BYU football: Athletic director Tom Holmoe says he wants Jim McMahon's jersey retired


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  • cork Murray, UT
    Dec. 5, 2012 7:52 a.m.

    No way. Not now; maybe not ever. When he chooses to follow the rules, maybe. If not for the honor code, what have we to distinguish ourselves from the common and ordinary? Holmoe - you've done some dumb things in your tenure (all of which got you fired by Cal) but this stand takes the cake. Has the disaster of a football season (several) beaten you to the point of pandering to the misguided fans? If so, you've hit a new low.

  • Proud Ute ,
    Oct. 22, 2012 6:17 p.m.


    Best post to date on the topic!
    Well said.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    Oct. 22, 2012 5:17 p.m.

    If McMahon had been a mediocore player or even average athlete he would have been expelled from BYU and told to go find another school to play for. The message is if you are a great athlete the honor code does not matter. BYU chose to ignore flagrant and documented honor code violations. I agree McMahon was a great QB and contributed to BYU's success. So did a lot of others athletes who will never be recognized. A say let McMahon graduate and retire his jersey. As far as the hall of fame I am not convinced that would be the right decision. I Can see both sides on this issue. Tough call.
    GO Cougars.

  • CWEB Orem, UT
    Oct. 21, 2012 9:49 p.m.

    Sad they haven't done it yet. They give honorary doctorates to all kinds of goofy people. Sad thing really is, Bronco would not have a Jim McMahon today...everyone wants perfection now...not later...not down the road. Now. Doesn't work that way folks.

  • Ronald Uharriet SWun City, Ca.
    Oct. 20, 2012 7:47 p.m.

    In regards to Jim Mac Mahon and those that would like to keep him out of the BYU Hall of Fame,
    Let he/she without sin, cast the first stone.

  • wYo8 Rock Springs, WY
    Oct. 20, 2012 12:23 p.m.

    Jim McMahon along with Leon White, Kurt Gavaia (spelling is wrong), Great players for BYU and great NFL careers. Sports hall of fames whether its the College Hall of Fame, NFL or your schools should be more about what you did on the field.

  • runnerguy50 Virginia Beach, Va
    Oct. 20, 2012 6:58 a.m.

    It's time to heal old wounds. Lets stop with old resentments and show love and compassion to a guy who isn't perfect.

  • PapaSmurf Rocklin, CA
    Oct. 19, 2012 5:24 p.m.

    Maybe after we get Jim into the HOF we can get Nixon on Mount Rushmore.

    gchris - These are institutional issues, nothing to do with the law. If you are going to use your standard than every kid every booted for an honor code violation ought to be recompensed.

    thenun - Lavell Edwards lifted his protection after the bowl game, and Jim enjoyed driving away and never looking back. Read his book.

  • AlottaBalatas Centerville, UT
    Oct. 19, 2012 5:03 p.m.

    @ Broom Hockey Champ

    McMahon was the first great QB to place BYU on the map, but some of us have struggled with the perceived hypocrisy of suspending him one week following his football eligibility (preventing his graduation) as well as instituting the graduation rule (aka McMahon rule). Doesn't pass the test!

    And as for the honor code, many young men and women have passed through BYU with mistakes on their record, and in a few cases disregard for what BYU stands for. A simple search on YouTube may provide an example or two.

    After 30 years, isn't it okay for us to forgive a young man and HONOR what his parents were told during recruiting visits? Let's leave the past where it belongs.

    Oct. 19, 2012 3:43 p.m.

    This is from the biggest Ute ever-IMO Jim was the BEST of the bunch and I saw them all woop on us year after year. Nobody could throw it as hard and strong and then turn around the next play with such touch over the middle to one of those big tight ends. I will always say because I'm red Alex Smith was the best QB I have ever seen in RES, but #9 is very very close behind.

  • azjim GILBERT, AZ
    Oct. 19, 2012 2:29 p.m.

