Bronco quote a mystery

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  • Re: Why are ute fans ...
    May 31, 2008 9:51 p.m.

    Apparently you are one of the only cougars that isn't on the utes boards!

  • IDACOUG
    May 31, 2008 6:56 p.m.

    Until a person has served a mission, they will not fully understand how one prepares for your future while on your mission. To assume that any young man does not think about his future would be pollyanish and naive. Someone posted they filled out a college application; ditto. We did it on p-days and would on occasion discuss our future when we were working. As well, anyone who did not react to Olsen leaving is not a real Coug. When any kid signs with any team, college and professional, if you love the team, you become emotionally attached to the kid. You defend his stats, actions, etc. When they bail, you feel betrayed. That is life! You get over it and move on. Which appears to be more than some of the people on this blog, (e.g.nice one Dickey) Get a clue!

  • observer
    May 31, 2008 4:12 p.m.

    I have no interest in BYU football any longer. It used to be fun, but when they started going big-time because they won a few, it ruined it for me. I'm a Columbia fan myself...They don't win much, but the guys on the team play for the love of the game. No athletic scholarships in the Ivy League.
    That's the way I like it.

  • Retraction!
    May 31, 2008 11:41 a.m.

    For a quote that doesn't exist, there sure seems to be alot of documentation that it does exist. The SLTrib has a couple of 'gems' from Bronco. Nice to see that after the Trib did all of the leg work to produce their quotes, the D-News miraculously 'found' a quote of their own. I'm not so sure you can say you found it, when you were the ones hiding it, Dick Harmon and Co.

    When is the D-News going to run the story saying "yes, Bronco said it and Riley's dad confirms on radio interview that BYU asked about his son, not the other way around." ???????

    Headline: Hypo(crite) Mendenhall; BYU is not more virtuous than others.

  • Brian Utley
    May 31, 2008 10:24 a.m.

    When BYU Ben became UCLA Ugly, he cut and ran. Simple as that. Leaving everybody dangling. Bad form, Ben. Timing was everything...well, almost everything *smile*. Now, Riley the Regular has played the game square. He's walked off the USU field with decorum, giving the boys up there time to find a replacement...if that's possible.

    When I was on my mission, the Church asked me to jump in track meets. Good for public relations. Naturally, my mind was on getting back to the Y...all in good time. But part of my mission plan included the West Coast Relays at Fresno. Just the way the Lord works.

  • gridironsam
    May 30, 2008 10:08 p.m.

    One other observation. When Riley Nelson was coming out of high school, BYU's evaluation was that he wasn't good enough to secure one of the scholarships they had available. Utah's (Whittingham's) evaluation was that he was good enough, and they offered him a scholarship. They were obviously right. Now BYU sees what he was able to do as a freshman at Utah State and offers him while he is on a mission. If I was Nelson, if I was going to change to any school I would go to Utah. Whittingham is going to build better talent around him, because he is a better talent evaluator. And his skills are more suited for Utah's spread offense. But when you are in the midst of the spiritual glow of the mission field, I'm sure the sell on the religious aspect of BYU is pretty compelling. I've got news, that glow wears off eventually. Finish your mission, and then go to Utah Riley.

  • Get real please
    May 30, 2008 3:47 p.m.

    To all those who expect Riley (or any other missionary) NOT to make decisions about post-mission life while on the mission - get real please.

    You cannot wait until after the mission. College applications (for "normal" students and student-athletes) are NOT filed overnight. Scholarships (academic or athletic) are NOT obtained overnight. You have to do a little planning. Fill out a little paperwork. You can do it on P-day, and have your family do most of the legwork for you.

    This does not mean that you're distracted or neglecting the work. You're just planning ahead like any responsible person should.

  • Please read before you comment
    May 30, 2008 3:41 p.m.

    Wow. Do people even read other comments before adding their own?

    Look at the post by CougFan, 4:36 a.m. May 29, 2008

    He actually gives references! That quote clarifies this whole mess, and yet people continue to rant and rave about it. Come on people, read!

    BYU does not actively seek out and initiate recruiting contact with missionaries. But, if the missionary, or family members, or other appropriate third parties initiate the contact, then of course BYU will respond. To not respond would be rude and a disservice to the university and the potential transfer student.

