Comments about ‘Vai's View: Time is right for BYU to honor Jim McMahon’

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Published: Friday, Sept. 7 2012 5:00 p.m. MDT

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Sacramento, CA

Vai...I couldn't agree more. There's never been a greater quarterback at BYU, and there has been a long list of great ones to be sure. Jim was the only quarterback I've ever seen where the crowd cheered when BYU was called for holding, because that meant 10 more passing yards for him. Please put him in BYU, and Jason Buck and Moe too. And while you're at it...I'd love to see Shoeless Joe and Pete Rose enshrined. IF baseball can't do the right thing, at least BYU could.

Keisels Beard
Overton, NV

Vai makes a very compelling case that is hard to argue against. I don't believe that BYU should make an exception to their rules on this. Once you make the first exception, it becomes easier to make the next. Eventually, everybody has a reason for an exception to the rules.

Now, before anybody blasts me as being to rigid, what I AM in favor of is a change to the rules. Remove the graduation requirement. Or at least put in a clause that the graduation requirement can be waived for very specific reasons. Maybe require a non-graduate candidate to receive a unanimous vote from who ever is on the panel that makes the induction decisions. Whatever they decide. Make it hard for a non-graduate to be enshrined, but not impossible.

Yes, a member of the BYU HOF should have graduated. But there should be a way for deserving players like McMahon be honored despite youthful (shall we say, immature?) decisions.

Wayne Rout
El Paso, TX

Vai finally got one right. The time is long past to honor Jim McMahon. He was perhaps the best ever to play at BYU. Like the rest of us, Jim could well change some things in his life, but it is time to consider the bigger picture and honor him while he can still walk out on the field to receive the honor. There is a time and place to make exceptions to rules. Jim is one of them.

Bountiful, UT

I agree with Keisels Beard. BYU should change the rule so that they don't have to make exceptions. I don't think putting a player in the BYU HOF who didn't graduate diminishes in any way the academic mission of the school or the football program.

Vai, the case you made for Jim McMahon was good enough. Throwing in that bit about Mo was pretty whiney. He's a grown man who played in the rough and tumble NFL and he's going to let someone asking him about a haircut offend him to the point that he'll never go back? That's pretty weak.

Orange County, CA

"In principle great clarity, in practice great charity," a great woman taught.


Great argument. And a good read. Big Cougar, 'throwing in that bit about Mo' wasn't "whiney." Maybe on Moe's part, but Vai was reporting an exchange that he had with him which explained why Eliwonibi hasn't been back to BYU. I love when people decide for others what should or shouldn't offend them. I guess Big Cougar is above being offended and nothing has EVER offended him. Give me break. A good writer gives you detail and offers perspective. What you gleaned from it was that Vai was "whiney" for sharing it. I read it and thought, "Hmmm, come to think of it, I've never seen Moe Eliwonibi at a BYU game since he left. So, that's why. Too bad." No more; no less. Reading of Vai's exchange illuminated and brought clarity to why we've never seen Moe. That's good journalism; not "whiney."

Bountiful, UT

I can't agree with Vai. It is so recent that BYU sacrificed a successful run in the NCAA Basketball Tournament when Brandon Davies was suspended for violating the Honor Code. It seems that at BYU honor and integrity is more important than the honors of men. Jim McMahon was an extraordinary football player, but he didn't hide the fact that he flaunted the Honor Code. So please allow him to experience the law of the harvest. Let him reap what he has sewn. He had plenty of the world's honors. He was a Super Bowl MVP, for crying out loud. But let us not diminish the integrity of BYU and its renowned Honor Code by changing rules to accommodate those who didn't take their educational opportunity seriously.

Cottonwood Heights, UT

IF BYU were any other school I'd agree. Those other schools and institutions have lesser standards, weakened and clouded by graying boundaries. I do agree that Jim was the greatest QB in BYU history but just because he couldn't met the requirements doesn't mean the line should be lowered. Honor him in any other way but at BYU we shouldn't make "exceptions".

Go Cougars!

Woods Cross, UT

At BYU we SHOULD make exceptions when it comes to honoring our alumni after lifetimes of service. Vai got this one right. The time period we have to do the right thing is disappearing.