    Jim should be in BYU hall of fame. He was an awesome QB. The honor code violation that got him expelled was drinking alcohol and smoking a cigar on national television @ the Heisman Banquet. Hard for the standards office to overlook such public flaunting of the code. Maybe Jim can get a BGS. I wish him luck. Thanks for all the great football Jim!

  • GilmerTexasCougar Gilmer, TX
    Oct. 19, 2012 1:59 p.m.

    This is one more BYU fan who absolutely believes that, under the circumstances, Jim McMahon should be inducted into the BYU Hall of Fame and have his number retired--this year!

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    Oct. 19, 2012 12:27 p.m.

    Sometimes I'm embarrassed to be a Cougar...stop with all the judgmental stuff. We all loved watching Jim play and he was one of the greatest. A loose cannon? Yes. A great ball player? Yes. Retire the jersey.

    Now, let's see if we can find another qb who can play like Jim.

  • HCB63 Orem, UT
    Oct. 19, 2012 12:11 p.m.

    I'm for the boo-birds on this one.
    McMahon was an incredible QB in his time at BYU. I loved watching him play.
    However, after leaving BYU, the great QB sullied his time at BYU by bragging about his drinking binges after [college] games, constantly breaking the honor code, and by using numerous disgusting epithets in describing his time at BYU. Any sports reporters from those days can look this up.
    So, now Holmoe wants to retire McMahon's jersey?
    Sorry, but a retired jersey means that the athlete was great not only on the field, but in his personal life as well, and it sends the message to current and future athletes about the overall character they should emulate while playing for the University.
    Jim McMahon, while a great player, was NOT a great example to any athlete in conducting his personal life, not to mention his lack of appreciation for the institution that was the vehicle for his college and professional success.
    As great as McMahon was, endorsing that sort of character is NOT in the best interest of BYU or its athletes.

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    Oct. 19, 2012 11:24 a.m.

    Do they give a touchdown to someone tackled on the five yard line just because he played hard the rest of the game. Folks you have to cross the goal line. The graduation is the goal line. McMahon has always known that and has chosen to ignore it.

  • catram North Las Vegas, NV
    Oct. 19, 2012 11:21 a.m.

    Not a chance! This guy hasn't had a good thing to say about BYU in his life! Never forget the free education, Mr. McMahan! Never forget the exposure you got for playing under a great coach!

  • whynot67 Sandy, UT
    Oct. 19, 2012 11:15 a.m.

    Its time for the University to do the right thing. I hate when stupid policies stand in the way of doing something that should be done. He deserves to have all the praise and accolades his career earned him regardless of his graduate status. Do the right thing and honor Jim. In the words of Spencer W. Kimball..."Do it!"

  • SoCalChris Riverside, CA
    Oct. 19, 2012 10:37 a.m.

    Wow. Never thought I'd agree with Chris B on something.

  • utahcountyute Cedar Hills, UT
    Oct. 19, 2012 9:33 a.m.

    Have to agree with those that have commented that he should get his number retired. If he was allowed to play then, his number should be up with the greats by his performance. All this distancing because of things said after the fact is silly.

    Be what you proclaim to be byU.... accepting of all. (especially when he is one of the greatest to ever play in your program)

    Even Chris B gets it.

  • RS Holladay, UT
    Oct. 19, 2012 9:24 a.m.

    Retire #9. Give Jim the love he deserves!

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 19, 2012 9:10 a.m.

    Even I believe his number should be retired, and he should be in BYU's Hall of Fame. If he can't complete his degree, and that is an inflexible requirement, then give him an honorary degree. The Y didn't worry about his keeping the standards of the university when he played for them, they shouldn't worry about them now

    So let it be written, so let it be done.

  • Troy06 OREM, UT
    Oct. 19, 2012 8:44 a.m.

    Henderson, NV

    I couldn't agree more. If they let him play they must let him into the hall. Plus it is true he was expelled! He's also practically begged the university to let him make up those credits.

  • MESOUTE Albany, NY
    Oct. 19, 2012 8:43 a.m.

