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Comments about ‘Dick Harmon: NCAA will tweak golf championships if Cougars advance past regional round’

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Published: Thursday, May 15 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Alpiner
Alpine, UT

Does anyone else find it a bit unsettling that BYU and the church celebrate their NFL members who all play on Sunday, even having Steve Young speak at a General Conference session while he was active in the NFL? I support the BYU Sunday stand but am a bit disturbed by the wink, nod, and mild idolization toward the members who play professional ball on Sundays.

Tajemnica
Santa Monica, CA

@Alpiner

Steve Young has never spoken in General Conference.

Mormon Ute
Kaysville, UT

Alpiner,

I don't recall either the Church officially celebrating members playing in any professional sport that requires Sunday play. The Church leaves career choice decisions up to each member and only asks that each do their best to maintain Church standards and that is not easy in the environment they are in.

Also, as Tajemnica pointed out, Steve Young has never spoken in General Conference.

Mormon Ute
Kaysville, UT

I applaud BYU for standing it's ground on this principle and I applaud the NCAA for being willing to accommodate this long held religious principle.

Balan
South Jordan, Utah

Not in the least. BYU, an institution of the Church does not participate in sporting events on Sunday. Never has never will.

The Church allows individuals to exercise their free agency when it comes to choosing a career. And not once have I heard the Church come out and criticize anyone whose career requires him / her to work on Sunday - including athletes.

I can't quite understand why this is so difficult for some to grasp.

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

The NCAA should not make this exemption. What if another religion didn't allow them to play sports on Saturdays, which is the Sabbath many people?

What if another group had theirs on Fridays?

God does not care if people play sports, watch tv, or go shopping on Sundays any more than if they do those things on Tuesdays. It doesn't matter.

And if someone disagrees, please show me where God ever said don't play sports on Sundays. And no, "obey the Sabbath" does not mean "don't play sports on Sunday"

SportsChemistry
ENGLEWOOD, CO

@ Chris B

Pope John Paul on Friday said Sunday should be a day for God, not for secular diversions like entertainment and sports.

"When Sunday loses its fundamental meaning and becomes subordinate to a secular concept of 'weekend' dominated by such things as entertainment and sport, people stay locked within a horizon so narrow that they can no longer see the heavens," the pontiff said in a speech to Australian bishops.

For reference, look up Deseret News "Sports-vs-the-Sabbath"

Technically, I guess it's not God's voice. But that's why he has living leaders, right?

tom2
Jerome, ID

@ Balan

While I agree with you that in all likelihood BYU will not ever play on Sunday: never say never. As much as this pains me to say it, Chris B points out the only salient argument in my opinion.

Different religions have different holy days. There was a player on the Los Angeles Dodgers that took grief a while ago for refusing to play on a Jewish high holy day during a pennant chase with the San Fransisco Giants. I just looked it up - Shawn Green twice refused to play on Yom Kippur, as did Sandy Koufax when he was scheduled to pitch game one of the 1965 world series.

It could cause chaos if all religious individuals or institutions were as adamant about not playing on their holy days as BYU is.

That being said, I still agree with Balan that it would be very shocking if BYU reversed course. They are held up as an example by parents and young sports participants all over the world and I imagine they take that responsibility very seriously.

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

SportsChemistry,

Even the quote from the pope does not say that sports shouldn't be played or watched on Sunday.

He says they shouldn't "dominate" other things in life including the spiritual. He very easily could have said that God does not want us to watch or play sports on Sundays ever, if that's how he felt. He did not say that. Let not put words in the Pope's mouth.

Thanks, want to try again? I still haven't seen where God said to not play or watch sports on Sunday.

Balan
South Jordan, Utah

tom2 - my argument wasn't that the NCAA should accommodate BYU. It was simply that BYU has not and in my opinion never will allow Sunday play. Is this a problem for BYU? No question. I foresee the day that BYU will be totally shut out from athletics due to its stance of not playing on Sunday.

BlueBaron
Murray, UT

Some other things that God never said:

1. It's Okay to put sports ahead of me, especially on Sunday, Saturday, or Friday
2. Being able to play sports on Sunday is a lot more important than your devotion to your God or what day you choose to worship
3. Work, shop or play any day you choose. It really doesn't matter to me
4. Man was made for Sundays. It's important to really show me what you can do on that day
5. "Wherefore the children of Israel shall NOT keep the sabbath, to NOT observe the sabbath throughout their generations, (SO THEY DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT A) perpetual covenant.

