Mike Sorensen: University of Utah should take time to honor Rick Majerus, Ron McBride

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  • bgl Santa Monica, CA
    Aug. 26, 2012 9:54 a.m.

    @ bluto

    Bluto says---I agree.
    Honor Majerus and Judkins.
    No, to Rick.

    Well now, that's going to be a little difficult, isn't it?

  • Ute66 Centerville, UT
    Dec. 20, 2011 10:05 p.m.

    My comment is addressed to "Duckhunter." I am still searching frantically for the National Championship in basketball won by Army in 1944. Army has never played in the NCAA tournament, one of only 5 original schools never to do so. They have only played in the NIT 8 times, and those appearances were from 1961 to 1978, so they do not have any national championships. Where are you getting your information? You were quite critical of me in one of your previous posts. I am not sure why. If you don't care about whether or not Utah honors Rick Majerus, why did you read and then comment more than once on this article? Although Army did not win a National Championship in 1944, or ever, for that matter, I do appreciate greatly what most of the cadets were doing in 1944, defending our country so that we could continue to enjoy the freedoms that we have, such as expressing our opinions on this board. I'm curious to hear your response to this post.

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    Dec. 20, 2011 12:49 p.m.


    What's MY point? You're the one disputing the Majerus took the Utes to a National Championship.

    MY point was that in this article and comment thread debating whether or not Majerus [and/or McBride] deserve to be honored by the U, that I believe they both SHOULD! Additionally, I've pointed out that there exist a vast number of frantic and emotional cougar fans who think otherwise. Thus, I've made a 2nd point that cougar fans opinions in this matter is irrelevant on account of them knowing nothing of appreciating such heights such as "Elite Eights", "Final Fours", and/or "National Championships".

    My points were really quite elementary to be honest. I'm not sure why you're having such difficulty following along. Is it because you're so WAC-ish and mid-majorey?

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Dec. 20, 2011 11:21 a.m.

    @naval lint

    Sure I'm aware that last century utah had a good basketball team that accomplished a bunch of stuff. I'm also aware that they now suck and have for quite a long time. What's your point?

  • Ute66 Centerville, UT
    Dec. 20, 2011 11:18 a.m.

    To Mr. Duckhunter,

    Army did not win a national championship in 1944. Utah won the NCAA tournament, St. John's won the NIT, and following the 2 tournaments Utah defeated St. John's head to head in New York. The NIT was often considered the more prestigious tournament at the time, but again, Utah won that in 1947. I'm curious to know why you put the term "Utah" in quotes. I believe it is because you think that none of us really are fans, just that we hate BYU. Not true. I am an active Mormon, and they are still letting me keep my temple recommend for being a Ute fan. I'm married to a BYU alum, and some of my best friends are BYU alumni as well. And yes, BYU does have the trophies for 1984, but I'm just saying the system was (and still is) very flawed. I think many fans would agree that a "National Championship" in football is a lot more like winning an Oscar or something else based on opinion rather than a true championship in any other sport.

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    Dec. 20, 2011 10:26 a.m.


    Perhaps you weren't aware that Majerus' Utes played in 2 "Elite Eights", 1 "Final Four", and a "National Championship" game. His Utes ALSO played in 4 "Sweet Sixteens"; a peak your cougs finally crested last year after a 30-yr hiatus. But still no "Elite Eight", "Final Four", or "National Championship" game appearances for you. Those have been more of a "Utah thing"; something I reaffirm cougar fans know nothing about. Poor little mid-majored school that nobody wants.

    Except the WAC.

    And the WCC


  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Dec. 20, 2011 9:59 a.m.


    I don't think BYU fans care one way or the other about utah honoring majerus. I certainly don't. As far as utah's ncaa tournament championship and their NIT championship are concerned, well they are great accomplishments but neither of them is a National Championship. Army won the National Championship in 1944 and has the trophies to prove it. utah won the ncaa tournmaent, which was the secondary tourney in those days.

    BYU's football National Championship really is one. they have all the trophies, just like Army's 1944 basketball team, to prove it.

    So silly utah "fans" like yourself can make all the declarations you want to make aon both subjects but unfortunately for you no one in the entire world agree's with you. In fact you are mocked over those declarations because they are false and if you spent even 1 minute researching both subjects you would find out you are false. But the truth is you already know that, but in typical utah "fan" fashion you think declaring it makes it so.


  • cjf Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 19, 2011 11:29 p.m.

    I don't know about Majerus being honored. While a student at the U of U, I noticed a U b-ball practice with Majerus one time (I had to hide behind a door and peaked in to watch for 15 minutes or so.) I was appalled at the verbal abuse and complete lack of respect he gave to his players. That was a good 17 years ago, and it was so bad I remember it today.

