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BYU football: Linebacker Zac Stout returns to Cougars with new focus, attitude

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  • cougala Akron, OH
    March 23, 2014 11:28 a.m.

    To many people who don't understand BYU's process for advancing and keeping athletes, you will hear things like the punishment didn't fit the act; and by fans who are so obsessed about voicing so-called "sports" opinions about a person they know nothing about, I say to all of them read the words of people who do understand. There's much more than what meets the eye and it's been very, very difficult for these high profile boys to suddenly be thrown in a media frenzy these days. Zac's come-back involved more than any of you will ever know, so the support for him is not only needed, but appreciated by him and his family as they try continuously to keep all the negative hoopla at bay for him. Thank you Cougar Fans!

  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    March 22, 2014 11:53 p.m.

    @outside
    Makes a huge difference when police are involved. BTW way, I think it is inaccurate to state Bronco likes fights in practice. My guess is that if a scrap erupts the whistle sounds and the scrap is immediately broken up. To blow this out of proportion seems to be the case here.

  • WA_Alum&Dad Marysville, WA
    March 22, 2014 11:25 p.m.

    I didn't expect we'd see Zac again: I thought he'd bail. I'm glad to be wrong. It appears he will be much better for the experience. This kind of response from BYU athletics and students is what keeps me a rabid BYU fan through thick and thin. Best to you, #10

  • GD Syracuse, UT
    March 22, 2014 11:00 p.m.

    Don't read too much into Coach Mendenhall liking fights in practice. You're not there and sometimes a play on words is easy to do. Good luck Zac

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    March 22, 2014 8:15 p.m.

    I think this is the first time I've liked Chris B's comment on a BYU sports article (I usually like his comments on political articles-- keep it going, Chris!).

    I am glad Zac got a chance to play with the team again. I really like how players like Zac and KVN chose to stick with BYU despite how difficult the situation was for them considering BYU's honor code. How a person handles a situation like this says a lot about their character.

  • Outside-View Federal Way, WA
    March 22, 2014 7:34 p.m.

    I dont know the full details of the legal aspect of this public fight. However, it appears the primary mistake this guy made is that his fight was in public rather than during football practise. As has been reported recently, Coach Mendenhall likes to see fights break out among players during practise to show how hard they are working. Can one type of fight really be that much different than another? Is it really a matter of public perception?

    Anyway, glad to see this player come back. Hopefully, he will remember that "time and place" make all the difference at BYU.

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    March 22, 2014 6:27 p.m.

    Runnerguy
    "If it were not for the fact that this kid plays football he would never be on campus again."

    Nonsense. If it weren't for the fact he was a football player his disciplinary sentence probably would have been significantly lighter.
    With regular Joe Student, nobody knows except maybe HC office. With a high profile student athlete in the public eye, everybody knows and thus more public pressure for stricter discipline.

  • stampederus Ephraim, UT
    March 22, 2014 2:46 p.m.

    For the first time on this comment board, I agree with Chris B. Please stick with your reasoned and positive comments.

  • Cougarista Salt Lake City, UT
    March 22, 2014 12:28 p.m.

    Glad for BYU football that Zack has returned. Glad for Zack that he is at BYU.

  • Rocket Science Brigham City, UT
    March 22, 2014 11:51 a.m.

    Not true runner guy. While the incident was egregious even though the players were baited into a terrible situation they never should have been in, Zac actually had as severe and probably even more severe punishment than a non-high profile student/representative of the University would have had.

    I wish everyone could know how LDS bishops and BYU Standards Committee work with people separate from Team Rules. Individual redemption is always paramount. Much like a Disciplinary Council, penalties imposed are intended to redeem rather than to permanently reject, discard and forget.

    What we don't know about is any Young Men who are still being spiritually supported, and encouraged even after they have left and not returned due to infractions happening near the end of their eligibility. The Coach, his staff and or others at the University are concerned about the lost ones and their long term redemption.

