Comments about ‘Guest commentary: It’s OK if BYU fans want to pay for a church football team’

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Published: Monday, Aug. 18 2014 1:20 p.m. MDT

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Cedar Hills, UT

college football is changing and BYU won't be able to justify playing much longer. That is a fact. There is strong talk of sunday play with the new playoff system and that will only increase as the playoffs expand. The fact that the Y can't get into a conference is also a big deal since survival is really dependent on getting into a conference. BYU is not Notre Dame and can't continue much longer as an independent. The program will decline quickly so I suspect the general authorities have to weigh in the fact that what good is a football program that can't compete nationally anymore.Does it serve the Church or the school to have a mediocre program? My guess is the answer will eventually be no.

It was fun while it lasted - especially from 1977 to 2010.

Lifelong Ute
Salt Lake City, UT

"Why is it OK for states across the nation to consider paying more to their university football team’s players, but once the discussion shifts to a church-owned school, top-level football has to go because of the moral implications of it all?"

As a Mormon Ute fan, I agree 100%. If its wrong for a church to subsidize athletics and use the tithes of their members to do so, its also wrong for a state to do so using while having the burden on the taxpayers.

I'd say its even MORE wrong for a state school to do so, as tithes are voluntary, taxes are not.

And YES, taxpayers are subsidizing the athletics programs at the U. Anyone who thinks otherwise has their head in the clouds. The university has to subsidize our athletics department because revenues from athletics are less than their expenses.

At the end of the day - I'm ok the state and university do this, but its no less wrong for a church school to do so either.

St. George, UT

It's time for state's to stop the subsidizing of athletic programs now. We need that money going to student scholarships to help with the cost of getting an education. I thought that is what a University is for. I agree with the writer on everything but one statement. If the church leaders want to use my tithing money for BYU sports, I would support that. It is a good missionary/ PR tool for the church. I freely pay tithing and the church has shown that they are responsible with the use of those "sacred" dollars. The government has never shown that it is responsible with my taxes. I do not freely pay that, but I am forced to do it. I already pay way too much and do not want to continue to subsidize olympic sports.

Springville, UT

If you actually really believe the comment you just made , you surely have your head buried in the sand.I can assure you BYU football is going nowhere but onward and upward moving forward. In fact you will hear news regarding this in the near future that Y haters like you are not going to like.

Herbert Gravy
Salinas, CA

What is the difference between spending money on the missionary program and spending money on BYU athletics. Isn't the end objective the same?

Y Grad / Y Dad
Richland, WA

Is anybody else un-okay with a call to do something, like discontinue BYU's football program, based on unprovable hypotheses about what may or may not happen in the future?

Jimbo Low

Reply to Patriot:
I think your imminent or eventual decline of the BYU football program would elate Ute fans everywhere, but it is not happening. The BYU Football program is here to stay and will not be derailed by changes in the system.
Sunday play is the LAST thing that will be a concern. BYU is not the only school with morals left and the system will accommodate this. As far as not competing nationally--BYU has tens of thousands of recruiters going two by two worldwide that will ensure the pipeline of great players to the BYU sports programs will continue.

West Jordan, UT

The only people predicting the imminent demise of the BYU athletics program are the haters who have personal fantasies about that happening. NOBODY else is talking like this in any way likely to occur. On the contrary, BYU is investing more and more in the exposure of its athletics programs as time goes on. Will they be able to keep up with the P5 conferences? Perhaps not, but this does not mean they are going to throw it all away and demolish LES or the MC, as much as the haters would love to see that happen. BYU fans will be singing "Rise and Shout, the Cougars are out on the trail to fame and glory!" for many years to come.

Phoenix, AZ


"Does it serve the Church or the school to have a mediocre program?"

Using this same logic, does it serve the state of Utah to have a mediocre program, because that's what UofWho is. Inconsistent at best and lucky for two years at worst. When decisions are actually made, then teams can react, but until then, to ring the death knell for a program is not only desperate, but ridiculous.

