Utah Utes football: Linebacker Nai Fotu suspended after arrest

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  • MiP Iowa City, IA
    Feb. 23, 2011 6:47 p.m.

    Wow. Tough case. Best wishes, Nai.

  • Al Bundy murray, ut
    Feb. 23, 2011 2:02 p.m.

    probably never plays again at Utah? Coach Whit will do what is best for the player, hopefully everything work out in a positive?

  • Cali Coug Visalia, CA
    Feb. 23, 2011 11:31 a.m.

    We hope all goes well for Nai...

  • Duckhunter American Fork, UT
    Feb. 23, 2011 8:46 a.m.

    I have no doubt Whittingham will ultimately handle this properly. For now he has suspended the kid and that was the proper thing to do. With a little bit of time to analyze it he will undoubtedly make the final decision properly as well.

  • rogerdodger Logan, UT
    Feb. 23, 2011 7:50 a.m.

    Regardless of what parents say or coaches say or the law says, people are going to make mistakes. I think Bronco and K Whit are both great at handling their players. I don't know everything that goes into these decisions by the coaches on what to do with players that get in trouble. I do think though that Bronco and Whit will make the best decisions for all involved.

  • True Ute Holladay, UT
    Feb. 23, 2011 12:32 a.m.

    Re:dueling banjos

    The coaches and staff at the U put emphasis on academics everyday. Coach Whitt constantly reminds the players that although they are playing football and many of them are on scholarship, their first and main goal is to achieve good grades and graduate. The players are constantly reminded that they can't play football for their whole lives and that they need life skills to go into the real world. They are also constantly reminded to live within the rules because there are consequences and everything they do reflects not only on the team, but the entire university. I won't lie to myself, I know rules are broken, but rules being broken is no reflection on a lack of teaching and educating by the Utah coaches.

  • Big Daddy Ute Logan, UT
    Feb. 22, 2011 8:39 p.m.

    Mr. Fotu needs rehab and fast. This is not the first time for this young man. Time for him to get his addiction behind him. Oh, by the way, if he is able to get cleaned up to the teams safisfaction, let him back on the team and compete in fall camp. If he refuses to clean up, don't hold a spot for him. Everyone, even Zoob players, deserve a second chance. Don't blow if Nai.

  • Duh west jordan, ut
    Feb. 22, 2011 6:57 p.m.

    @hedgehog.....no one beats their chest more than you do. @Ted H and anyone else beating their chests about any of these young men and their situations...welcome to life. BYU students do it, Utah Students do it, every University has its aches and pains when it comes to individuals like this. It is up to the University to get all the facts and make a decision. Too bad these guys have to do this to themselves. It is an individual decision, not a University decision that these guys make and they have to pay the price. In reality, it is sad to see such talent go to waste. I hope this young man can learn from his mistakes and make a difference in his life not only for himself but his family around him.

  • Utes001 Magna, UT
    Feb. 22, 2011 5:25 p.m.

    I'm as die-hard a Ute fan as there is to be found and in terms of life-mistakes I'm all about second chances; goodness knows I've been given plenty in my life. That being said, this seems to be a recurring problem for this kid.

    Putting aside for a moment the "black-eye" this kind of stuff can be for the program, I am of the opinion that he needs to learn a hard lesson here. With that, if he genuinely learns that hard lesson then I am all for giving the kid another chance. Although, on the flip-side of things athletes and especially high-level athletes generally think that they are above the rules. So, it is good for these high-level athletes; across the board, to see one of "their own" take a fall once in a while.

    That being said, Fotu's might be just a case of "getting caught" while others do not. I hope he sobers up and learns a lesson from this, regardless of whether or not he dons the crimson and white again. More importantly, I am grateful that his stupid mistake didn't hurt anyone but him.

  • Toonces the Cat Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 22, 2011 5:02 p.m.

    Hopefully he can get his life in order. Sounds like he has some things to work on. Blood alcohol of almost 3 times the limit and backwards on the freeway, Yikes.

