat82 Minneapolis, MN
    Oct. 21, 2011 11:14 a.m.

    Mormon Ute:

    Yet, even though we agree BYU's athletic program isn't about money, isn't it interesting that reportedly BYU's program is one of the very few that actually turns a profit?

    Anyway...my point was that Rexburg was dropped to, if not enhance, at least not compete with Provo. Not sure that fits into your definition of "fill a higher need and meet a more important goal" but it very well could.

    I agree with you on the LES upgrade - it will be interesting to watch. Personally, I'd be surprised if BYU didn't remain where they're at right now...but if I was any good at predictions, I'd be retired by now!

  • neltz Farmington, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 11:02 a.m.

    I think the word "crossroads" is a good one for this situation, and the 2 roads (BYU's road and the road that big-time College Sports is on)look to be heading in opposite directions. I'm a cougar fan, I'd love to see them in the Big12, but I think the big 12 doesn't need them that badly, and they don't want the headaches that are pointed out in this article.

    So I think I'm ready to admit to myself that the reasons I love to cheer for BYU are the same reasons that the AQ conferences don't want to deal with them. Understanding that, I can embrace independence. I have even more respect for the institution and the church, and I hope they succeed in sports. I hope even more they maintain their values.

  • WallyD North Salt Lake, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 10:58 a.m.

    To Brave Sir Robin,

    BYU sports are a missionary tool. Although, you are probably correct that nobody has joined the Church solely due to BYU sports.

    I would be concerned if somebody did join the Church for BYU sports, but BYU sports does give publicity to the LDS faith to millions of people who may not otherwise be exposed to the LDS Church. I have several friends that if it wasn't for BYU sports they would think Mormonism was a weird cult and leav it at that.

    It is a tool, it isn't a reason for joining the Church. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the reason to join the Church.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 10:46 a.m.


    You don't understand BYU or the Church's motivation for having a sports program. It has nothing to do with bringing in money. BYU sports helps get the name of the Church out there and showcase the Church and the institution. The Church has plenty of money to do that through other means and actually spends far more on those other means than what BYU spends on athletics.

  • Ross Madison, AL
    Oct. 21, 2011 10:44 a.m.

    As an independent national team, BYU would qualify for BCS bid just by winning against enough good teams, they have a much better shot at it because they are not limited to playing for the mostpart teams from a particular conference. The key either way is winning all or almost all of their games, it's the same if you are in an AQC. BYU is a national program and can make it as an Independent, few other teams qualify for this status.

  • paperboy111 Lindon, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 10:40 a.m.

    The problem with college sports these days, particularl college football, is that the money generated by large, successful programs too easily clouds rational judgement.

    I think the writer hits the nail on the head with his piece. BYU football certainly appears to be at a crossroad, brought on not only through its own designs, but also due to other swirling currents.

    There are signficant, complex issues looming over college football today, including those who point out that too many businesses and colleges are simply making money off the backs of football players.

    The facts are that college football is a multi-billion dollar business. With the potential corrupting power of money, we should recognize that there is tremendous pressue on programs that want to compete at the highest level and still maintain the highest levels of integrity and preserve their independence, to some degree, like BYU.

    Programs like the Y's are absolutely susceptible to this corrupting influence. And, when weighing all the risks and rewards; is this a road we want to travel down?

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 10:37 a.m.


    Take off those blue colored glasses. Major college sports are going in a the opposite direction of BYU. Money, power and greed have corrupted colleges sports to the point where the programs at some schools are entities unto themselves. Gordon Gee at Ohio State has been struggling for years to get a handle on what is happening in his athletic department. Unless the college presidents stand up and take back control, we are headed for college sports becoming a full tilt feeder system for the pros, complete with salaries for the players. Degrees are already secondary for many of the athletes. Can BYU compete in that environment? More importantly, do they want to?

    I'll give you a barometer to measure the Church's interest in keeping major college sports going for the long term. Lavell Edwards Stadium is due for a major remodel. If that happens in the next 5 years, I may be wrong in my assessment. If that doesn't, you can bet they are preparing to let it go.

  • Ted H. Midvale, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 10:34 a.m.

    @Mormon Ute

    "Individual Church members who participate in sports elsewhere represent only themselves and their personal beliefs."

    And if their personal beliefs include the LDS church(or any other church for that matter) YES they do represent the church.

    And NO, the responsibilty of a Mormon Ute is not different than a Mormon Cougars. Robin's point was that BYU players cannot act Christlike and have a strong and football program and that it's impossible to serve God and play top football. If that's his belief fine, but if he doesn't also belief the individual Mormon Utes should also pick to serve God over football, then he, like other utes, are hypocrites.

    If you are a member of the church, you represent the church. End of story.

    The only word to describe those who hide behind the red and believe they don't represent the church is "pathetic."