    Getting credits from BYU is easy. Just ask Michael Oher of "The Blind Side" Fame who is the Right Tackle now for the Baltimore Ravens. Online courses in "Home-Ec" and "The Book of Alma" will get him the requisite 10 credits in no time at all.

  • dustman Nampa, ID
    Oct. 19, 2012 8:41 a.m.

    I want Tom Holmoe retired.

  • Wrong again American Fork, UT
    Oct. 19, 2012 8:39 a.m.

    I need to correct TheNun

    The Miracle Bowl (1980) was after Jim McMahon's junior year. He went on to play his senior season in 1981, missing only two games due to injury.

    I don't know if he was expelled after his senior year, but those who read your post may be tempted to pass it by when they see inaccurate information.

  • Ifel Of'a-sofa Alpine, Utah
    Oct. 19, 2012 8:33 a.m.

    From an Aggie... hang his number up, he deserves it.
    It is about a great athlete being honored, nothing more.
    You want to count his stats and all he acomplished for your school and you won't honor one of your greats?

    As far as the honor code, pull your heads out of the sand. I know and talk to a number of current players at BYU and hear story after story of CURRENT honor code violations that occur weekly that are not reported.

    It is about FOOTBALL, not grades or honor code or degree to have your number retired.

    Hates off to you Jim! and YES, I remember the HUGE fight the last time you played at Romney Stadium!

  • I-am-I South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 19, 2012 8:30 a.m.

    Obviously he was a great player. It just bothers me that byu probably compromised. Its principles a lot to have him stay there and here we are again with pondering compromising principles to let Jim have an honor just 10 credits short. Where I come from honors are earned. They aren't given out to people because we feel bad for them. Jim's had like 30 years to complete his degree., its only 10 credit that's only a part-time semester. Why doesn't Jim for once change himself instead of society changes for him?

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    Oct. 19, 2012 8:23 a.m.

    McMahon has always and I repeat always shown contempt for BYU. The rules are the rules. If he really wanted this he would have completed what was necassary to make it happen.

  • JmThms Henderson, NV
    Oct. 19, 2012 8:22 a.m.

    To those who say his jersey should not be retired and he should not enter the hall of fame because they ask "should he really be counted with the greats who were great AND followed the honor code rules?" I say the institution cannot have it both ways. If he was 'allowed' to play there then the institution endorsed his behavior enough to permit his play.

  • bradleyc Layton, UT
    Oct. 19, 2012 8:11 a.m.

    Of all the BYU quarterbacks I would take Jim McMahon over all the others in a pinch to win the game. He was an amazing leader with a swagger that we now lack at BYU. Come on Cougars, retire the jersey, give him an honorary degree. It needs to be done now.

  • TheNun Granstville, UT
    Oct. 19, 2012 7:52 a.m.

    typical hypocrisy once again at BYU.

    McMahon did not "leave" byu short 10 credit hours short of graduation. He was expelled the week after the Miracle Bowl game and was not given the chance to earn those 10 hours during spring semester.

    And, until that time, graduation was NOT part of the requirement for induction to the hall of fame at byu. That came after the expulsion.

    Now, they make a big deal of retiring his number, in the name of trying to cover up the fact the administration messed up by expelling Jimmy Mac, trying to save face in an otherwise embarrasing fiasco.

    None other than Dick Harmon wrote the article several years ago as he was promoting McMahon for inclusion into the hall of fame, in the name of erasing a hall of shame moment by byu.

  • midwestfan Spanish Fork, UT
    Oct. 19, 2012 7:47 a.m.

    Oh my goodness. Get it done--yesterday. This is an Athletic Hall of Fame--not a Comprehensive BYU or LDS hall of fame. And kudo's to Tom Holmoe for the courage to move forward on this.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Oct. 19, 2012 7:36 a.m.

    McMAHOn bragged about drinking and such at BYu. Seems to have gotten away with a lot or put on porbation numerous times. What he said about the institution could of effected the schools descision too. Happinwess Provo in rear view mirror.