  • dueling banjos salt lake city, ut
    Feb. 22, 2011 2:34 p.m.

    why do we always give special privilege to these guys who play a child game for a kings mansion ...they come and go each year. Notre Dame actually has a program to intergrate the graduating seniors back into society. Why because they have been pampered and babied all the lives...not all of them granted , the team captain never would come close to this. It's the team commitment with the team that counts...wise decisions need to be taught way back when ..not expectation that its a right to play rather it is a privilege...alot of money and very few go on ...academics , humanity, all the good things they could doing for others is so self centered I like the girl' s comments on the byu guy cuz you are all that playing a kids game...while those with the real talent to make a better world get passed ...the u was terrible

  • Jeff ls Farr West, 84404
    Feb. 22, 2011 12:44 p.m.

    Wow, another Athlete taking a stupid pill. What really hurts he was going to be a senior. How sad. I think KW did the right thing. What about a red shirt or grey shirt year? I am a BYU Fan but I do not like reading about these kinds of problems even if it is Utah players. The young man has a problem that may be deeper than is realized. .215 is way beyond just partying. I hope KW can help him. Can his playing be salvaged in some way. A DUI happened at BYU with an incoming freshman and he was not allowed to enter school for 1 year. Another young man who was a senior and got stupid with his girl friend and was kicked out last year. Luckily he was good enough to catch on with the Bears. I guess I do not understand why these kids suddenly get really stupid. I hope it can be worked out so his life isn't totally disrupted. It is interesting that many coaches around the country are really cracking down on stupid. Hedge, do you let your kids get plastered? Is there consequences?

  • coconut Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 22, 2011 12:16 p.m.

    Dang it Nai, what the heck ???

  • moodyblue77 Provo, UT
    Feb. 22, 2011 11:27 a.m.

    The most important thing to worry about here Fotu himself. He has a problem he cannot control. Let's all hope he can get into a treatment program and then get back on the field.

    I'm sure he has people looking out for him. Let's just hope he makes it.

  • Big_Ben Centerville, UT
    Feb. 22, 2011 11:05 a.m.

    @Davis and @Jarka-rus

    the irony of your posts is almost too much. I doubt you caught it yourselves.

  • jarka-rus Layton, Utah
    Feb. 22, 2011 10:39 a.m.

    Davis | 10:21 a.m. Feb. 22, 2011
    Kaysville, UT
    No kidding all you Utesie whiners, wow. this guy does not play for BYU, Bronco does not need to know how he would handle this situation. Previous BYU players are not condemned by this guys actions.

    He plays for Utah
    Is enrolled at Utah
    and has a scholarship from Utah
    Why does BYU's athletic program need to care about this?

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 22, 2011 10:33 a.m.



    Every major college sports program has things like this happen from time to time. That's why they all have rules to deal with it. Some have stronger rules than others.

    We are talking about college kids here who are still figuring out life. Most of them still can't see the big picture or how their behavior today will affect them and others in the long term. It has nothing to do with one school's rules being better than another's.

  • Davis Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 22, 2011 10:21 a.m.

    Hey vegasUte and all other yewt fans. This is not about byu. So why do you have to allways drag byu into it. Its about your boy drinking abd driving get getting caught.

  • Truth Machine Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 22, 2011 9:31 a.m.


    Hedgehog bashes the DN because he's trying to take the focus off of the real issue, a Utah football player with a serious alcohol abuse problem.

    Fotu has a serious problem and the fact that he had a similar issue in 2009 raises real concerns about whether he needs to take an extended or permanent break from football to deal with his problem.

  • Big_Ben Centerville, UT
    Feb. 22, 2011 9:18 a.m.

    -Its really silly to compare who has committed what sins, when they did it, and how it was handled by the coaches. If it makes you feel better to know that your coach handles a situation better (in your mind) than your rival's coach........well........you ought to get a life.

    -Nai made a bad decision. Hopefully, he can get his life on track. I know that right now Kyle Whittingham is not thinking about Nai as a player or how this impacts his defense, he is only worried about Nai Fotu the person. And that person needs help. He is fortunate that he didn't hurt or kill someone. He will suffer stiff consequences, but hopefully he can turn his life around.