American Fork, UT

There is NO CHANCE that BYU drops sports - it's almost silly to suggest that.

Now I imagine our Ute friends will all harp on closing down the sports program - but that's because they hate BYU and not because they are being sincere. Honestly, the idea is without merit.

As a booster of BYU, I know for a fact that as far as missionary tools the church has, the top three are as follows:

1. General Conference
2. Mormon Tabernacle Choir
3. BYU Sports (mainly football)

Again, there is NO CHANCE that they discontinue sports at BYU. IF anything, I think they'll promote it even more.

Rest assured my Ute friends, BYU will be here long term!

San Antonia, TX

The Alamo is still standing and I don't think College Football is going anywhere either!

Marysville, WA

Yes there are certainly BYU haters who gorge their fantasies with thoughts of BYU sports dying, but I think the real reason many Ute fans would love to see BYU drop sports is because they consider it would help in the recruiting battle, with all those state-of-Utah and LDS athletes who now choose BYU. The U certainly needs something to compete in the recruiting battle with all the other PAC schools.

And I state again for the umpteenth time that this plan to take collegiate sports even more into the quasi-professional realm is a terrible idea. On this path, in 10 years the NCAA will have killed college sports for everyone.

Salt Lake City, UT

Gregory Welch "Why is it OK for states across the nation to consider paying more to their university football team’s players?"

States are not considering paying JUST their football players. They are considering paying ALL their athletes, including men's and women's basketball, women's gymnastics, women's softball, men's baseball, etc.

"If fans of BYU want to pay for their football team, what’s wrong with that?"
Nothing -- as long as fans ALSO pay for basketball, gymnastics, softball... and BYU can only do that if their conference (WCC) chooses that path.

Eagle Mountain, UT

College football moving to Sunday play? What proof is there that will happen? It sounds ridiculous to me in a business stand point. College football will be competing with the NFL when it comes to attracting eyeballs on TV and we know who will win that battle. College football will lose money moving to Sundays. Saturdays will give them the most profit. Suggesting Sunday play is point without merit. BYU has nothing to worry about in this area.

Provo, UT

This was actually a level-headed and thought out column about what could possibly happen at BYU. No blatant homerism or doomsday prophecies. Nice change. I'm part of the crowd who doesn't care that athletes can get paid. I don't think this will ruin the sport any more than the BCS and NCAA had in the last 5-10 years. And hopefully this would eliminate situations like the U getting in trouble because Coach Majerus took a kid to dinner after his dad died.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

"....The last thing the LDS Church needs to be operating is a quasi-professional football team....”
- Brad Roick

Kind of late for a sports writer to come to that realization. NCAA football has long been essentially semi-pro and virtually everyone knows it, including the LDS Church.

Christopher B
Ogden, UT

SoonerUte - BYU, however, unlike the state schools, could choose to just pay their football players. You are incorrect that they would have to pay for gymnastics and softball as well.

Vancouver, BC

BYU's football does and will continue to enjoy a financial surplus. I'd be more worried if I was amongst the greater than 75% of football programs that currently run a deficit and will have to indirectly beg taxpayers for more money.

Cottonwood Heights, UT

Is BYU football really a good missionary tool? Being LDS myself I'd argue that it does as much harm as it does good. So though another poster on this thread mentioned that he/she would have no problem with tithing dollars going to BYU football, myself and others might strongly disagree.

Brave Sir Robin
San Diego, CA

@Herbert Gravy

"What is the difference between spending money on the missionary program and spending money on BYU athletics. Isn't the end objective the same?"

The difference is, one is effective and one isn't. The missionary program brings 250k people into the church every year. BYU athletics doesn't. Aside from the occasional non-LDS athlete who joins the church while at BYU, you can't name a single person who joined the church because of BYU sports. But there are lots of people - I can name several I've met - who say they will never join the church because of the actions of BYU players and fans during sports contests. Like it or not, sports bring out the worst in people (look at these message boards, for example)....not the image you want to project if you're trying to be successful in missionary work.

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