    Either someone represents the church or they dont. There is no middle ground.
    College affiliation has nothing to do with representing the church or not. If your point is that the U of U doesn't represent the church....fine. But the Mormon players do. Again, pathetic.

  • GLW Lacey, wa
    Oct. 21, 2011 10:34 a.m.

    NO way will BYU ever play on Sunday. In reality BYU football has never been about football. Why do you think Bronco talks so much about the firesides which happen before the games on friday nights. Yes, there will be a loss of money if they don't play on Sunday, it will be Alumni dollars. I will be the first one to call and cancel my annual gift.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 10:26 a.m.


    My point simply was that the Church showed its willingness to drop a highly successful sports program to fill a higher need and meet a more important goal. BYU's main campus and BYU Hawaii could not meet the ever growing demand for a high quality 4 year educational experience from Church members. Knowing full well that changing to a four year program would mean dropping sports the Church did it anyway to meet the need and fulfill the higher mission.

    As I said in another comment, college sports has strayed from its original purpose. As it goes further and further astray it becomes more and more difficult for shools like BYU to justify sponsoring teams.

  • OldPortD.A.M. Mesa, AZ
    Oct. 21, 2011 10:17 a.m.


    I understand your premise but wholeheartedly reject your, and anyone else's conclusion, that because, as you put it, they changed their stance on priesthood, they will change their stance on playing on Sunday.

    Anyone who thinks that the church simply changed its stance on who can hold the priesthood does not understand, one, the eternal aspects of the change, or two, the actual reasons behind the change.

    Go spend a year or two studying the history of Africa, the governments of the countries as they changed from colonies to self governance, the atrocities inflicted in the name of religion, and the truly evil people who used Christianity to murder hundreds of thousands of people, and you will begin to understand why the priesthood was not restored to them until 1978. Better yet, speak with an African LDS leader who lived through that period. They knew full well why the priesthood was withheld.

    It cracks me up when people insinuate that the LDS church was racist and changed simply because of pressure. The Church isn't a USA church reacting to USA issues. It is a world wide church dealing with world wide issues on a local level.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 10:16 a.m.


    "The decision to discontinue sports at Rexburg / BYU-Idaho was a financial one as the college went to a full 4 yr academic program. No sense in duplicating a sports program and the expenses involved when a student only had to change his address for the sports experience."

    I don't dispute the reasons for the decision. I merely point out that a very successful program was dropped in favor of enhancing academic and spiritual opportunities for the students. In fact the Church has spent hundreds of millions of dollars more at BYU-Idaho since it became a 4 year school than was ever spent on the athletic program went it was a junior college. My point is that the Church has shown it's true interest is in the education not the sports. Any sports program sponsored by a Church school must further the mission of that school and the Church or it will be discontinued. Major college sports have strayed from the purpose they were created for decades ago when they were meant to enhance the educational experience of the students. Many college presidents are lamenting this change and the management headaches that came with it. Ask Gordon Gee.

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 10:11 a.m.

    BYU will never play on Sunday. If it ever gets to the point that they can't find non-Sunday competition they'll just close up their athletics dept.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 10:02 a.m.

    Ted H.,

    You're harping on something that really hasn't been brought up here. This article is about BYU sports and the impact religion has in their participation at the highest levels. Yes, LDS athletes at other schools should abide by the same standards, but it is different at BYU, because BYU wants it that way. BYU is meant to be an example to the world. The Church, the school and the players have made the choice to put themselves out there as official representatives. Individual Church members who participate in sports elsewhere represent only themselves and their personal beliefs.

  • payara OREM, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 9:55 a.m.

    to all the haters: BYU will never play on Sunday. BYU does not watch film on Sunday. You are spewing pure personal prapaganda.

    This article was written by a so called religious expert who is throwing out ideas from his standpoint. It is halarous to me that people with nothing but distain for the LDS try to define who we are.

    Wasen't it the savior who said on the cross, "forgive them for they know not what they do".

  • lasermann Orem, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 9:49 a.m.

    @ Brave Sir Robin --

    "BYU sports are not a missionary tool. I've never met a single person who has joined the LDS church because of BYU sports. But I've met many who will never join because of BYU sports."

    You forget about the athletes themselves. Ty Detmer and Jason Chaffetz are two athletes that joined the LDS Church at BYU, and there are many others. Then the effect and influence that those athletes have on others in immeasurable.

  • M. Butler Brooklyn, NY
    Oct. 21, 2011 9:37 a.m.

    BYU long since compromised its principles by its involvement in the moral sewer that is big-time college athletics. So, it can proudly claim that it maintains high standards by kicking the fornicators off the teams and by not playing on Sunday, but it exploits the athletes, making millions of dollars off their sweat, and debases its academic standards by admitting hundreds of students who are neither capable of nor interested in university-level study.