    Personally, a coach needs to have respect to be honored, not just wins. McBride on the other hand, totally deserves it.

  • Ute66 Centerville, UT
    Dec. 19, 2011 10:06 p.m.

    Let me put in my 2 cents here. First of all, this article talks about honoring Rick Majerus for what he did as a coach, not as a person. I have yet to hear one BYU fan ever say that the school should not honor Jim McMahon, who was a living, breathing honor code violation and didn't exactly have nice things to say about Cougar Nation when he left. If he ever finishes his degree, there is no doubt that BYU will probably honor him for his accomplishments on the field, honor code and DUI notwithstanding. What I find interesting as an active Mormon and a true Ute fan and Utah graduate is that Cougar fans are often on the moral high horse, looking down their noses at our "bad guys", but forgetting about their own. And as far as National Championships go, Utah's 1944 NCAA tournament title, or if you will, their 1947 NIT is every bit as legitimate as BYU's 1984 National Championship in football. The 2008 Ute football team did exactly what that 1984 BYU team did, finishing as the only undefeated team in the country, and beating a much better opponent in their bowl game. The difference was simply that the system had changed. Back in the day they used to call football titles the "mythical" national championship, as there never has been a playoff involved, so yes they have a National Championship, but it's more like winning a beauty pageant than an actual tournament.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Dec. 19, 2011 7:26 p.m.

    @uncle rico

    "How about honoring Majerus by re-hiring him."

    Now that I would loooooooove to see happen. Oh yes please do that.


  • Uncle Rico Provo, UT
    Dec. 19, 2011 6:34 p.m.

    How about honoring Majerus by re-hiring him.

  • Mick Murray, Utah
    Dec. 19, 2011 4:24 p.m.

    Didn't UofU loose scholarships because of players not graduating due to Majerus? Wouldn't that cause problems for future coaches recruiting? If I were a Ute fan, and I am not, I would blame Majerus for the current problems.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Dec. 19, 2011 3:38 p.m.

    @naval lint

    No you said

    "Elite Eights", "Final Fours", "NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS"...these are "Utah" things; things cougars wouldn't know anything about."

    I'm just wondering how a utah "fan" like you claim to be, would know anything at all about "NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS" since utah has never won one in the big 2 sports. You did manage to blow a double digit lead in the last few minutes of a "NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP" game and lose it so if you're saying utah "fans" know about losing them then yes I suppose you do. BYU fans on the otherhand only know how it feels to win a "NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP". It feels good.

    But then I remembered, you used to be a BYU fan and were actually a BYU fan back when they won the "NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP". So despite your desperate bandwagoneering that has now changed you into a utah "fan" you probably do know how it feels since back in those days you were bandwagoning BYU.


  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Dec. 19, 2011 3:29 p.m.

    @don't feed yourself

    But ncaa championships in basketball in 1944 are not the same thing as national championships. As far as NIT championhips are concerend, well you have never seen me claim that as a National Championship, although the foundation that voted for such things in those days did declare BYU the national champs. No I was refering to the fact BYU won the Football National Championship in 1984. They actually won it. They have all of the trophies to prove it. It is pretty well known even to utah "fans".

  • my2cents2 Saratoga Springs, UT
    Dec. 19, 2011 3:23 p.m.

    Naval Vet, when discussion, facts, and logic fail, resort to name calling, a juvenile approach. The topic was Majerus and McBride to which I agree with "alternate", McBribe - absolutely yes, Majerus - maybe posthumously if at all.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 19, 2011 3:07 p.m.

    Didn't Rick Majerus once call one of his players who was deaf a "disgrace to cripples?"

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    Dec. 19, 2011 2:22 p.m.


    "What 'national championships' are you referecning [sic]?"

    I was actually referring to only the games played amid the Majerus era. In 1998, Utah played in the National Championship. Sure we didn't win, but I never said we did either.

    Why are you such a desperate little man? Is it because you're so mid-majorey and WAC-ish?

  • NT Springville, UT
    Dec. 19, 2011 1:41 p.m.

    As I've said before...and today it appears that I was right...this is a great year for the Utes...to reminisce :)

  • Don't Feed the Trolls Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 19, 2011 1:11 p.m.

    Oh, Duckhunter. A simple google search will show the Utes were NCAA Basketball Champions in 1944 and NIT champs in 1947. You have to acknowledge theirs to get them to acknowledge yours.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Dec. 19, 2011 12:40 p.m.

    @naval lint

    What "national championships" are you referecning? You realize in the big 2 sports, football and basketball, utah has exactly 0 of them don't you? BYU on the otherhand, well we all know they have a national championship in one of them. Seems like when it comes to "national championships" that those are a BYU thing and utah "fans" like yourself just wouldn't know anything about them. Nice try at another naval lint 'truth'.


