Comments about ‘Former Cougars find flaws in Deadspin story about BYU athletics’

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Published: Friday, April 15 2011 9:00 a.m. MDT

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Highland, UT


You are obviously a utah fan. Nice try.

Salt Lake City, UT

Is Deadspin implying that athletes of color are not able to keep an honor code? How racist of them.

Orem, UT


Sorry, I'm not buying your story. I've been to hundreds of BYU sporting events over several decades and I've never heard anything but mild heckling in unison from BYU students. I know Vance Law, BYU's head baseball coach, personally, and know he would never tolerate the kind of behavior commonly seen by student sections at other universities. There might be an occassional out-of-line insult from a handful of students, but to brand the entire BYU athletic program based on the disrespectful actions of a few shows you're either way too hypersensitive or you're just a BYU hater trying to stir the pot.

Provo, UT


Now you are really not making sense. First you say "these statistics have been interpreted by amateurs to draw emotionally satisfying conclusions that no true statistician would ever endorse."

Then YOU not only claim to be a "true" statistician, but you draw your OWN "emotionally satisfying conclusions", which is what I challenged you on. You did exactly what you accused the "amateurs" of doing.

There is no basis in the data for your speculative conjecture of "statistically insignificant differences between the populations". "Bias" is not the issue.

You say The question is: Are minority athletes held to a higher standard with respect to the honor code than white students?

Then you turn around and say In the case of this debate, we have complete population data, so sample taking and inference doesn't make sense.

We (you?) have the honor code data for the entire population of minority and white athletes who have ever attended BYU? That is doubtful, which means you require sampling and inference to make assertions such as yours. Right?

Arlington, VA

Deadspin's whole premise makes no sense. Why would BYU spend thousands of hours recruiting black student athletes and then not do everything they could to help them succeed? To even suggest that a school would set any of its students up for failure is ludicrous. If BYU didn't want students of a particular race at the school, they wouldn't spend so much time recruiting them. Deadspin's "research" is nothing but a hatchet job from a disgruntled former employee.

Provo, UT


What is more disturbing is that you are willing to speculate and conjecture about MY beliefs as regards race and the honor code at BYU. You do this by trying to put words in my mouth:

"...a person who didn't value sexual abstinence before college is equally likely to abstain from sex during college as a person who grew up believing in abstinence (even if they signed a promise not too)?"

"And would you finally conclude that if a person in the former group did not keep their commitment at the same rate as the person who always espoused those values that it had something to do with their race?"

Interestingly, in the way you phrased these loaded, putting-words-in-my-mouth questions, you are identifying single-subject cases, which are handled in an entirely different manner than "statistically".

None of my comments mentioned anything about race, the honor code (which I have complied with faithfully my entire life, including my years at BYU), or bigotry. I was simply pointing out the flaws in your unsupported assertions and appeals to your own authority as a "statistician". On those grounds, you were way off base.

Baltimore, MD

Grow up "I M LDS 2". You certainly don't show the maturity of someone who supposedly makes six figures. Instead of arguing semantics about another blogger's assertions, why aren't you pointing out the flaws the obvious flaws in the study, which anyone with even a cursory knowledge of statistics can see?

Bluffdale, UT

Well said Rockwell. I doubt his income is what he says it is. I could say that I make 7 figures a year and no one on here would be the wiser. Besides, 100,000 is a lot less impressive than 999,999. I make $100,000.00 in my sleep.(And no one is the wiser.)

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

The claim that the Honor Code Office needs to be more transparent put forward by the blogger at the Herald, makes no sense in light of the central point of the attack.;

The fact of the matter is that multiple people have attacked the whole Davies situation on the grounds that the Honor Code office "made a public example" out of him. That would mean that the Honor Code office is too public with its actions and needs to find more private courses of action, which is the opposite of transparency. Personally I think the current set-up of letting cases being dealt with on an issue specific inquiry is good.

I would have to say that some employees of the honor code office are far to centrered on form. I went home early from my mission due to medical issues. It wa an honorable release. I still had to reapply fully to BYU on the grounds that a mission defgerment is two years and if you go home early the deferment no longer stands. This was the most narrow minded and enraging thing I ever dealt with.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

However such bad attitudes and not even connecting the logical dots can be found all over the place. As a self-proclaimed part Cherokee someone might try to manipulate my situation to advance their claim of racism, but I have been described as "the whitest person I know" by some people, and have never had anyone on seeing me classify me other than white.

The race statistics in this article are meaningless and misleading. To begin with how did people determine the race of those disciplined? This is an important question because about 10% of BYU's student body refuses to mark their race on application forms and BYU can not require such.

Beyond this, the race stats only are comparable to the total racial make up of student athletes, which we do not know. Even if we knew that we would have to know religious standing, family religious standing, real pre-enrollment honor code living (which no one at BYU knows if some have lied to get in), and a lot more factors.

Correlations does not prove causation. This is especially true when you are dealing with samples below 100 people.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

So over 18 years there have been 70 suspensions of student athletes from BYU. Before we give credence to this figure we need to know what would happen if someone were suspended more than once. Would that be counted as one or two suspensions.