  • fender Washington, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 9:08 a.m.

    To those insisting that BYU's stance will never change I say baloney. The meaning of Sunday observance has been redefined in the past and will be redefined in the future by the Mormon Church. It all depends upon what the Church gains by doing so. All values are relative save one and that one is not Sunday observance. The 1978 redefinition of the Mormon priesthood should put this entire discussion to rest.

  • sergio Phoenix, AZ
    Oct. 21, 2011 9:05 a.m.

    BYU's commitment to principle is admirable but the attraction of money will sooner or latter become most important; it always does.

  • yarrlydarb Ogden, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 9:03 a.m.

    To pragmatistferlife:

    You fail to realize, it seems, that as much as many members of the Church latched onto the strong this-world beliefs of polygamy, blacks and the priesthood, and the word of wisdom, are not mentioned in the Ten Commandments.

    Sabbath observance is.

    The Church owning BYU will never compromise playing sports on Sunday

  • UU32 Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 9:01 a.m.

    BYU suceeds because of the Honor Code and not inspite of it. LDS and non-LDS, missionaries and non-missionaries come from all over to study and play at BYU because of the standards the school espouses. There is a not a big slug of students or ball players sitting at other schools thinking, "If only BYU played on Sundays and allowed me to party and have pre-marital sex, then I would go there." No - the attraction of BYU IS the high standards. If BYU, which it will not, chose to play on Sundays it would LOSE athletes and athletic prowess - not gain it. It doesn't matter what conference or how much money the school receives because of its athletics. If the values and standards are put aside, BYU would lose the current edge it has with the kind of student athlete that is attracted to Provo.

    When the time comes that a school must participate on Sunday and lower its standards in order to be competitive in big time Division I sports - BYU will either drop to a lower division or just have intramural sports. The minute BYU changes its standards, it loses its advantage.

  • VOTB Pocatello, ID
    Oct. 21, 2011 9:01 a.m.

    Most of my career has involved broadcasting college sports, so I would hate to see athletics go away at a school like BYU (my alma mater), but paraphrasing Bishop Glenn Pace, from his Book "Spiritual Plateaus"...we in the Church often confuse tradition, with that which brings salvation. Can you imagine the Church without the Tabernacle Choir, without KBYU or BYU Broadcasting, without firesides, or without BYU football? Can you even imagine the Church without BYU? Bishop Pace rightfully points out the things we do need, and none of the above are among them.

    If the time comes when football at BYU has outlived its usefulness as a missionary tool, it will likely go away. That may, or may not ever happen in my lifetime, but I'm sure that someday the Tabernacle Choir will be replaced by choirs of angels...and BYU football will someday not exist, as well. Brad did a great job with his story, pointing out much of what Church leaders have to consider when pondering the future of any program in the Church...not just football at BYU. It's great food for thought...and everyone who has posted here has thrown something on the table.

  • peacemaker Provo, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 8:53 a.m.

    No question. Stay independent, maintain BYU standards. Be competitive. Let the fans continue to love and enjoy BYU football without all the hoopla of the money conferences. Feel good about it!

    Oct. 21, 2011 7:59 a.m.

    Anyone who thinks that either BYU will play on Sunday or that BYU will drop athletics is out of their mind.

    The Sunday play issue has never been a real issue and isn't one right now with the Big 12. The athletic programs top to bottom compete very well at the highest levels and many of the programs are consistently in or around the top 25, even with the difficulties of recruiting athletes that have to abide by the standards, including Sunday play.

    For those of you who talk about workouts on Sundays, you are equally out of your mind. Any athlete who does that does it on their own, off campus. Those facilities are closed and off limits on Sunday.

    BYU will continue to abstain from Sunday play, will continue to support athletics, and will continue to consistently compete at the highest levels.

  • Noblepromise PROVO, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 7:54 a.m.

    BYU sports teams has not played on Sunday's when the game in that timezone is not Sunday. Its interesting how many former BYU basketball and football players who play or have played in the NFL or NBA,because its their "job" requirement have also stated the missionary opportunities associated with playing on Sunday.

    Maybe if BYU or the Church feels the missionary exposure of playing on Sunday is warranted, the current policy or practice will be changed. Look at how much money is spent annually on BYU athletes who than get employed as a NBA or NFL players and on BYU coaches to train those athletes to play professional football and basketball. What does that tell others about BYU perspective to athletics and religion?

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Oct. 21, 2011 7:51 a.m.

    It surprises me that throughout this whole conversation no one has looked at the broder history of Mormonisim. Major comprimises/changes have been an intregal part of Mormon history, and have always been very, controversial. Changes (some would say comprimises) such as polygomy, blacks and the priesthood, and Word of Wisdom adherence, have caused major uphevals in Mormonism, and have come after decades of people saying they would never happen. There are lots of small changes also some cultural and some doctrinal. The point is the world is transitional like it or not and it doesn't matter whether you are in the world or of the world you and your institutions will change.