  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    Dec. 19, 2011 12:31 p.m.

    There sure seems to be a lot of cougar fans on here hating on Majerus. Not sure why though. It isn't as if Sorensen is promoting the idea of the school down south honoring him. "Elite Eights", "Final Fours", "National Championships"...these are "Utah" things; things cougars wouldn't know anything about. As an alumnus whose tenure at the U was amid the McBride/Majerus era, I concur with the writer. The University of Utah SHOULD take time to honor both legendary coaches.

    Congratulations on your 500th win Coach Majerus! And thank you for what you did with the Utes during your time spent on the Hill.

    Go SLU.

    Go Majerus!

    Go McBride!

    GO UTES!!!

  • the REAL DEAL Sandy, UT
    Dec. 19, 2011 12:24 p.m.

    I'm pretty sure Josh Grant was drafted by the Golden State Warriors and played at least one year and Hanno Mottola was drafted and played for the Atlanta Hawks for two years. They both ended up in europe. I forgot that Majerus was the one who brought Andrew Bogut to Utah also.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Dec. 19, 2011 12:19 p.m.

    Oh and ernie...in those last 7 years the totals are BYU 167 wins and 48 losses and utah 96 wins and 102 losses with this season still to complete. Your definition of "every bit as good" probably won't get much agreement, even from other utah "fans".


  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Dec. 19, 2011 12:14 p.m.

    @ernie bass

    Yea those losing seasons 5 of the last 7 years an one ncaa tourney appearance by the utes is pretty impressive. Let's look at the numbers.


    20-9 2nd in conference NIT
    25-9 conference champs NCAA 1st round
    27-8 conference champs NCAA 1st round
    25-8 conference champs NCAA 1st round
    30-6 2nd conference NCAA 2nd round
    32-5 NCAA conference champs NCAA sweet 16
    8-3 and on their way to the NCAA


    14-15 I'll spare you the conference finish and of course no NCAA
    11-19 ditto
    18-15 ditto
    24-10 conference champs NCAA 1st round
    14-17 ditto
    13-18 ditto
    2-8 well we all know how this season is going

    Then of course there is the small fact BYU has beaten utah 11 out of the last 12 meetings so yea I can see your point about "in the last 7 years, utah has been every bit as successful as BYU"


  • Long Time Ute SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Dec. 19, 2011 12:10 p.m.


    No question you know what you are talking about. Majerus was the one that got Bogut and after he left it has all been down hill. IMO Dr Hill is the biggest one to blame for the demisse, in fact I'm very suprised Tommy Connar is up on the hill. With Coach K and Tommy around we will get some players in here. It really is a matter of two or three good players and we will turn the corner. Utah basketball will shine again.

  • MESOUTE Wandering, Earth
    Dec. 19, 2011 11:21 a.m.

    A couple of thoughts here:
    Majerus did not put Utah basketball on the map. He did, however, make it a consistent winner and raised the expectations and level of success.

    Judkins was a good assistant who was mainly in charge of landing in-state talent, which he did, and none of which were the catalysts for Utah's dominance in the 90s. Donny Daniels was the guy getting the big time players out of California. His impact to Utah basketball is far greater than Judkins'.

    I love the Fat Man and what he did for Utah basketball, but he abandoned the team, abandoned his post, and lost his fire in the recruiting game -along with losing Daniels, our top recruiter- and I for one see the current state of basketball at Utah stemming from the negativity which he spawned and the conundrum in which he left the program. No it is not all his fault, but he initiated the downward spiral. Posthumous honor for Maji is deserving. But I wouldn't hold my breath as long as Chris Hill is calling the shots.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 19, 2011 11:00 a.m.

    @Duckhunter, in the last 7 years, Utah has been every bit as successful as byu. Giac and Boylen each won championships and made it as far as byu has in the tournament.
    Of course a lot of "fans" in Utah County have a selective memory when it comes to success.

  • Straitpath PROVO, UT
    Dec. 19, 2011 10:32 a.m.

    After reading about Majerus on the Internet, I would never honor him if it were my decision. Sports columnists know how to push our buttons.

  • SportzFan Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 19, 2011 10:14 a.m.

    @ TJ

    "Although I think Majerus was a jerk to his players and assistants and he left Utah in the Lurch, he did put Ute basketball on the map so I guess it would be a classy move to honor him"

    Uh, he was fired.

    While we are being classy, I think we should also give Wilt Chamberlain the "Gentleman Dater" award, Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant the "Fidelity" award, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire the "Success Through Clean Play" award, Barry Bonds the "Ambassador for Sportsmanship" award, and Bill Belichick an award for "Sports Photography."

  • Don't Feed the Trolls Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 19, 2011 10:06 a.m.