Why only back to 1993? What makes that the cut-off year.

How many student athletes have their been during this time? Are there teams that have never had an athlete suspended? If there are we probably should exclude their members from theoretical counts. Another question, do former members of the wrestling and gymnastics teams who are suspended after the teams get dispanded count as suspended student athletes or not?

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

The Crowton era is generally held up as a time of failure. Mendenhall on the other hand has emphasized the importance and nature of the honor code all along, and in general had better teams.

How is it that Crowton gets better teams even though he in theory exludes many players on non-athletic criteria? I think it is because much of the hype of getting talented players to sign on focuses college sports in the wrong direction.

The reall issue is having good coaches who can develop players and disciplined players who are willing to work to perform. The later is often a seperate issue from the players having been disciplined enough to perform.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

The claim that most African-American students who "come to BYU" are non-Mormon is false. The majority of black students at BYU are Mormons. The majority of black student-athletes when they start at BYU may be non-Mormons, but that is a very different group. Even there you have people like Curtis Brown who join the Church at BYU so such things are doable.

On the other hand the level at which inner-city blacks cokme from an atmosphere totally different than BYU is too often glossed over. However to claim that anything BYU does in this matter constitutes "harrassing" is just plain stupid.

ideally maybe BYU should be more hesitant to take non-Mormon athletes. Coache Cleveland had probably the most trying experiences on this line. However, people forget the legacy of black arm bands and fires on the floor. There is a strong pressure to have black athletes. If there is an unfair system it is that BYU may at times take black athletes who have red-flags of background issues when they would not take similar white athletes. However this is because of the double standard that is supported by the people attacking BYU.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

PAC 12,
You are the one who has no sense of reality. For your accusation to even make sense you would have to be able to cite removal of a non-white player for similar alleged actions in a similar time frame. you can not claim racism by saying that non-white players in 2003 are treated differently than a white player in 1980. The rules that BYU sports really operated under changed over time. In many ways the treatment of athletes since Mr. McMahon have been conditioned by later statments by McMahon.

It is an attempt to eradicate hypocracy and to make sure that all BYU students are held to the honor code and to end the emptiness feeling inducing distruess in the McMahon case that has lead to actual enforcement of rules against players later.

Your attempt to claim racism here is a bunch of rubbish and stupidity. What you are actually demonstrating is that there was a realization at some point that the system had not been working and a decision to enforce the system in a new way.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

The claim you can not transfer your credits when you have been removed from BYU on an honor code infraction is false. I had a very good friend who did exactly that, and he was able to transfer 89 credits to the new institution, which was the most they would allow to be transfered.

The claim that it would be hard to transfer credits is just plain hogwash. Of couse if you have failed all your courses then there are no credits to transfer, but that is a different issue.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

My good friend even managed to have some credits from the BYU religion department transfer, and this was transfering to a public university in Michigan. At some level I would not be surprised if public universities in Michigan are more willing to accept BYU religion department credits than public universities in Utah. In Utah the Utah ACLU would sue if it caught wind of such a thing, in Michigan sueing over such a thing would expose the ACLU as the hateful and vindictive anti-religious organization it is.

Put another way, there are far more hard-core anti-Mormons in Utah than in Michigan, and they are much more likely to be friends of the ACLU. Here in Michigan the most vocal enemies of Mormonism are also the ones who the ACLU attacks. This is because they are Fundamentalist Evangelical Christians and not hard-core synical secularists.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

Actually having married players and the rate of law-of-chastity violations is not correlated, and if it is it is hard to say how. There are in theory sports figures who cheat on their wives. This would create another person with a very high interest in knowing of such events than the two people involved, although there is a complexed set of issues on whether a cheated-on spouse of a student-athlete would expose their spouse.

It may be true that married athletes are less likely to break the law of chastity, but this is a supposition that largely assumes breaking the law of chastity involves relationships with "girlfriends" instead of one-night-stands or whatnot, a supposition that seems to ignore the reasons why there are so many single mothers.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

There was a study done that showed that abstinance pledges to marriage, done without any reinforcing or change of other situations, have no statistically discernable effect on the likelyhood of a change in the frequency of pre-marital sex.

That would mean that the answer to your question is that we have ample evidence to support the conclusion that the honor code signing alone would not matter very much but the previous life experiences of the players, as well as their network of friends and associates, would matter.

That said, the more I think about this the more sketical I am about the base figures. How does Mr. Smith know that there have been 70 student athletes suspended since 1993? How does he determine whether they are "minority" or not and whether they are "black" or not. There have been enough Brazilians at BYU to make racial determination very difficult.

Even if these figures are true, what do we compare them to? The only comparable figures would be the student-athlete overall population, but even if you had the racial break-down of the student athletes over these last 18 years it could be misleading.

Y Ask Y
Provo, UT

I thought John Pack Lambert of Michigan claimed to be an honest, law-abiding person.

But here we have 10 (count 'em) comments on a forum where only 4 are allowed?

Tsk, Tsk, John. You should be ashamed.

Provo, UT

Rockwell & Cougars1,

Grow up?

That is your "grown up" rejoinder?


D&C 50:7

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