    That said for the first time in my life I agree whole heartedly with Mike Richards. You can acknowledge the reality of change and still maintain your integrity. Integrity just doesn't have to mean you never change, it can mean you find and live the foundation of your principles. Why don't you play on Sunday?

  • yarrlydarb Ogden, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 7:41 a.m.

    To Uncle Rico,

    Way too often people confuse individual choice with Church standards.

    Church standards are one thing, individual choice is completely one's own.

    BYU, being Church owned, will never compromise on this issue that the Church sees as fundamental.

    I am old enough to remember when intercollegiate sports was way down the list for BYU.

    Those were the years that the Utes won most of its games against the Cougars.

    When push comes to shove, the Y will opt out rather than compromise its long-held standard.

  • dfoke05 Menifee, CA
    Oct. 21, 2011 7:28 a.m.

    BYU will remove their athletic programs before it plays on Sunday. PERIOD.

  • Bluecat82 Minneapolis, MN
    Oct. 21, 2011 6:46 a.m.

    Has everyone missed the simple explanation for intercolegiate athletics being dropped in Rexburg?

    As long as it was 2-year Ricks College, the school was a feeder system for Provo.

    When they became 4-year BYU-Idaho, their athletic program would've been competition for Provo - recruiting the same talent pool.

    (I would think that if BYU-I had kept their program, their basketball team would be competing in the Big Sky right now...)

    A house divided against itself cannot stand, so it was "farewell" to intercollegiate athletics in Rexburg.

  • sammyg Springville, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 6:38 a.m.

    Mormon Ute

    The decision to discontinue sports at Rexburg / BYU-Idaho was a financial one as the college went to a full 4 yr academic program. No sense in duplicating a sports program and the expenses involved when a student only had to change his address for the sports experience.

    Uncle Rico

    Providing news is a public service. Much like keeping a hospital opened and staffed Sunday.

    Keep trying anti BYU-types. You'll eventually succeed in denying your beliefs.

  • trman Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 21, 2011 6:19 a.m.

    BYU would drop the sports program before playing on Sunday, which is good, IMO. I graduated from a university that has a top tier basketball program and I know for a fact that BYU would not give any sports program as much power as the school I attended. Basketball controlled so many aspects of the school I attended that the students, faculty, and administration were at the mercy of the basketball program. This is why I believe that BYU will never be a top sports program. I think it is a good thing too.

  • Osgrath Provo, UT
    Oct. 20, 2011 11:57 p.m.

    I wonder if Uncle Rico believes that if he keeps writing the same thought over and over that it might magically become true?

    As for those that think BYU SHOULD shut down intercollegiate sports (à la BYU-Idaho), they see a disconnect between sports and being a good (or righteous) person that doesn't exist. Whether BYU WILL drop football is a completely different concept. However, given the emphasis that has been given in the recent past, it seems doubtful. As was reported in this very newspaper, BYU-I has a somewhat different mission than BYU-Provo. Maybe inter-collegiate sports don't fit the outreach program the is going on in Rexburg - after all, online students can hardly attend games in Rexburg.

  • Cougar Cindy Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 20, 2011 11:56 p.m.

    Well, this BYU girl is "really gazing at herself" and her community, Brad, and finding out that the sorting out is pretty much done.

    "Who we are?" Observers of Christ's gospel.

    "What we're about?" The business of salvation.

    "How to take that and move into the next 15, 20, 30, 40 years?" You know as well as I do that people much smarter and more influential than either of us are way ahead on this.

    And finally, those anxious fans you're listening to? They're just football fans. Among true BYU fans there's no "anxiety." We're in great hands.


  • CaptainL PROVO, UT
    Oct. 20, 2011 11:07 p.m.

    Monty1: You obviously don't know much if anything about the LDS church and what we/they stand for. We aren't like other churches and there is good reason for that and to just say compromise and no one will care isn't true and doesn't work. The commandments haven't changed just because some/most churches don't care if they keep them, God is the same yesterday , today and forever and that won't change and neither will his command to keep his day / the sabbath day holy. The LDS church is run by Christ himself at the head , with living prophets and apostles as his leaders on earth and they recieve direction from him thru revelation. Like I said God and Christ are they same yesterday, today and forever and that won't change, therefore neither will their command to keep the sabbath day holy. BYU won't go against that.

  • The Deuce Livermore, CA
    Oct. 20, 2011 11:04 p.m.

