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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West Jordan, Utah

Honor code or not, things were different at BYU when McMahon played. McMahon was wild and everyone knew it. BYU allowed him to play football for four years despite this.

Today the parameters that the administration and Bronco set are not the same loving and patient setting LaVell Edwards set. McMahon didn't do well with judgmental dogmatic dictators like Mike Ditka in Chicago. McMahon wouldn't do well under the current Bronco regime, but that doesn't change the fact that BYU let McMahon play until he was done with football eligibility and shown the door. Isn't that what stopped him from getting his degree?

McMahon was the greatest Cougar ever I believe, even more than Young. Disagree if you will, it's okay, but McMahon belongs in the football hall of fame. The honor code hall of fame should not exist. McMahon gave BYU football it's national recognition birthplace.

West Jordan, Utah

For those on the honor code soap box. It's an ideal that you don't want compromised right? I get it. But again, look in relative terms. If Mac was good enough to play, break records and represent your school when he played, then why not honor him now? Mac was not kicked out of school when eligible for football. That is hypocrisy to say he is not worthy after the fact in my opinion.

Players who suffer honor code discipline now may be guilty of things milder or possibly even more extreme than Mac, but if the hammer comes down then it does. It never did on Mac. BYU is more letter of the law now. I am not saying that is bad. What I am saying is that if you must judge, judge according to the parameters in place when a given player (Mac here) was at BYU.

BYU's administrative judgement quells honor from McMahon now, but BYU lacked that same honor in the late 70s and early 80s for using McMahon for on field success.

What now is was not before. I understand arguments against honoring Mac, but they are based on current view.

West Jordan, UT

Jim McMahon was good enough to watch play. He filled seats and brought in millions in revenue to BYU. He played successfully in the NFL and won a Superbowl. Somehow he isn't good enough to be honored in the BYU Hall of Fame? It's time to induct him while he still has the capacity to appreciate the gesture. I agree with you, Vai.

West Jordan, Utah

My comments BYU's honor code are perhaps unfair in this specific topic. Although Mac's wild side is often brought up here, I don't think the BYU administrators have said publicly that this stuff would keep Mac out of the HOF. It's always about the degree right? If so, why is that? Maybe it's because the school realizes that letting Mac play football would make them hypocritical relative to honor condemnation.

Outside of public communication forums, I don't know if the honor code platform is being talked about in regards to keeping Mac out of the HOF (behind closed doors so to speak). Thus, I won't go there anymore. Still, I hope these types of talks aren't a reality. What I do hope is that the said reason for keeping Mac out can be resolved. Hopefully Mac and BYU will care enough to make a few college credits happen. That said, I would still like the graduation requirement dropped. I don't just say this for Mac, but for other greats and future greats to come.

If a future star honors BYU, turns pro early, and never gets a degree. Then what?

Cottonwood Heights, UT

I just can't agree Vai... lowering the standard for the HOF would be like giving a temple recommend to a smoker or non-tithe payer but because they've bee the best scout master ever.

Jim was a great player but the requirements for the HOF shouldn't be changed just because we feel sorry for him.

Orem, UT

The hall of fame should be for accomplishments on the athletic field. To not honor great athletic achiever for not graduating strikes an odd chord. Aren't a diploma and other honors for academic high achievers enough? Why tie athletic achievement to academic achievement? Should we require a valedictorian to also letter in a varsity sport? Another contributor mentioned Jabari Parker...who, if he chooses to play at BYU, will not likely play four years and graduate. If he were to accomplish on the basketball court what many think he's capable of, would it make sense to keep him out of the hall of fame?
And, for those who keep speculating on Mac's alleged honor code violations, thezs violations are not cited as the reason he is excluded from the HOF...it's his lack of a degree. I dare say others in the HOF have been guilty of honor code violations...or innocent victims of the standards police. The honor code is not at issue here.

Blue Cougar
Oak Harbor, WA

I think that BYU should never have instituted the graduation rule--it punishes anyone who leaves early to pursue their sport. As for McMahon's past behavior and current lifestyle--if BYU is willing to use Jim McMahon in a commercial, then apparently, his lifestyle is good enough. He was a truly great ahtlete, and he's promoting BYU now. But don't forget the many times that he's visited our troops overseas, paid for former colleagues' drug treatment, and helped out other people in need. Time to honor him.

Gold Canyon, az

I disagree. I am a big fan of Jimmy Mac as a player but outside of that he did not represent the university well. He doesn't care so why should we. We already honor him in other ways. As many others have written, why should we lower the standards? Does his athletic accomplishments overide his disdain for rules and the university? Sure he did a lot for BYU, but BYU did a lot for him. He is lucky he was not kicked out of school. The program still would have continued to be successful.