  • sports-junkie West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 22, 2011 9:12 a.m.


    Facts are important.

    KVN sat an entire season before he played at BYU. He should have been a freshman in '09. Bronco gave him the opportunity to transfer but he didnt want to.

  • Cougars1 Bluffdale, UT
    Feb. 22, 2011 9:07 a.m.

    rogerdodger, nice stretch. Van Noy was a senior in high school when this happened. He wasn't even at BYU, but he was told he would have to wait a year before he could even apply for admittance. Apples and oranges. Hopefully Fotu can get some things worked out and be back to playing football in a year as well.

  • rogerdodger Logan, UT
    Feb. 22, 2011 8:08 a.m.

    Is Kyle Van Noy recent enough for you BYU fans? Did he not get a DUI in Reno? I saw him on the field this year. The fact of the matter is that these are young men who make mistakes regardless of what program they play for. Hopefully they will learn from it and hopefully as fans we can let them move on.

  • bgl Santa Monica, CA
    Feb. 22, 2011 7:23 a.m.

    Get it together Nai Fotu. Not for the sake of the Utes chances--or for the chance to play in the NFL--or for any other worldly reason, but for your own sake. You are a good kid and you've taken a fall. The measure of a man is how he responds to situations like this (and, perhaps teaches others to do the same). I don't care if you come back and become all-conference for the Utes or if you never play another down--LEARN FROM THIS! Good luck and keep your head up!

  • Tommy2Shoes Lehi, UT
    Feb. 22, 2011 3:53 a.m.

    Get the man some help. He could have killed himself or others. This young man needs to have some serious intervention before he ruins his life. Thankful that an officer did his duty protecting our community. Most football programs have some drinking issues that need to be addressed and curbed.

  • AZnewser Snowflake, AZ
    Feb. 21, 2011 10:52 p.m.

    I recently asked the county prosecutor for leniency for a young man that had been arrested for DUI. I explained his sad, unusual circumstances. Her response? They all have unusual circumstances, drunk drivers kill people.

  • Cougar Claws Lindon, UT
    Feb. 21, 2011 8:45 p.m.

    Why do we have to make every article a fight article about who is righteouser and wickeder? Humans are humans, at BYU or Utah. The kid was arrested, and Coach Whitt suspended him. That is what he should have done, and that is what he did. What's past is past with how other situations have been handled. What's important is how situations are handled going forward. I don't think Coach Whitt did anything wrong in how he handled the situation.

    This only hurts the young man. Bashing him doesn't help. Now let's leave the debates about football.

  • KamUte South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 21, 2011 8:42 p.m.

    Ted H and Vegas Ute are immature.

    The fact of the matter is that a young person made a huge mistake. He could of hurt himself and others. Whitt made a decision to suspend. The kid either gets his life together and moves on or he'll have more issues. The kid needs help. Football is an afterthought. Whitt won't simply let him back because he needs a good linebacker. If he comes back, it is because he changed for the better. Let's hope he changes for the better whether he plays or not.

  • Veritas Aequitas Fruit Heights, UT
    Feb. 21, 2011 8:38 p.m.

    Discipline decisions are University and coaches' decisions.

    What's the beef?

    The kid made a mistake, and hopefully will be able to mend his life.

    It's whiney for Utah fans to tell BYU how to handle. It's whiney for BYU fans to tell Utah fans how to handle.

    Geez, follow your own schools...

  • Jordan Lynchburg, VA
    Feb. 21, 2011 7:59 p.m.

    Cougars1, sometimes you have to look to your own side, too. Ted H. is right there with Vegasute and Hedgehog. But I agree with you, they all need to grow up.
    And for Ted H., you also have a very, very limited vocabulary. It typically consists of, "I hate Utah, I hate Utah!!! That's all I've read out of you so far, at least. And to say that typical Utes have awful grammar is a very sad and terrible generalization. I respect you, you just need to do a little bit of growing up, along with Hedgehog and VegasUte, and many others on this board. Maybe we all should just cheer for our teams, and not say anything to the other teams unless it is a congratulations.