    To: Ms Molli | 4:14 p.m. Oct. 20, 2011 Bountiful, Utah - even for a non-LDS person as myself, your reasoning doesn't make alot of sense. First, while the LDS church encourages all males to go on a mission, it is still the individual's decision. Second, regarding Sunday play, the LDS teachings state the sacred nature of the Sabbath. Again, it is left up to the individual to make that decision for themselves. I really do not see this church changing their values or beliefs based on the direction the wind is blowing. Coming from Bountiful, Utah, I am surprised you don't understand this about the LDS church.

  • Ted H. Midvale, UT
    Oct. 20, 2011 11:00 p.m.

    Robin, were the higher ups to decide to cancel byu sports because they decided it was impossible to both be Christlike and have a great sports team I would live.

    I just have a tough time when LDS utes somehow belive their players don't represent the Church or have the responsibility to make good decision. You say "BYU football players jumping around, taunting and gloating over their opponents after making a routine defensive stop? It's not exactly a Christlike sight."

    If that's your feeling, fine. But I hope you don't believe that a Ute Mormon player doesn't have a responsibilty to be Christlike. And I hope you're equally ashamed when a Ute Mormon "gloats over their opponent."

    Or do you also not feel a responsiblity to be a good neighbor because your bishop lives across the street and he has MORE of a responsiblity.

    All Mormons represent the church.

    If it's not ok for a BYU player to act a certain way, then it's not ok for a Mormon ute to act that way either. And for a Mormon from either team to not understand that is pathetic.

  • CaptainL PROVO, UT
    Oct. 20, 2011 10:50 p.m.

    I can't believe how many people think BYU would even consider playing on Sunday, it won't happen, not now or ever. If belonging to a BCS conf. would require BYU agreeing to play on Sunday, you can forget ever belonging to a BCS conf. again, it won't happen. That is why being Independent or staying independent may be the best solution. Winning is the key anyway, belonging to a BCS conf. doesn't make you successful. BYU and the LDS church have always had to stand alone or independent if you will, doing so in sports would not be a big deal. I think they would like to belong to a BCS conf. but they won't compromise their principles to do so.

  • Mendel Iowa City, IA
    Oct. 20, 2011 10:36 p.m.

    We are having the wrong conversation here. The question is not whether religion and sports can mix. That issue affects only BYU and maybe a handful of other schools. The more critical question is whether academics and big-time sports can continue to be mixed without academics being compromised. I would propose that the answer is no. Eventually, the good of one is compromised for the other. As college athletics become a bigger and bigger business and the stakes continue to rise, the more widespread academic compromise (including cheating in many forms) will become. Universities should not sponsor athletics. Do I think that will ever happen? Not globally, but some institutions will make the correct choice. It has happened before.

  • Monty1 South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 20, 2011 10:34 p.m.

    BYU should reconsider its no sunday play rule. Notre Dame is willing to play on sundays and it has not affected the Catholic church or others perceptions of it. I don't hear anyone calling the Catholic church hypocritical because it allows its universities to play on sundays. BYU needs a little more autonomy.

  • texinnc Pocatello, ID
    Oct. 20, 2011 10:14 p.m.

    Please, please, please -- follow the example of BYU-Idaho. Just walk away. Walk away from it all -- football, basketball, baseball. Let them all enter to learn and go forth to serve and leave the world behind. Sure, there will be a few years of withdrawal, as with any addiction. But, we'll recover and all will be well.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Oct. 20, 2011 9:09 p.m.

    @Ted H.

    Yes, I agree...I don't think Mormons who play at Utah (or Notre Dame, or Texas A&M, or Oregon, or USC, etc.) should play sports on Sundays. But they have their agency - it is their choice. The difference is Mormons (and for that matter, non-Mormons) who go to BYU have sacrificed their agency in that matter. I do not presume to tell anyone else what they should or shouldn't do - that is BYU's job apparently.

    You can't have your cake and eat it too, Ted. If you want BYU to be a light to the world, you have to deal with the downside, which may include the elimination of sports.

  • We wear Blue ogden, ut
    Oct. 20, 2011 9:02 p.m.

    @clark kent

    If your going to make arguements, please check facts.
    The athletic teams do not travel on Sundays. They leave directly from the game to a plane waiting for them. They always leave on Saturday.

  • Pragmatic Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 20, 2011 8:28 p.m.

    BYU needs to drop it's football program. It will never be at the level that it's fan's want it to be; just to many constraints to have a winning team year in and year out. Focus on your mission.

  • Duh west jordan, ut
    Oct. 20, 2011 7:49 p.m.

    @Uncle Rico
    "BYU will eventually play on Sunday"

    You obviously know nothing about BYU or the religion it represents. BYU will never, let me repeat, never play any sport on Sunday. You could throw a billion dollars at BYU and they will never play on Sunday. It may be that all BYU haters get their wish and BYU drops sports all together but they will never compromise.

  • DRay Roy, UT
    Oct. 20, 2011 7:40 p.m.