  • Scores Idaho Falls, ID
    March 22, 2014 11:48 a.m.

    runnerguy50
    "Redemption is a wonderful thing"
    I have personally had experience in the church education system and I've seen many many students make positive changes in their lives and return to the university. Not one of them was a football player or on one of the athletic teams. A foot on campus is better than a foot in the mouth.

  • Levin Reno, NV
    March 22, 2014 10:23 a.m.

    Not sure why, given the strength of the linebackers over the past years, but I've overlooked Coach Tidwell. Good to hear this story about him as well as Zac Stout.

  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    March 22, 2014 10:01 a.m.

    @runnerguy
    Just a bit of forgiveness is all the Savior asks of us...all the time. Put that in the bank a few time and you and I will get some back in return. I really like how these coaches did not throw this young man under the bus. Others like KVN, and Brandon Davies are young men who were supported through their mistakes and have done very well. I have four adult age sons who get support and strength from leaders, professors, Bishops etc. None are married yet and we pray for them every day.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    March 22, 2014 9:59 a.m.

    Runner guy, of course bringing him back has been in the works a long time. That's what happens. He got kicked off the team over a year and a half ago. This wasn't some wimpy 1 game suspension. He had to go through the legal system and a long(it's been over a year) process to get good with byu and honor code.

    That's what I like about how byu handles problems. They don't use the cop out of "everyone deserves another chance" as justification for a weak 1 game suspension. This was serious and making a kid sit a year is more serious than just about any college would have handled it.

  • Chase Saint George, UT
    March 22, 2014 9:56 a.m.

    I like the part of the story that tells what year he is in school/how much eligibility he has left and how that might play out with the other players/positions...

  • PG #1 FAN Lindon, UT
    March 22, 2014 9:50 a.m.

    @runnerguy 50

    He got in a fight, and the kid he fought with kind of got the best of it. He's a college kid and he made a mistake. Nobody was seriously injured, except maybe Zacs' pride and life goes on. Congrats to Coach Tidwell for being there for the kid and showing support. It was the lifeline that he needed at that moment and now hes got done what was required to get back. Good luck Zac, stick to football. you don't have a career waiting in cage fighting.

  • BB Santaquin, UT
    March 22, 2014 9:09 a.m.

    It is great to see these young men who have problems come back and realize there is more to life than banging heads on the football field. Congratulations Zac. Also a congratulation for the coaches who help these young men see their life potential as much as football potential.

  • dyc Vernal, UT
    March 22, 2014 8:59 a.m.

    I haven't made it through a day yet when I haven't made a mistake, and haven't met anyone else yet who has either. Glad to hear you're turning a mistake into a positive. BYU is fortunate to have you back.

  • oddman ,
    March 22, 2014 8:35 a.m.

    Another young man who seems to have found himself. This is the absolute best thing about athletics. Changing the potential of mind and body into excellence .

  • idablu Idaho Falls, ID
    March 22, 2014 7:53 a.m.

    If he is healthy, Stout can be very, very good. He could fill in very nicely at MLB.

  • runnerguy50 Virginia Beach, Va
    March 22, 2014 7:50 a.m.

    I'm not sure I agree with Bronco on this one. It sounds like bringing this kid back was in the works the whole time if the asst coach kept in contact with the player. That was an ugly incident and warranted being kicked out of the school for good. If it were not for the fact that this kid plays football he would never be on campus again.

  • buryme Mesa, AZ
    March 22, 2014 7:01 a.m.

    This has the makings of a very excellent feel good story. Best of luck Zac. Redemption is a wonderful thing.

  • SLCWatch Salt Lake City, UT
    March 22, 2014 2:21 a.m.

    I for one looked forward to Zack's career. I while appreciate more the upward trend in his life... which after all is said and done is the whole purpose of football, college, careers and living on earth. Welcome back Zac, were all pulling for you.

  • poyman Lincoln City, OR
    March 22, 2014 1:15 a.m.

    I love these turn around stories... Sports and great coaches can make a major impact in a young man's life that is far more important than winning football or basketball games... I wish the best for you Mr. Stout and I will look forward to following you as a fan.