    "The most successful college basketball coach the state of Utah has ever seen."

    Hold on there, Mike. Just because you never saw them, doesn't mean they didn't exist.

    Vadal Peterson's teams won both an NCAA title in 1944 AND an NIT title in 1947, back when that tournament was significant enough the 1944 team originally turned down an NCAA invite to play in the NIT.

    Jack Gardner had two Final Fours, an eight, three 16's and two NITs. Gardner's teams might have done even better in the late 60's and early 70's except for three barriers: The NCAA wasn't 64 teams; Stan Watts' BYU teams dominated the WAC during that time period; John Wooden's UCLA teams dominated the West during an era when brackets were strictly geographical.

    Rick was great, but he benefitted from facilities and tradition that grew out of the success of others like Peterson and Gardner.

    And, like others have said, Rick was a GREAT strategist with a great record, but there was more to Rick than his record. His methods weren't always exemplary.

  • Jonphone Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 19, 2011 9:59 a.m.

    We should ask Lance Allred if Rick should be honored.
    I think the quote could go like this. "No amount of success on the court can compensate for failure off the court".

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Dec. 19, 2011 9:55 a.m.

    @ernie bass

    Yea I'm sure utah "fans" are really enjoying the last 7 years. This year being the high point?

  • Utesby3 Sandy, UT
    Dec. 19, 2011 9:54 a.m.

    @ Alternate: I couldn't disagree more. I'm a big fan of Judkins, but who did more for the Ute b-ball program? I would have to say Majerus did far more than Judkins. Everyone knows that he was no saint in the way he dealt with players and assistant coaches, so let's not nominate him as man of the year. Instead let's honor him as the excellent coach he was.

  • Long Time Ute SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Dec. 19, 2011 9:53 a.m.

    As long as Chris Hill is at the U it will never happen to either one.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 19, 2011 9:18 a.m.

    @Bluto: the "curse of Juddy"?
    You do realize Utah has been to the NCAA tournament, won conference titles and had a #1 pick all since Juddy left, right? Most programs would love to be cursed like that.

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    Dec. 19, 2011 9:18 a.m.

    Real Deal;
    I remember that Miller and Van Horn had good NBA careers and Doleac had a decent one. I am not familiar with Mottola or Grants NBA careers though. I thought both of them failed to make an NBA roster.

    As far as the coaches go, I think it would be great to honor McBride. He was a class act.
    Although I think Majerus was a jerk to his players and assistants and he left Utah in the Lurch, he did put Ute basketball on the map so I guess it would be a classy move to honor him. I would wait until he ritires again. Otherwise he probably wouldn't come unless it was done out of season.

  • Softball Dad Woods Cross, UT
    Dec. 19, 2011 7:32 a.m.

    I definitely agree that they really have to wait until they are done coaching somewhere else before they honor them. It would seem a little awkward to try to do it while they are a sitting coach. I am not sure of "Big Rick's" health but that could make his iffy in the future.

    I think now is the time for Ron.

  • Bluto Sandy, UT
    Dec. 19, 2011 6:11 a.m.


    I agree.
    Honor Majerus and Judkins.
    No, to Rick.

    The "Curse of the Juddy" will continue to plague the Utah Basketball Program for generations to come.

  • Prufrocks SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Dec. 19, 2011 1:02 a.m.

    Posthumous for Majerus would be soon enough.

  • the REAL DEAL Sandy, UT
    Dec. 19, 2011 12:07 a.m.

    it was actually 4 sweet 16's, 2 elite 8's, 1 final 4 and 1 final. As well as 9 conference title's. His teams lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament only once in ten tries. NBA players from his years were Josh Grant, Keith Vanhorn, Andre Miller, Michael Doleac and Hanno Mottola. Utah was a dominant program in the west when he coached there. He definitely needs to be recognized.

  • alternate Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 18, 2011 8:40 p.m.

    Yea for Ron, nay for Rick. Perhaps Rick should be honored because he may have saved the U millions in discrimination lawsuits by leaving. I was personally disgusted by some of his conduct at practice and with other people. I also really like Jeff Judkins. I would honor him for his playing accomplishments before Rick for his coaching. I believe Rick drove off Jeff and with it a solid base for in-state recruiting. Things were never the same after Jeff was run out of town.

    No Mike, yea for Ron, nay for Rick.

  • rvalens2 Burley, ID
    Dec. 18, 2011 8:36 p.m.

    McBride put Utah football on the path it is now on. Majerus made Utah a basketball force again during his reign as coach. Both men deserve to honored for what they brought to the U.

    Dec. 18, 2011 8:05 p.m.

    "The University of Utah should take time to honor Rick Majerus, Ron McBride."

    Totally agreed.