    I went to one year of college before my mission. After a year or so, I started to wonder what I was doing afterward. So, on P-days, I sent some letters, arranged some things. My sister was a BYU student at the time and she helped me get my application filed and helped arrange housing for me. There is nothing wrong with a missionary using some P-day time to plan for his post-mission life. What's he supposed to do? Just step off the plane with no plans? Return home and wait a whole semester (or year) before going to school? Get real.

  • re: Are You Kidding?
    May 30, 2008 2:40 p.m.

    You're right- it's not about basketball, but, SURPRISE, BYU does have a dairy farm. Look before you leap. That goes for Harmon as well.

  • RE: LA COUG
    May 30, 2008 1:46 p.m.

    Tell your friends to move to Provo. Then tell me what they think.

  • Dick
    May 30, 2008 12:42 p.m.

    Now that you have found the quote that you said was never happened, you got any retraction to make?

  • Hawk
    May 30, 2008 11:04 a.m.

    Dick, forget about the facts. The whining BYU critics are never satisfied. Unless you come up with a negative comment about the Cougars, the anti's are not interested. BTW, great article.

  • Well Said Harmon
    May 30, 2008 8:33 a.m.

    Harmon was right on with this article. Every missionary has the right to spend a little time planning for his post-mission future. A missionary will still donate tens of thousands of hours to the Lord even after some communication back home about his college or work future - not to mention all the time spent talking about and writing that special girl who is waiting who really won't wait in the end but that's another story. Anyone upset that this might distract the missionary simply does not understand the reality of a mission. These kids are not robots and need to spend a little time thinking about and preparing for their future while they donate two years of their young lives to the Lord. And Mendenhall needs to respond to contact by these kids. The Cougs already have a hard enough challenge juggling coming and going missionaries to lose out on some in the field by not responding. Again, Harmon nailed it on this one!!

  • LV Mike
    May 30, 2008 7:49 a.m.

    There is no controversy, except those choosing to invent it for purposes of disparaging Bronco and BYU. I don't care who comes/goes at BYU. I didn't even care that Ben Olson left as he did. There was a change in coaching staff, he didn't know Bronco, chose to play close to home in the PAC-10. Good for him. I was happy for Shawn Bradley - I'm happy for Trent Plaisted. All these guys, and many more, are free to make decisions regarding their future. Some may play out well for BYU, some may not. So what? I understand USU fan disappointment in Riley's departure - but this was CLEARLY his decision, something he even contemplated BEFORE his mission, and there is absolutely nothing to suggest any impropriety. Those calling out Bronco do so based on invented facts and prejudicial, impulsive rants fueled by a general hatred for BYU. Pretty lame.

  • m cleve
    May 29, 2008 11:10 p.m.

    With more than a year and a half left on his mission, Utah State knew Riley wasn't coming back. He didn't make public statements of coming back to the Aggies. His transfer was known a long time but just now announced.

  • Wow
    May 29, 2008 11:06 p.m.

    I wish I lived in Utah, where there's nothing to worry about except for kids transferring to another school to play a game, polygamists in a Texas, and the no-talent hacks on American Idol.

  • chester blue
    May 29, 2008 9:47 p.m.

    Excellent read Mr. Harmon. It was very well written with great examples explaining how many college football fans blow things out of proportion. Mendenhall did nothing wrong except listen to this athlete's request through a HS coach and family member. BYU wasn't out of bounds in any shape or form. Aggie fans need only to be upset at the University. Low funding for their football program in recent years hasn't put more W's in the win column but rather put fewer butts in the seats. It's not Brent Guy's fault or the fact that they play in a decent conference. I think the school mainly cares about hoops these days so that's probably why Guy will be their Guy for awhile. It's too bad because I remember when USU played competitive football with instate rivalries not too long ago.

  • Las Vegas Katbacker
    May 29, 2008 9:33 p.m.

    This is to returned missionaries only: Did any of you (or me) spend the whole two years and not think of what you were going to do with your life after the mission. Did any of you not make a plan for the first year after you returned? When members that fed you asked what you were going to do after your mission 5 times a week; did any of you tell them you are focusing on your mission and would rather they not bring it up?

    Non missionaries that criticize this situation stating that missionaries should be left alone...stop typing. It just shows your ignorance.

  • Gretzky
    May 29, 2008 8:25 p.m.

    thanks for clearing this all up Mr. Harmon. BYU football looks to be in good shape with the ebb and flow of the football talent tide.