    Independance is to allow more exposure of BYU to "the world." If they join a league again, that opportunity will diminish, will it not?

    Sunday is a foundational test, a commandment test, for all. Lots of things go on on Sunday, each can decide for themselves what they will participate in. Keeping the Sabbath (Sunday) day holy is a commandment to all who believe in the Bible, not just the LDS. BYU is to show the importance of that, as they live in the world, but seek to put God first as a priority.

    So if you keep comparing BYU to everyone else, well that just doesn't work. Y stands alone in, though imperfectly, trying to prioritize love of God, man.

  • panamadesnews Lindon, UT
    Oct. 20, 2011 7:26 p.m.

    Ms Molli: There is a difference between serving or not serving a mission, and keeping the Sabbath day holy. The first one is counsel that if it is done, he or she will be blessed. The second one is a commandment from the Lord (one of the Ten Commandments). BYU will never allow Sunday play. They will disband their sports program before they will allow Sunday play. Guaranteed!

  • Uncle Rico Provo, UT
    Oct. 20, 2011 7:22 p.m.

    Re: live4uid

    So I guess that means that church owned newspapers and news stations shouldn't work on Sunday either.

    I've met some confused kids. From their employer (church owned DesNews), if they don't deliver newspapers on Sunday, they are fired.

    Then later on Sunday, they are told in Sunday school not to work on Sunday.

  • Ted H. Midvale, UT
    Oct. 20, 2011 7:13 p.m.

    Robin, if you think its impossible to serve god and play for a powerhouse you must also believe that all Utah players who are Mormon should stop playing also correct? Going to Byu or Utah has nothing to do with each persons responsibility to serve god. I am ashamed when ute fans who are Mormons think they can hide behind the red while criticizing Byu fans or players. If a Byu player can't play ball at a high level and serve god then neither can a Mormon ute. Picking Utah is hardly a free pass from doing what is right. Pathetic.

  • ClarkKent Bountiful, Utah
    Oct. 20, 2011 7:03 p.m.

    live4uid | 6:36 p.m. Oct. 20, 2011
    Also, considering our beloved prophet President Hinckley has said there are only 3 jobs that should work on Sunday and none of them involve sports. Medical emergency personnel is one, firefighters is another and police are the last. I know BYU will never compromise on that

    Well that is interesting news live4uid. But the athletes travel on Sundays don't they? Look at all the people who are working on Sunday to assist these athletes in their travels. Why is it OK for them to put OTHERS to work on Sunday so that they can travel on Sunday. I just love to hear this OH THEY WILL NEVER PLAY ON SUNDAY routine when it apparently seems perfectly OK for you to put others to work on Sunday.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Oct. 20, 2011 6:37 p.m.

    I applaud BYU for sticking to their principles and not playing on Sundays.

    However, if they truly want to be seen as a light to world, they will eventually have to drop sports. Unfortunately, college athletics in the modern day is all about violence, greed, humiliation (of your opponent), pride, etc. Unfortunately, sports brings out the worst in people. Ever seen BYU football players jumping around, taunting and gloating over their opponents after making a routine defensive stop? It's not exactly a Christlike sight.

    BYU sports are not a missionary tool. I've never met a single person who has joined the LDS church because of BYU sports. But I've met many who will never join because of BYU sports.

    Being an example of Christ and a college sports powerhouse at the same time is no longer possible. You cannot serve two masters. In order for BYU to maintain its stated mission, they will have to drop sports eventually.

  • live4uid PLEASANT GROVE, UT
    Oct. 20, 2011 6:36 p.m.

    I'm guessing the few posters who have said BYU will someday play on Sunday and spin it have an obvious beef with the church. Get over it. Also, considering our beloved prophet President Hinckley has said there are only 3 jobs that should work on Sunday and none of them involve sports. Medical emergency personnel is one, firefighters is another and police are the last. I know BYU will never compromise on that.

  • Cougar Blue N. Las Vegas, NV
    Oct. 20, 2011 6:21 p.m.

    I'm torn on this one. I asked a co-worker onetime who is a big fan of a Catholic univeristy about the 10 commandment thing. His response was that they go to Mass on Sunday and do other things at church, whatever that means, and then they have no problem with the rest of the day being theirs. Sometimes, definitions define our positions

  • bballjunkie Pleasant Grove, UT
    Oct. 20, 2011 6:17 p.m.

    BYU will not only never play on Sunday, they will never entertain the thought. And I am good with that.

  • JoeBlow Miami Area, Fl
    Oct. 20, 2011 6:16 p.m.

    Oh my. Of course you are welcome to keep your standards.

    But, understand that Sunday is not the only day recognized as the Sabbath.
    Jewish and Seventh day Adventists Sabbath is Saturday.

    What are we supposed to do? Ban sports and shopping all weekend?

    Its not all about BYU sports.