  • PAC man Anaheim, CA
    Feb. 21, 2011 5:46 p.m.

    Ted H.

    Stop picking on hedgehog's roomie. He may leave cheetos in the couch cushions, but, he's really a nice guy. Besides, he plays for Utah, so, as far as hedgehog is concerned, he walks on water. This is only a minor misunderstanding that will all be sorted out before fall practice begins.

  • Cougars1 Bluffdale, UT
    Feb. 21, 2011 5:30 p.m.

    From what I hear Utah is deep enough at linebacker this should not hurt the quality of the team this year. Whitt made a tough decision. Hopefully the kid can get his head straight and get back on the field. He's a real talent.

    Hedge and Vegasute, grow up.

  • Cougar in Texas Houston, TX
    Feb. 21, 2011 5:29 p.m.


    Actually, Marquis Wilson did play again and was dismissed the following season after his second infraction.

    I am sure you know the truth about Shiloah Teo's case, but choose to ignore it in an effort to score points. To summarize, as soon as Mendenhall found out about Teo's citation, he took action. What was the action against Fotu after his first offense in 2009?

    Isolated from the Ute fan comments, I hope Fotu gets things together for his own personal growth. I have no problem with how Whittingham disciplines his players.

  • Cougar in Texas Houston, TX
    Feb. 21, 2011 5:23 p.m.

    Vegas Ute,
    Trevor Molini played back in the mid 1980s. You have to go back 25 years to find an example?

  • Where's Stockton ??? Bowling Green, OH
    Feb. 21, 2011 5:21 p.m.

    Well that's one way to start the exposure bang in the PAC. I'm sure that everyone will soon take note. Gives Whittingham something to talk about during the off Season to sparkplug the team going into Spring Practice.

  • JoeBA Pleasant Grove, ut
    Feb. 21, 2011 5:20 p.m.

    The only decent comments on this board are ones not involving BYU or Utah coaches and whatever else a little hate can stir up. Why do we rejoice in weakness of a young man that can be very damaging in his life if not checked? Oh, yeah, so we can semi-anonymously attack a few hundred thousand students and fans of a rival. fans of both sides--grow up.

  • Clear Thinker Draper, UT
    Feb. 21, 2011 4:33 p.m.

    Why are BYU players being talked about on an article involving a Ute player? Some of you ladies just can't help your no matter how ridiculous your rants are. The fact is people make mistakes and this kid will be punished accordingly by the coach. I am sure he will be consistent considering the situation just like BYU has been consistent considering their situations. For all the hypocrites out there, look in the mirror and fix yourself.

  • In My Humble Opinion South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 21, 2011 4:26 p.m.

    I'm with motorbike on this one. It takes ZERO class to turn this into a "who is standing on higher ground" debate when this is about a kid's life.

  • motorbike Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 21, 2011 3:51 p.m.

    Some real maturity around here.

  • Floyd Johnson Broken Arrow, OK
    Feb. 21, 2011 3:44 p.m.

    Jim McMahon was a long time ago. Research how BYU has managed these situations since '99. BYU's reaction has been very consistent and predictable.

    "Explains" may be a better word than "justifies." No justification is required for what appears to be a reasonable decision.

    We all appreciate the coach taking a quick and clear position on this situation. I join you in wishing Fotu the best. I hope this provides the impetus to change that Fotu required. It is certainly an example to under-classmen.

  • Ted H. Midvale, UT
    Feb. 21, 2011 3:31 p.m.


    When did I say I know what Whit did?

    Your buddy Andrew is the one who said what Whit does. Need a reminder?

    From his post:
    "The last two players that committed a crime while on Utah, they never suited up in a Utah uniform again."

    My response: According to what Andrewboy says Whit does, he never would have suited up again for Utah right?

    Did he suit up for Utah after his crime in 2009?

    And following typical yewt fashion, congrats on your tremendous English skills("Whitt did or did not due"

    "Due" Are you serious? No - that's not a typo.

    That's called not going to freshman(make that first grade) English.

    Are you really that yewt player who so eloquently put it before getting hammered by Boise "They them girlse state they them bunch cheerleaders."

