Comments about ‘BYU's Williams pleads not guilty to misdemeanor underage drinking charge’

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Published: Sunday, March 23 2014 6:15 p.m. MDT

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Tom in CA
Vallejo, CA

Here we go again?? Where there is smoke there is fire?

These young men need constant mentoring if they're going to stay out of trouble. I am one who is keeping his fingers crossed.

West Jordan, Utah

Wow, Jamaal Williams is still 18 years old. He runs the football like a man among boys, at least when playing Idaho, Middle Tennessee State and so on. No but seriously, the kid is a real talent and seems like a quality young man. If he is found guilty here, that would likely result in some sort of stiff honor code penalty, but I don't want to go there just yet.

Young people make mistakes. Heck, so do older people. It's tough with the honor code though. Yeah, if I was a BYU fan, I would probably be crossing my fingers here as well Tom in California. Jamaal Williams is a big part of the offense. But the Cougars should win 10 games and likely more with that soft schedule next year.

Hey Baby
Franklin, IN

No way J...

Say it ain't so

St. George, UT

Tradition! Spirit! Honor!

Salt Lake City, UT

How does the media get this information? Does the Deseret News hang out at the jail to see if any BYU athletes make a mistake, or does BYU notify the newspaper so there are no surprises later on? For the life of me I don't see why this has to be in the newspaper. If a young man makes a mistake, let him work it out with his coaches or whomever. Really I think it is none of my business (as a member of the community and local predominant religion) what these students do. Just one man's opinion.

Brave Sir Robin
San Diego, CA

I hope Utah fans will be wise and lay off the smack on this one. Police blotter smack is bad karma, and every university in the country is going to deal with something like this (or worse) sooner or later. Such is the nature of college kids.

Best wishes to this player - hope he can get his life in order.

There You Go Again
Saint George, UT

I thought BYU/DN was not going to report this stuff anymore.

South Jordan, UT

I so agree. Why is this a big headline? Let the school and the coaches work with this fine young man in private.

Orange County, CA

There You Go Again...

...not reading the article. This wasn't reported by BYU; it was picked up from the police report. The DN reported that BYU wasn't going to comment on honor code violations.

Uncle Rico
Provo, UT

Re: I thought BYU/DN was not going to report this stuff anymore.

This is a legal issue. In Utah county, his arrest information is public information.

Ed Grady
Idaho Falls, ID

Ooooops. Just curious, why is the Deseret News and the Tribune reporting the arrest of a minor? I thought the identity df a minor was supposed to be confidential.

Lindon, UT

This is being reported by those who are assigned to keep tabs of the police/court records. It's pretty common practice by reporters. BYU's not reporting anything pertaining to honor code issues but this is public record through the courts. I don't think this will be a huge deal with the honor code as far as being suspended from school. It will most likely involve some procedures of accounting and follow-through to show the right lessons are learned through both the HC office and the team/coaches. If I were Jamaal, I'd make sure I followed every detail of what I'm asked to do and move forward a better person. His biggest worry is probably facing his Mom-- a police officer and strict lady he respects-- a lot. That could be tough.

Darren Rowe
Heber City, UT

"I thought BYU/DN was not going to report this stuff anymore."

You're right with BYU, but DN never agreed to not report it. The purpose of their entire business is to find the inside information and report it.

As you can see with the article, there is no comment from Mendenhall, Holmoe, or anyone involved with BYU. They will follow the new policy unless Jamaal decides to personally announce what he did.

The one exception that BYU gave with their rule is if the police are involved in a criminal investigation, which would be this situation. So this story actually doesn't apply to BYU's policy of staying quiet on this.


This is a tough business for BYU and it most certainly will continue to be but all students enrolled at BYU are under obligation to keep the standards of the school and If this report is correct Jamal Williams did not make a mistake but he made a choice.

I don't like how often the word mistake is used in our language. Depending on the context, mistake often connotes non responsibility, ignorance of the obligation and/or excuse and calls for a dismissal of the wrong without full consequence. Mistakes have consequences too and are sometime very tragic but they are made without willful intent. An example of a mistake might be to add a pound of butter to a recipe when a 1/4 pound is needed or forgetting to carry the 1 in a simple math problem.

Choice is a word that is used far to little and like mistakes may have unintended consequences but even so, choices are made with willful intent for good or for bad and the chooser is left without excuse.

If the story is correct, I expect and hope for a future similar to Kyle Van Noy.

Weber State Graduate
Clearfield, UT

FOX reported it first. It puts the Deseret News in a difficult position if they don't report it...as if they are trying to lay cover for BYU.

Sugar City, ID

One thing for certain - Williams will know if people are trying to help him or exploit him.

Layton, UT

Kids do dumb things. If this is the worse thing he has done, I can live with that.

Centerville, UT

There is an awful lot of speculation going on here. He plead not guilty. Whatever happened to "innocent until proven guilty"? I am sure we will all find out whether or not he is guilty in the next few months and then decide if we will be judgmental or just not appoint ourselves to be his judge. I still believe that if all of our choices were in the headlines of the local newspaper, none of us would be completely happy to read about ourselves.

Northern, UT

Wow, he was fingerprinted and photographed for this? Was charged with a class B misdemeanor? Seems like an overreaction by Provo's finest. I guess that is what the law is, but still...seems a bit much. I mean he wasn't driving. According to UT's strict drinking laws he may have only had one drink or two. Seems like the over-zealous police force in Provo went a little over the top.

Provo, UT

At Williams age, the Utah law says it is a violation to possess or consume any amount of alcohol. This is one that is better left to the BYU and courts. Because a single swallow is enough to convict, the case could result in a conviction based on facts that are so minor that the University response could vary widely. There is no need to prove a certain blood alcohol level (though a breathalyzer is typically deployed), holding a beer in your hand is enough under the statute to convict, even if he never licks the rim (remember it is for illegal possession or consumption).

He has plead not guilty. I suggest that we wait to comment on much until the outcome of the case. Even then, we should offer our support to both Jamaal and to the coaches and administrations who will certainly impose sanctions if he is found guilty. I have prosecuted many of these cases and the outcomes can vary widely even if there is a plea. Sounds like a good case for a plea in abeyance (if there was indeed a convictable offense).

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