  • cork Murray, UT
    Oct. 19, 2012 7:30 a.m.

    Holmoe, you should spend your time figuring out where to find a few new coaches! I loved watching McMahon play, too, but he doesn't represent what the school's values are. If you want to send the message that football values and the school's values are different, go for it. And while you're at it, explain it to the great athletes you've crucified along the way.

    Oct. 19, 2012 7:17 a.m.

    Jim McMahon did NOT graduate and his jersey number should NOT be retired. Retire Tom Holmoe instead.

  • gchris rock springs, wy
    Oct. 19, 2012 6:45 a.m.

    McMahon's number should be retired while he can still enjoy the day. And, Broom Hockey Champ, can you tell us which of the Honor Codes McMahon violated? Under the law, if a person isn't charged or convicted of a crime, it didn't happen. Along with Young, Detmer, Nielson, Wilson, et. al., McMahon defined "Quarterback U." He was a unique player and individual and he deserves to have his number retired and as soon as possible.

  • Common Cents Lehi, UT
    Oct. 19, 2012 12:34 a.m.

    Yes, Jimmy Mac needs his number up there.

    That stadium is largely there anyway because of him....not just Lavell.

    Tom, you have the fans support!!!

  • eagle Provo, UT
    Oct. 18, 2012 10:53 p.m.

    The time has come (a long time ago)...

  • Troy06 OREM, UT
    Oct. 18, 2012 10:29 p.m.

    Awesome. Finally some respect for the man.

    Chris why haven't you rained your comments here yet?

  • U 90 Corona, CA
    Oct. 18, 2012 8:37 p.m.

    it would be the right thing to do

  • DEW Cougars Sandy, UT
    Oct. 18, 2012 7:57 p.m.

    I remembered Jimmy Mac was really ticked at Marcus Allen who won the 1981 Heisman. I was disapointed Jimmy didn't win it. Thank you Tom Holmoe but the University is the one going to have to do the change to make it work. Jim deserve the BYU Hall of Fame soon. Interesting to what I read in Wikipedia that Jim was a Punter back in 1977 which was really surprising.

  • Proud Ute ,
    Oct. 18, 2012 7:11 p.m.

    It would be the classy thing to do and just might go a littl ways towards acknowledging that if BYU had promoted McMahon for the Heisman like they promoted those to follow he probably would have won it.
    Just ask Clay Brown....

  • Cincinnatus Kearns, UT
    Oct. 18, 2012 5:41 p.m.

    Even as a Utah Ute fan, I agree MacMahon's number should be retired. That was the heyday of BYU's passing attack and MacMahon took it to a whole new level. Give the man credit and retire his number and put him in the Hall of Fame. He deserves no less.

  • Broom Hockey Champ Scottsdale, AZ
    Oct. 18, 2012 5:17 p.m.

    As great as McMahon was, I don't think it sends the right message to the fans if BYU administration retires his #9.

    Over the years, I have loved watching replays of his games both at BYU and in the NFL and I feel bad for his current condition. However, should he really be counted with the greats who were great AND followed the honor code rules?

  • Montana Mormon Miles City, MT
    Oct. 18, 2012 5:13 p.m.

    Great idea! I was an undergrad and grad student at BYU between 1977 and 1982. Jim McMahon was an incredibly exciting player to watch and is an important part of that era of BYU football.

    That honor is long overdue. The sooner the better, Mr. Holmoe.

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Oct. 18, 2012 5:11 p.m.

    Should already have been done. A no brainer.

  • Zoniezoobie Mesa, AZ
    Oct. 18, 2012 5:01 p.m.

    Jim's hail mary to Clay Brown in the miracle 1980 Holiday Bowl is the all-time greatest play in BYU Football history, bar none. His number should go up without the degree!

  • MacNasty Rexburg, ID
    Oct. 18, 2012 4:58 p.m.

    Retire the jersey. It is time. Jim deserves it.