    Coaches should DUE(that's for you)better and improve their class checks on you this coming semester.

  • Thriller Saint George, UT
    Feb. 21, 2011 3:26 p.m.

    That's too bad, I was hoping he would come in and be a big contributor this year. He may have just lost millions of dollars in future NFL salary if he doesn't get back on track.

  • VegasUte Las Vegas, NV
    Feb. 21, 2011 3:09 p.m.

    Ted H: Unlawful possession of alcohol by a minor and public urination in Utah County? That would have eliminated a great percentage of the zoo players by the mythical "honor" code, to include Jimbo McMahon and (blue chipper) Trevor Molini had the zoo coaches not chosen to look the other way. The last I saw, most universities do not suspend players for misdemeanors, especially if they happen in Happy Valley!!

    Go Utes!! Onward and Upward!!

    By the way Teddy H, how do you know what Whitt did or did not due? Figures!!

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    Feb. 21, 2011 2:53 p.m.

    The DNews usually gets the story right.
    the hedgehogs usually slap together pieces of incomplete tidbits of information to make their incomplete and obsession fueled points.

    The Media as a whole prints additial facts.

    I understand that bashing and obsessing about BYU is the hedgehogs number 1 priority but to "not" dismiss all other relevant facts has a negative affect on the "attention" the hedgehog so obviously and desperatly craves.

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    Feb. 21, 2011 2:24 p.m.

    Big sport fan,

    THe trib got the story right.
    the Dnews slapped together pieces of a press release.

    He got pulled over at 2am not 10am.

    They also reported additial previous infractions that further justifies Whitt's decision.

    I understand that advertising and selling BYU is the Dnews number 1 priority but to dismiss all other teams (Utah USU) is a negative affect on the supposed "exposure" the corporation so desperatly craves.

  • Ted H. Midvale, UT
    Feb. 21, 2011 2:23 p.m.

    From the other paper:

    "Fotu also had a warrant out of Provo City Justice Court for failure to appear on charges of giving false personal information to police, unlawful possession of alcohol or a controlled substance by a minor and public urination for an incident on March 20, 2009."

    So when the dude broke these laws almost 2 years ago.....?

    Whit just waited a couple years on these ones?

  • VegasUte Las Vegas, NV
    Feb. 21, 2011 2:20 p.m.

    Ted H - Does Trevor Molini ring a bell? I guess theft and prescription fraud isn't bad at the zoo. He had to be arrested twice for that before he was kicked off the team. The first time I guess isn't against the moral code, just the second.

    Hypocrisy knows no bounds in Happy Vally!!

  • andrewute1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 21, 2011 2:07 p.m.

    Ted H.-

    The last two players that committed a crime while on Utah, they never suited up in a Utah uniform again. Marquis Wilson, and Mo Neal. So if your questioning Coach Whitt's judgement, you are way off pal.

    Maybe next time this happens Coach Whitt can handle the situation like Coach Mendenhall does, and let his players play an extra 4 games until its finally released ala Shiloah Teo .

  • BigSportsFan!! ogden, ut
    Feb. 21, 2011 1:59 p.m.


    Why do you keep bashing the D-News?

    I find info on D-News that is not found at the other paper all the time. Both papers do a good job but they both choose what they want to cover and to what extent.

  • Ted H. Midvale, UT
    Feb. 21, 2011 1:41 p.m.

    My guess is he'll be back on the field when the yewts need him

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    Feb. 21, 2011 1:23 p.m.

    As expected the "other" newspaper has a much more accurate account of the situation.

    Sounds like this guy has had other "issues" in the past.

    My guess is he'll never see the field ( at Utah) again.

  • hedgehog Ann Arbor, MI
    Feb. 21, 2011 1:06 p.m.

    Well, I guess we won't have to hear the tds trolls chest pounding about thier higher morals.

    Sounds like Kwhitt is taking a strong stand on this issue. Good for him.

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    Feb. 21, 2011 1:03 p.m.

    Good move coach. This can only be a good thing for the Ute players to know that this is not tolerated there.