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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Cottonwood Heights, UT

You can always count on administrators at BYU to look at thinks in absolutes, black and white. Why would an administrator say such a thing to Moe? Same thing with Norm Chow. Why don't they stick to administration instead of trying to judge people.

God wants everyone to be a light to the world. Not a judge of the world!

And for former NFL players suing the NFL. They all graduated from college. Did they really have to have the NFL tell them that continual blows to the head aren't good for the brain. C'mon. Even my 8 year-old knows THAT!

Orem, UT

Why should JM be rewarded after opening mocking the honor code and making so many critical remarks about BYU? He once told a reporter that “You had to find girls who kept their mouths shut,” when asked how he got around the Honor Code. BYU isn't about being awe-struck over someone's fame and celebrity. It is about being honorable and respectful to people and institutions that deserve honor and respect.


He knew what the requirements were and he chose to ignore them. Yes he was one of the best to play at BYU but what does it say to younger players if BYU breaks their own rule. It may seem harsh but he made his choice when he had the chance. Vai you are dead wrong in this matter even if I did get choked up reading about his condition.


I agree whole heartedly with you VAI,McMahon was one of the greatest QB,s BYU ever had and he deserves to be honored, i don,t care 2 hoots and a holler if he graduated or not,yes he was a little wild and defiant but he did help greatly putting BYU on the map.

Solomon the Wise
Alpine, UT

There's no question that Jim McMahon should be in BYU's Hall of Fame and there's no legitimate reason why a player needs to graduate in order to be eligible. BYU can continue to encourage athletes to graduate, even without the rule.


I can understand the emtional arguments for, and the upholding of standards against, and lean towards the latter.

I would add here only that, according to what I read, McMahon is really, honestly, a lot further than 10 credits from graduation. While that may be what his transcript indicates, he himself, I believe, admitted that he often had others - a sister? - doing some of the work for him?

He really did not care, and I think that his negativity towards the school, program, and coach who put him on the field and launched his career, gave him a chance when his school-of-choice spurned him, even in his relative youth, and so I don't know that BYU should roll over to the emotional appeal and diminish the continuing growing legacy of BYU's standards.

I was in the stands loving his scrappy and unrelenting drive to gain yards and first downs, appreciating where heart compensated for lack of physical attributes, and where creativity created havoc for defenses, but I am not convinced. Best wishes to him in his current struggles and to his family that continues to seek his peace and happiness.

Sandy, UT

I don't agree with Vai, mainly because BYU is one of the easiest schools from which to graduate with its online program, and I don't mean this as a compliment. The standards are so low for the online courses that they are regularly used by athletes at other institutions to pad their grades and earn some credits. I find it comical that some above are saying BYU shouldn't lower its standards to those of other institutions. The standards are already really low in some areas, and hence the lack of necessity to change the rules for Jim M. Frankly without these great athletes included in the HOF (and as Vai said he being included despite doing nothing at BYU) makes the sports HOF at BYU meaningless. I love BYU and bleed blue but some of the hypocrisy and holier than thou attitude that goes on both at the institution and by some alumni (as seen above) is enough to also make me ever consider returning to campus. Too bad I'm a nobody so it doesn't really matter...

Chris Degn
Seoul, Korea

I agree!!! Everyone knows the GREATEST BYU football game ever played was Jim's come-from-behind Mormon Miracle Bowl game. We all watch it! We all love it! I say grant him an honorary BA/BS degree and induct into the BYU Hall of Fame this year.

Chris Degn
class of '88

West Jordan, Utah

Honor your football history and let the younger generation be reminded who the greatest BYU football player of them all was. The BYU HOF should have McMahon in it.

Jim has paid the price for not conforming, but he has also done it his way and stood tall. His toughness and courage also took many hits. I remember one late hit that gave Jim a serious concussion.

By and large, I believe the fans want Jim to be honored. Fans show up to support team despite what is shown or not on ESPN. 10 credits shy of a degree? Only the rule makers care about that. The rest of us want McMahon in the HOF already. Like Vai said, "what good is the hall if the best players aren't in it".