  • junkgeek Agua Dulce, TX
    Oct. 20, 2011 6:00 p.m.

    They may have a world-class broadcast studio, but they have junior high-class football announcers on BYU-TV.

  • Uncle Rico Provo, UT
    Oct. 20, 2011 5:59 p.m.

    So Davis plays the BYU vs Idaho State winner?

  • golfrUte SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Oct. 20, 2011 5:58 p.m.

    Independence is the only, albeit frustrating solution. I'd love to see BYU in a BCS Conference but with the changes in conference affiliations and the pursuit of mega TV contracts the Y will be left out to do the best they can as an independent.

    Sunday play will never be an option.

  • Ms Molli Bountiful, Utah
    Oct. 20, 2011 5:50 p.m.

    I understand what many of you are saying, but I wouldn't hold my breath on this if I were you. A lot of changes have happened within the church AND at BYU over the years that I bet people said "never" would happen.

  • Grundle West Jordan, UT
    Oct. 20, 2011 5:39 p.m.

    Uncle Rico,

    You live in Provo...Have you been on campus on Sunday?

  • Uncle Rico Provo, UT
    Oct. 20, 2011 5:37 p.m.

    BYU will eventually play on Sunday.

    Church owned KSL and Deseret News do not have to deliver / broadcast on Sunday. If they chose not to they would lose out on a lot of money. Same with BYU sports.

  • MiP Iowa City, IA
    Oct. 20, 2011 5:33 p.m.

    BYU will never play on Sunday.

    Stand firm.

  • teleste Provo, UT
    Oct. 20, 2011 5:27 p.m.

    @ sisucas

    "BYU's goal is to be a light to the world."

    You really had a different experience at BYU than I did. Or, you didn't go to BYU...


    "The Football team represents my beliefs and what I stand for on the field!"

    Idon't want 'my beliefs' to be associated with or represented by a football team. Football is football. Religion is religion. Football can bring good PR to BYU and maybe even the church...but it DOES NOT represent 'my beliefs.' (And PR can aid missionary work BUT IT IS NOT MISSIONARY WORK contrary to what many folks have said.)

    @Fred T

    "As far as players playing professional ball on Sunday, that is an individual choice."

    Word. BUT, the church (or its members) vindicating such behavior and/or justifying it pulls the issue away from 'individual choice.' I don't think I'd have to moral fiber to not play on Sunday, (aka I'd do it!) but I sure have enough to not preach to others that they shouldn't. Imagine trying to explain to Jesus while he was on the cross that you cared more about a pigskin on Sundays than His commandments!

  • Woodyff Mapleton, UT
    Oct. 20, 2011 5:25 p.m.

    What you are saying is that many religions don't take 'standards' seriously. For years I did not belong to any church because of the hypocrisy of their beliefs. I joined the LDS Church over 30 years ago because of unwavering standards. BYU you stay independent, they don't need to be in a conference. to Ms Molli - serving a mission is a personal decision, not dictated by BYU or the Church. Every worthy young man should serve, not everyone will.

  • Uncle Rico Provo, UT
    Oct. 20, 2011 5:03 p.m.

    Players lift weights and watch film on Sundays.

    Coaches watch film and have their coaches shows on Sunday.

    Fans watch the coaches show and NFL on Sunday.

    Basketball team has the selection Sunday party on, you guessed it Sunday.

    Sure BYU doesn't have games on Sunday, but do they really observe it as a day of rest?

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 20, 2011 5:00 p.m.

    BYU will drop major college sports before they ever compromise on no Sunday play. It would be contrary to every reason that BYU even has a sports program to allow a compromise that would send the wrong signal to the world. A compromise on that principle would say, "Look, even BYU has a price."

    I have been saying for some time now that I believe the end is near for BYU's intercollegiate sports. They may, for a time, drop down to the FCS or NAIA level, but eventually the programs will be dropped entirely. Look no further than Rexburg, ID for your best example.

  • A1994 Centerville, UT
    Oct. 20, 2011 4:59 p.m.

    @Ms. Molli

    You cited examples of personal decisions by individual players. Playing in the NFL on Sunday has nothing to do with BYU. The player is no longer a BYU student. Also, going on a mission is a personal decision. You can still attend BYU without having gone on a mission.

    BYU and the church will not ever allow athletes to play on Sunday for any reason. They have never and will never compromise on that.

  • RichardL RIVERTON, UT
    Oct. 20, 2011 4:54 p.m.

    They make it sound like eventually all sports will be played on Sunday. I doubt that. The only effect is tournament play and the NCAA has a rule that says if you notify the NCAA before the season starts you will not play on Sunday, then the NCAA will make adjustments. As I recall, four schools sign up for that exception every year in every sport, BYU being one of them. I have always been curious what would happen if the BYU women's basketball team goes all the way? The semi-final or final game has alwaays been on Sunday. Guess the NCAA would have to make a last minute move just like when BYU was put in the wrong bracket once in March Madness.