As for Mo, too bad the big guy let one person's comment taint his view of the whole university.
I usually agree with Vai but not on this one. Go Cougars!

Harwich, MA

This is the first article you've written Vai that I agree completely. Good Call.
BTW Collie, Unga and Staley can't tie Jim's shoes.

Ogden, UT

Vai I disagree. McMahon has done nothing but bad mouth BYU and mock it at every chance.

American Fork, UT

It is time for BYU to reward Jim McMahon for his athletic legacy and contributions to BYU by inducting him into their football Hall of Fame. If the only issues is that he doesn't have a BYU degree then the school should award him an honorary one ( ie.the spirit of the law vs. the letter of the law) which would then qualify him for induction.

Kearns, UT

I belive that Jimbo should be in.
All the talk about the honor code means nothing. The Y ignored it, as in Jim's case, until his usefullness was done, then they went after him. I for one do support the honor code, but I found it to be the Law of Moses. If your Bishop passes you, then you shuld be left alone and let Agency govern. If you screw up and you don't get the ecclesiastical endorsement the next year then you are out. Once you have the endorsment, then you could assume that the university trusted you. The positive to that would be, that the self righteous honor code gestapo students would be out of a job. If a temple recommend lasts for two years, and you are trusted to live your life for those two years in a good way and tillattend the temple, then why can't the Y treat students in a manner consistant with the higher law of Christ?

Forgive McMahon, move on, and let him into the hall of fame.

sacramento, ca

so Jim's failure to plan and accomplish what he already knew he needed to do is now an emergency on BYU's part? I doubt that's how u raise your kids Vai......why do u want BYU to do otherwise?

Aloha Saint George
Saint George, Utah

I agree with you Vai. What does the Hall fo Fame represent- the best players for the sport they played. Does it give them a life time temple recommend?? Free passes in the suites to games? An honorable degree? NO

HOF is great place to remember players who excelled on the field. Should they honor those who have disgraced themselves off the field such as a Pete Rose- of course not!! It's a gray area. But to be aware of the disgraces of those who were also in the HOF helps to keep sports in perspective. Many sports fans CANNOT separate the two.

Jim McMahon is an icon in football history. Is his life great?- Maybe not- that's the point.

BYUtah Fan
Herriman, UT

I have to agree with Vai on this one. I watched Jim play and he was magnificent and gutsy every game. Yeah, he had his issues. But, don't we all. I generally support BYU standards. But, rules must be considered for potential exceptions or we could be ruled by machines. If Jim is suffering from early dementia, as the article states, he may be unable to complete his degree. I think charity should win this one. I would love to see Jim honored at halftime with an induction.

Salt Lake City, UT

Jim McMahon is the greatest QB to play at BYU.

At the end of his career, he held outright or tied 95 NCAA records...more than any other BYU QB by a long shot. The 1980 Miracle Bowl is arguably the most pivotal game in BYU football history (no disrespect to the 1984 Michigan game, the 1990 Miami game, or the 1996 Cotton Bowl), and BYU won that game simply because McMahon wouldn't quit when the coaches wanted to.

He deserves to be in the BYU HOF. Nice piece, Vai!

Harwich, MA

Jim McMahon was loved by his teammates. Steve Young, not so much. You might want to ponder over the reasons why.

Eagle Mountain, UT

I've never liked it when someone in the media uses the media to call on an individual or an institution to change. In this case, I have to make an excepton to that line of thinking. I know that many people, probably including Vai, have petitioned BYU to change this rule. I too am in favor of changing the rule rather than making an exception for Jim McMahon only. I love BYU for the Honor and Integrity that it stands for but don't think this would diminish what BYU stands for at all. Personally, I don't care for Jim McMahon as a person, but I believe he deserves to be in there. I vote for change.

Payson, UT

wow folks edwards stadium is the house jimmy mac built. his last two years there forced byu to enlarge the stadium, you simply couldnt attend a game there. no room. yes i followed jimmy mac his entire carreer. what a caracter. but what he did in provo still resonates. i hear it everygame.. a comparison he's no jim mcmahon...yes beck hall sarkesian even neilson so folks this is the proverbial 64$ question..do you finaly embrace your prodigal son accept his sins love the sinner... or continue to punish and profit from his success. steve young said in his nfl hall of fame acceptance speech " he was blessed to play behind two great quarterbacks. one in college JIM MACMAHON. one in the pros JOE MONTANA". his own quote in the book they came to pass. when he took the feild the first time to 72,000 faithfull fans made him puke. he was scared. he thought of jimmy mac. boils down to choices..byu please do this. let your radical prodigal son enjoy his moment.. maybe he will wear all his superbowl rings

Southern California
Redondo Beach, CA

No way! Vai is totally wrong on this one. Mostly because a rule is a rule and secondly because Jim doesn't even want it anyway!

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