Provo, UT

We're going to hear these same arguments about all of BYU's greatest footballers. In recent memory, Austin Collie, Harvey Unga, and Luke Staley. Man, Staley had to be the funnest RB I've ever watched, hands-down. These athletes did more in less time than others couldn't do in 4 (well, except for Pitta, who surpassed Collie). These men were all great athletes. Interestingly, as Vai points out, you don't hear them issuing these complaints. They're seem to accept the decisions they made and know what they meant, so why we?

Vai, you're wrong on this one, and it's not about appearances, as you suggest. It's about standards. As a church leader, what experience have you had when you see someone lower their standards. Ask yourself, if you were making this argument for your own son, is this the same thing you would want?

Let it stand that these men are BYU's all-time greatest athletes. They will be honored in record books and in long-time lore. But then look to their acceptance letters, which all start off, "Dear student athlete." There's a reason student comes first.

Murray, UT

I think the greatest BYU QB of all time. I know, I know, Detmer, won the Heisman and Boscoe won the the Nat'l Championship, but week in and week out Jim McMahon threw for 300 yds, ran for 50 and just plain won week in and week out. The guy was a true leader on the field, where it counted. BYU ought to right now, give him and honorary degree and induct him in the BYU HoF during the last game of the season. We love ya Jimmy Mc.

Topeno, Finland

Val, as always... I agree.
The question is not so simple. If athletic ability and performance are the sole requirements then LASSE VIREN should be there, as well. Lasse attended BYU for a short time prior to his 4 Olympic gold medals (Munchen 5000m, 10000m, Montreal 5000m, 10000m)
I would be happy to see Lasse there, as well.
It would be an honor to BYU.
Jussi Kemppainen
Student Trainer BYU, 1971 - 1974
Olympic trainer 1972, Olympic attache 2002

Prairie Dog
Lubbock, TX

I don't agree with Vai on this one. McMahon doesn't care, neither do I.

El Chango Supremo
Rexburg, ID

I agree with Vai

R-Valley, NV

Many college degrees aren't worth the tuition you pay. What is the point of a hall of fame if your best and most famous players aren't in it? Maybe Jim McMahon did flaunt the honor code, but the school sold a lot of tickets and let him play football through his senior year, so rumors of his off-the field antics should not be considered in this argument.

It seems a little ridiculous for graduation to be a requirement. Imagine if Jabari Parker comes to BYU and the team makes a run in the NCAA tourney and wins a national title. Parker, rather than give up 30 million in lifetime earnings makes the logical move and jumps to the NBA at age 19. Now are you going to say thanks for the title, thanks for filling the newly remodeled Marriott Center every night, but sorry no Hall of Fame for you?

Put McMahon and Jason and Mo in the hall or I won't donate to BYU.

Riverside, CA

I agree with Vai. However it can be done it should happen. BYU seemed to look the other way when he was playing. Why not give him a pass now. Why not let the 10 credits slide and give him an honorary degree?

McMahon was the most exciting, entertaining and memorable of all BYU's outstanding quarterbacks. He should be honored for it.

Mt Laurel, NJ

Did staypuffinpc REALLY compare Austin Collie, Harvey Unga, and Luke Staley to Jim McMahon? Jiminy Christmas......

Sacramento, CA

I don't agree. He should not be in the Hall of Fame.

Salt Lake City, UT

Jason Buck in the HOF despite his lack of degree but because of his Outland? Never.

Buck has brought as much shame as fame to BYU since he left. He's fronted for not one, but TWO Ponzi schemes (one of which cost Ty Detmer $2 million), and yet still had the audacity to run for Congress, and didn't have the grace, judgement, or gumption to drop out of the primary after the first round of ballots when he was 6th place and got 4.5% of the vote to the 2nd place candidate's 25%. The guy is self-deluded, and dropping the requirements for the HOF would just feed his delusion, not to mention show poor judgement on BYU's part.

AZ Dave
Chandler, AZ

"Did Mac see inconsistencies and hypocrisy around him? Yes." Couldn't agree with you more Vai

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