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    Oct. 20, 2011 4:52 p.m.

    Good golly Ms Molli...

    You will be right about the justification; I mean spin.

  • bobosmom small town, Nebraska
    Oct. 20, 2011 4:47 p.m.

    I dont think that BYU is going to change its policy of not playing on Sunday. I would be dissapointed if they did.

  • Fred T PHOENIX, AZ
    Oct. 20, 2011 4:46 p.m.

    Good golly, Ms Molli, the decsion to play football (sports) on Sunday has two completely different criteria.

    First, BYU is an institution. They've set a standard. Want to play there? Then you have to abide by that standard. The institution has the standard. Are you Catholic and want to play at BYU? It's ok, but you aren't going to be playing on Sundays.

    As far as players playing professional ball on Sunday, that is an individual choice. The same for college players that are LDS and go to non-LDS colleges. They play on Sundays if that's what the team does. Again, this is an individual decision to accept the college's (intitution's) requirements to play.

  • BlueSaint South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 20, 2011 4:40 p.m.

    First and foremost, I am a BYU fan because of what they believe and what they stand for. The Football team represents my beliefs and what I stand for on the field!

  • Wally West SLC, UT
    Oct. 20, 2011 4:36 p.m.

    @ Mike Richards | 3:50 p.m. Oct. 20, 2011

    Pleasure is monetary? So, byu is giving all that espn $ away?

    Seriously(?), A website associated w/ Unive of Louisville sports used hubris to describe BYU's expectations for a Notre Dame like TV contract. Sounds rather carnal, secular, worldly, etc...

  • CalGTR Merrimack, NH
    Oct. 20, 2011 4:21 p.m.

    @TJ: I hear you, but I wouldn't want to pass judgment on other institutions that make different decisions. BYU has its core values, and I'm proud to be associated with that institution. I hope that reasonable accommodations will continue to be made for BYU sports with respect to the sunday play issue. Football probably won't be a problem for the foreseeable future because, in general, college football is played on Saturdays and Sundays are reserved for the NFL. It may be a problem for the other sports, though. Hopefully BYU can add enough value to a conference to make it worth that conference's hassle in dealing with scheduling issues surrounding sunday play. Note that BYU does not require that other schools not play on sunday. It doesn't have to be a conference-wide rule, although of course BYU opponents are affected, and tournaments are also affected, potentially.

  • Ms Molli Bountiful, Utah
    Oct. 20, 2011 4:14 p.m.

    I think the school will eventually change its stance. Oh there will be a "rational" reason for the change, such as let the good wholesome examples of these players be shown to a wider audience. You know ... similar reasons people used for one of its recently graduated basketball players for not serving a mission. Or another reason: if it is OK for these players to play pro-ball on Sunday, then what is wrong with them playing college ball on Sunday. It will change; they just need to come up with a reason that will sell.

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    Oct. 20, 2011 3:54 p.m.

    I would be shocked and more than a little disappointed if BYU changed it's stance on Sunday play. When you compromise one Christian value, which one is next? There is not another major Christian based University in the U.S. that adheres to as high a Christian valued philosophy as BYU. An example of this is all the other Christian affiliated schools who do not keep the Sabbath day holy. It is one of the 10 commandments which all christian churches say they adhere to yet these schools do not "practice what they preach". I do not remember seeing an ammendment to the 10 commandments published in any Christian scripture. There are individuals of all christian sects that choose not to obey this commandment but the institutions that encourage and participate (choose to ignore christian principles and commandments) appear empty to me.

  • joseywales Park City, UT
    Oct. 20, 2011 3:51 p.m.

    With my disdain of BYU football and especially it's fans aside, I honestly hope that the Y stand firm on their current policies. Maybe they are "high maintenance", but you have to respect someone for standing up for what they believe in. Last year when Davies was suspended, I realized some new found respect for the Y. I personally didn't agree with the suspension, but I respected that they stood their ground. Conferences will come and go, but the world will always respect you if you have a policy and stick to it. Politicians could learn from this as well.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Oct. 20, 2011 3:50 p.m.

    What does the word "integrity" mean?

    Far too often, society is willing to set aside principles for a few minutes of pleasure. BYU will never do that. Principles are eternal. Pleasure is momentary.

  • Wookie Omaha, NE
    Oct. 20, 2011 3:39 p.m.

    An anchor in turbulent waves...

  • sisucas San Bernardino, CA
    Oct. 20, 2011 3:38 p.m.

    BYU's mission is to change the world. They will never back down from certain principles. I wouldn't be surprised if someday the university drops athletics to focus on more important things, but BYU's goal is to be a light to the world.