SportsChemistry
ENGLEWOOD, CO

@ Chris B

"He says they shouldn't "dominate" other things in life including the spiritual."

I apologize, I should have stated my perspective better. My thoughts are directed to the student athlete (and I suppose, the "Super Fans") But, your comment above is exactly what I was trying to get at. Can we really expect athletes to spend the proper amount of time to the service of the Almighty on the Sabbath if they are trying to mentally and physically prepare, play, and then recover from an activity that will last the better part of the day?

No words were put in the Pope's mouth. His message, at least as I interpret it, is clear. "Sunday is the supreme day of faith, an indispensable day, the day of Christian hope. Any weakening in the Sunday observance of Holy Mass weakens Christian discipleship."

Maybe competitive athletics improves Sunday worship, but I'm more inclined to think not.

Mormon Ute
Kaysville, UT

Chris,

Just because people don't follow Him, doesn't mean God didn't say it. God has said it through modern day Prophets and other religious leaders. You can choose to believe or not and to follow or not. Just don't try to pretend God didn't say it to justify your own choices.

rlsintx
Plano, TX

Chris B - the NCAA has accommodated Yeshiva University with non-Saturday/Sabbath play arrangements.

DEW Cougars
Sandy, UT

2004 Todd Miller forfeit Sunday play of Utah State Amateur Tournament. He should have never played this tournament in the first place even if he knew there would be a chance to play on Sunday. I am not a golf person but knew most golf tournament always play on Sundays. Golf should never skip a day. I think that is stupid that the ncaa would accomadate BYU Sunday Rule. Tournament should start anytime during mid week to close out the tournament on Saturday which I think should work. Or, I say for BYU should end golf entirely. Bring back Mens Gymnastic or Westling. But those two ACC and SEC are not making sense toward BYU.

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

rlsintx,

I wasn't suggesting the NCAA has ever done that, but more pointing out that this obviously needs to have its limitations. But since you couldn't see that I'll spell it out more clearly - I didn't think that was necessary but apparently it is.

Imagine there is a group that wants a religious exemption on Tuesday, another Wednesday, another Thursday, another Friday, another Saturday, and another Sunday. Furthermore, a different group wants an exemption on Mondays after noon. Thus, we are left from midnight Monday through 11:59 AM Monday to play all sporting events. Should accomdate all requests or do we just tell people "tough, deal with it. Its your decision to play or not."

The NCAA is not asking byu to play golf, or any sport for that matter. byu wants to field teams and therefore should be at the mercy of what the NCAA decides is best for sports.

Either that or don't cry if we eventually move all sporting events in all of collegiate athletics to 7AM Monday mornings.

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

Mormon ute,

You're attempt to justify your "prophet" speaking for God doesn't make it so any more than me speaking for God.

Sorry, if God had wanted to tell us not to play sports, he could have done that. He chose not to.

Blue Baron,

God never said those things about any other day of the week either, so there's no indication from God any of those things are worse on Sunday than they are any other day.

I could make up my own list of things not approved on Sunday, but they wouldn't be any less right or wrong than a list you make up.

Mormon Ute
Kaysville, UT

Chris,

The problem is, you don't think anyone speaks for God on the earth. Too bad. Your loss.

Mormon Ute
Kaysville, UT

Chris,

We also believe in religious freedom in this country. Not only does that give us the right to believe as we see fit, but it also means large public organizations cannot discriminate against those beliefs. So the NCAA is right to accommodate BYU and is abiding by the Constitution.

rlsintx
Plano, TX

Chris B.

I completely understood your point, but appreciate your clarification.

This is a country where religious practices and freedoms are a historically well entrenched part of the social moral fiber and being. I think it is an exceptional value the NCAA has preserved in recognizing that culture and made, and continue to make, allowances for those organizations which are tied to religious entities. It's a good thing.

How far is too far in regard to the possible variety of exceptions ? Well, parties willing to adapt to the desires of another such party and still compete would in my mind demonstrate outstanding sportsmanship. And, on their part if they are demonstrably onerous, good sportsmanship on the part of the restrictive side to withdraw in some situations as well rather than encumber others.

It can be worked out.

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