Hey little Jimmy, here's the best player to ever earn a degree. The time is right to change policy or get McMahon an honory degree.

Ogden, UT

I don't often disagree with Vai, but I do on this one. The purpose of a university is for students to graduate, not achieve sports stardom.

Jim could have gotten his degree over the years but it was obviously not important enough to him.

Higher education is already too involved in being the farm teams for the pro.

I think Vai is way, way off on this one.

Jim was a football hero in the pros where stardom is fine, but a star as a pro does not make him a star student athlete.

City, Ut

I agree. Hope BYU will do it while Jim is healthy enough to enjoy it.

He did a lot for BYU football and hope it is an idea the powers-that-be are presented with and agree to do.

Riverton, UT

From a BYU grad and Cougar fan, make it happen. Jimmy Mac should be in.

The Biz
Logan, Utah

Well said Vai!

Salt Lake City, UT

Well said Vai! I agree with you 100%.

Magna, UT

I'm Sorry Vai, to induct Jim McMahon into the Hall of Fame would be far more disrespectful to the vast numbers of young men and women who do live their lives with exactness and honor than it will be to Jim McMahon to not be inducted.

With all due respect, Jim knew the rules going in. "Men are instructed sufficiently that they know good from evil, and the law is given unto men, and by the law no flesh is justified."

As much as I liked JM's play on the field, his willful flaunting of the rules he agreed to abide by and the constant disrespect he showed to BYU throughout his pro career and life cannot be overlooked when compared to those who live a Hall of Fame worthy life and expect nothing in return.

It would send the wrong message and undermine who and what BYU is.

Kemah, TX

I can't believe that BYU (coaches and/or the admin)were not aware of Jim's behavior while he was playing at the school. If what I've read about McMahon is even close to being true - as far as his on and off campus activities are concerned - then surely some of that got reported up the line. If that's the case then Jim and BYU are guilty. McMahon should have been put on probation or kicked out of school. Look at the Penn State example of what can and should happen to a school that is aware of infractions (moral or otherwise) and doesn't properly act.

Either allow McMahon in (for both he and BYU are at fault) or wipe out all four years of McMahon's records while he was at BYU.

I think both should repent(to each other)and FORGIVE EACH OTHER, Let the records stand, let McMahon in, and move on.

rock springs, wy

I haven't read the SI article, but it seems that Jimmy Mac might have bigger problems. The whole "high standards" issue at BYU will always present these "Hobsons' choices." The rigidity with which the rules are applied leaves little room for compassion, charity or individual expression. The comment to Mo about his hair demonstrates that perfectly. As a BYU student who actually perferred short hair in "the age of Aquarius," I found it odd that none of the statues on campus could have passed the dress code. While I accepted and lived the Honor Code, I thought life at BYU was a little like living according to Leviticus and avoiding the Pharisees. Jim McMahon's contribution to BYU goes far beyond the HOF. His number should be retired and hung next to Steve Young's at LES. A statue of LeVell Edwards with his arm around Jim McMahon should stand in front of the stadium and every BYU fan should send him a letter thanking him for his contribution to their school. Oh, and an honorary degree might be in order, also. Then, Sunday sermons about charity and compassion might mean something.

Mission Viejo, CA

Vai is right. BYU football put the school on the map and its great players should be awarded in the BYU Hall of Fame based on how they played, not whether a grown man should meet an arbitrary grooming standard. I don't think BYU should regulate anybody's hair! They allow tattoos - why not long hair and dreads? The 1965 anti-hippie regulation can be dropped now, I think.

As for Jimmy Mac and Jason Buck, well, they were great football players. That should count for something.

Somewhere in Time, UT

BYU is a unique institution and has high standards. BYU considers graduation very important. They should stick to those standards. If a player doesn't meet those standards, he doesn't get in the Hall of Fame. If a player wants to get in the Hall of Fame he must meet those standards. That's it!

Provo, UT

Jim never lived the honor code or met the required academic standards while at BYU. Sure he was a great football player but BYU is one of the few schools that tries to see that all students and faculty live by the honor code. I wish Jim the best but not this honor.

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