Dan Lund, for the Deseret Morning News
BYU player Rafael Araujo's tattoos are apparent at a November game.

PROVO — Image-conscious Brigham Young University on Wednesday decried allegations that images of student athletes have been altered in school publications.

The BYU official who for the past five years has overseen publications for the university's athletic department insists that photographs have not been changed to erase tattoos from bulging biceps or cover exposed midriffs.

But that's news to Lisa Antonelli, a member of the school's cross-country team.

Antonelli told the Deseret Morning News that her image was changed for the cover of a booklet of information the LDS Church-owned school produced for her sport.

"That isn't my body," Antonelli said. "I don't wear those spikes."

Antonelli said BYU officials wanted her photo next to her teammate's on the cover of the 2003 women's cross-country media guide.

On the cover is a photo of runners at the 2002 Mountain West Conference championship race. Antonelli, however, fell back in the pack during the race.

But her face appears on the body of a teammate who was running ahead of her.

Dave Broberg, BYU's athletic publications director, said his group never alters photos, except for shading the occasional facial blemish.

Yet in Antonelli's case the image was changed. Broberg said a student assistant altered the photo so all four runners could appear in the same frame.

"By the time I found out it had already been printed," Broberg said.

But Broberg — responding to a story in Wednesday's Salt Lake Tribune saying BYU's media guide for the men's basketball team had a "doctored image" of forward Rafael Araujo — said he does not change an athlete's appearance significantly in a photo.

"If you go to a game, you're going to see them," he said. "We're not trying to alter the truth."

A photo in the media guide shows Araujo — without the tattoo he sports this year.

However, the image was taken last year, before he got inked, said Duff Tittle, BYU associate athletic director for communications.

Tittle admits photos have been altered in the past when he oversaw athletic publication. "We put forth the best image for the university," Tittle said.

This year, though, it's not hard to spot players' tattoos in the media guide.

In fact, 14 different pages show players with tattoos. Another two pages show midriffs on women.

BYU policy permits students to have tattoos but counsels against getting them while studying at the university.

Getting one while student does count as an Honor Code infraction.

"It's extremely rare for a student to be suspended for dress and grooming violations," Jenkins said.

In Araujo's case, Jenkins only responded that the situation had been "dealt with."

"Our goal is to counsel with them," Jenkins said. "Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of the time that is all that is needed."


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