Comments about ‘Dick Harmon: New mission policy impacts BYU football recruiting in a big way’

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Published: Saturday, Oct. 6 2012 6:00 p.m. MDT

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Wayne Rout
El Paso, TX

This change will bring more schools into the hunt for the top LDS players. In fact, it may hurt BYU as much as help.

Phoenix, AZ


Who cares about SPORTS anyway? The World has more problems on it hands than Sports. Think about it..

Saint George, UT

Gotta admit...this is one of the first thoughts I had when I heard the announcement! How will this affect BYU Football! Should be interesting to watch it unfold.

Tooele, UT

Well this should give BYU more opportunity to re-recruit kids that commit to other programs since it makes it less likely they will enroll early and come under the Riley rule.

Wendall Hoop
Salt Lake City, UT

It's not going to help that much. If a kid goes on his mission after high school, he misses school and gets back right before season starts. He probably won't be able to be in the mix until he redshirts or rides the pine. Unless rare exceptions. Where I think this DOES help is for the kids who turn 19 in summer, because they aren't ready to play as true freshman, then are away for 2 years then get back in the summer and go through the process I explained above. Regardless, if a kid leaves after High School, he will be playing a year earlier than it's been right now. I think this was inspired.

Highland, UT


Great point. This will give these kids the opportunity to re-evaluate their decisions from a position of maturity and perhaps spare them the punishment that would have previously come from making an immature decision.

Salt Lake City, UT

Perhaps a convenience for some but those who want to serve will. Since the decision was based on considerations other than athletic, it's premature to draw too many implications.

Layton, UT

WhatsInItForMe - BYU had an invite from the Big 12 and declined the invite, BYU will get an invite from the Big East this year and if they are lucky one from the ACC, the Big 12 ship has sailed.

South Jordan, UT

In the United Kingdom, it's been a serious problem for college students to interrupt their education. Some schools wouldn't let you attend if you stop after 1 year.

Now UK students can go on their mission right away and then do 4 years straight of college.

Really good for them (where I used to live).

This is the scenario this is primarily intended to help. If it also helps athletes, then good for them too.

Sandy, UT

One comment that Dick wrote doesn't make much sense. This decision will not lower the average age for BYU football players at all. It will actually raise it since there will be fewer 18 yr old freshman players and more 20 yr old freshman players.

This will probably help BYU sports because fewer other programs simply won't hold a scholarship for 2 yrs while they wait for a missionary to arrive on campus and it won't give other programs a year to talk an LDS player out of serving a mission altogether.

Santa Monica, CA

How inspiring. Young men nationwide on fire to get out there and get their missionary service out of the way so they can get back and play four straight years of football. The mission presidents must be elated.

Cougar Passion
Salt Lake City, UT

I do think it will help the football team--and I do think this is an appropriate thing to discuss since it is the sports section. Going on a mission does tend to change your priorities, and does, on balance, give athletes the desire to go to a church school.

But, and I know this isn't sports-related, I am ecstatic about lowering the women's age to 19. For a young lady to have completed perhaps three years of college and then try to leave on a mission can be a tough decision, and probably one that materially affects their ability to get married. And there of course is a little bit of stigma about going only because one did not have immediate marriage prospects. My daughter has always spoken of potentially going on a mission, but she frankly has been more popular with the young men than I would like. It will be wonderful for her to make a much easier decision now to go on a mission two years earlier, then come back and still be in the thick of things, so to speak.

Aloha Saint George
Saint George, Utah

1. BYU Football represents 1/1000 of all college football programs
2. Many other programs throughout the country are bringing in LDS athletes into their systems because they see the benefit of bringing in athletes from stable homes and who value education.
3. Many programs are reluctant to bring in athletes who are not committed to their cause- jumping to BYU
4. Most programs want an athlete for 4 straight years. SO what about that year between high school and mission? How many doors have been closed for football, mission, and education from bad choices during that Limbo time period?
5. I have an 18 and 24 year old on full ride at another school. Their opportunities have been far reaching because of living in a mixed society of RMs, non- LDS- remember missionary work is part of the three fold mission of the church.
6. Imagine if each of the 1000 football programs in the country had 10 players on their roster? That's 10,000 more scholarships rather than 80 at BYU

Aloha Saint George
Saint George, Utah

Is this new revelation only about 120 players on scholarship at BYU? I know most readers are all about BYU with DNews. I would hope that other articles will look at college athletes in other programs and sports. Assuming there are 120 athletes on scholarship (On missions) this includes 0.002% of the 56,000 missionaries.

There are programs such as Boise State who rarely bring in 'mission kids' because of jumping to BYU, getting older and losing interest in football and moving on. How many more programs will look at a kid, once he returns, and they have him committed for four years without a 'mission jump' clause?

How many kids are willing to play college sports now they getting off their mission a year younger? Again, with two kids playing college football, I know that the football arena hasn't been the safest place. Coaches are seeing that bringing in LDS kids creates stability for their other athletes because they are more disciplined and have more maturity and come from stable homes- generally.

I respect BYU. BUT one message of BYU is they can compete against anyone in who's teams has great students, and values.

Herriman, UT

BYU and the other in-state schools will be scrambling because of this. There are going to be scholarships opening up that were unexpected for next year, which likely benefits senior walk-ons. They can't simply give them to other HS athletes, because the scholarships will be taken when they return home from a mission. BYU especially has to carefully map out scholarship commitments by year, and this change blows all that up.

Also, while this seems to benefit BYU in terms of getting uninterrupted college years and having fewer transfer restrictions, it will totally change the culture of campus, teams and the mission field. You used to have guys on mission talk up their BYU experience, and all of that will go away.

Outside of sports, I feel for the admissions folks who are going to have to deal with a sudden multi-thousand student drop in campus population next year (and the boom that will follow two years later if they allow wait-listed applicants in). This will be awesome for the sisters though...there will be an huge increase in the # of sister missionaries.

Las Vegas, NV

I've always been surprised that there is hardly ever any mention of the ability to serve a mission after school. This is always downplayed. Why don't we have athletes ever choose to play their 4 years and then serve a mission?

Cougar Passion
Salt Lake City, UT

Re: Vegas,
You don't suppose it has anything to do with the fact that they are in prime marriage years after completing school, do you? And that is, of course, if they haven't already gotten married before graduation, as so very many BYU students do. No, those who have graduated from school are looking to get on with their lives, rather than put it on hold for another two years. Perhaps they shouldn't look at it that way, but, for all the good that comes from serving a mission, it is still a sacrifice to go and put everything else aside for two years.

Farmington, UT

Some of the comments here are insightful, some hilarious.

I remember back when I was told by a friend (we officiated high school football together) that BYU would never win a conference championship "because they had too many returned missionaries" on the team. That just happened to be the last year Tommy Hudspeth was the head coach and the next year an assistant was promoted to the top----a guy named Lavell Edwards.

The rest, as they say, is history..........

So having RM's was a liability; then it was an asset. Always those who lost to BYU on a consistent basis were quick to accuse them of some "unfair advantage." Oh well..........

The missionary effort is what's most important here, after all. And the change will require adjustments, so just make tham, already.

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