  • re: "nice one dicky"
    May 29, 2008 8:21 p.m.

    You know I lived in CA for a couple of years and have no idea what you are talking about. What is done is done, the kid made his choice. This is no way shows that the church is putting football ahead of salvation and those that think otherwise, then to be honest, the church needs to stop all communication to missionaries , no matter who it is, for any communication can be deemed "distracting"

  • Re: m cleve
    May 29, 2008 7:18 p.m.

    Riley did tell the team he was coming back. Get your facts straight. So, its just like Ben Olsen.

  • From Brad Rock
    May 29, 2008 7:06 p.m.

    This is taken from Brad Rock's article in the Deseret News from yesterday. This is exactly how it was and should be looked at.


    There was nothing illegal about the transfer. BYU didn't recruit Nelson on his mission, which coach Bronco Mendenhall steadfastly insists he won't do with any player. But once Nelson and his representatives initiated the contact, BYU was within its rights and NCAA rules to respond

  • In regards to Dick Harmon
    May 29, 2008 6:52 p.m.

    As far as I can tell Dick has done what he was paid to do... get people to read and post on his article. As of my post over 186 comments, far more than any UofU reporter/writer has received.

    Good job Dick, keep up the good work.

  • RE: JSH
    May 29, 2008 6:51 p.m.

    Back yourself up man... don't throw out inmature comments and not back yourself up. How has BYU tried to destroy the UofU or USU (outside of athletics)? Academically? Was it not the LDS church that started both the UofU and BYU? Have not many of the LDS church leaders graduated from said schools? Explain that one!

    I am in the opinion that most of the people who post on this article are of the high school age or younger. No mature, graduate from either USU, UofU, or BYU would make some of the insane comments that are made. Only an imature person thinks they know the policy of a coach, institution, or Church organization better than themselves.

    As for those who have never served an LDS mission... you have no idea what you're talking about as what should and shouldn't be done as a missionary. As for those of you who have and are condeming the LDS church, BYU, Bronco, or Riley himself; you are the same punks who broke the rules on your mission and condemned others for doing the same.

  • Good research Dick
    May 29, 2008 6:48 p.m.

    Thanks to CougFan for pointing out that the source of the Bronco Mendenhall quote Mr. Harmon could not find was the same newspaper that employs him. Better stick to telling us about the latest juco running back from East Southeast Mississipi Bible College who has committed to attend BYU.

  • UtesLiveByTheirWord
    May 29, 2008 6:36 p.m.

    I really don't think that the utes would pull something like this. Shame on Bronco and administrators at BYU. What goes around, comes around. BYU will pay for this in November

  • John Adams
    May 29, 2008 6:30 p.m.

    Note to USU fans - The truth of it is that all of us BYU fans know how this feels. We felt the same way when Ben Olson transferred to UCLA. We were mad as heck at UCLA. We understand your feelings.

  • NorCalBlue
    May 29, 2008 6:24 p.m.

    People's ignorance and prejudice is only verified by their words and actions.

    Those who are quick to criticize BYU, Pres. Samuelson and Coach Mendenhall on this issue, regardless of the facts display for all to see their bias and ignorance.

    Coach did nothing until he was contacted - pure & simple - by the book.

    Cougar detractors find something else to rant about. Your writings reflect a lack of common sense and glasses tinted with prejudice.

    All this ranting must tell us we are in the dreadful days of no fb, hence the pent up desire to rant & rave! Find a creative outlet like running up to the Y or the U! You will feel better.

  • m cleve
    May 29, 2008 6:00 p.m.

    At least Riley didn't tell Utah State of his coming back like Ben Olson did to BYU. Truth from both Riley and Dick Harmon is a rare and refreshing occurrence. A young man changes his mind to which school he is going and some morons are upset. Weird!!!

  • Wahburger with Cheese
    May 29, 2008 5:52 p.m.

    It's truly embarrassing to see how someone choosing to change schools has become (to some people) a right vs. wrong decision. As a USU alum and fan, I am dissapointed that we lost what we thought was our QB for a couple years, but he made what was the best decision for him. Good for him.

    Anyone who thinks that BYU is in the wrong for responding to a recruit who was interested in them is downright silly. By assigning your own set of rules to the situation and then judging the school or coaching staff based on your own set of rules is exactly the "holier than thou" attitude that you'll probably accuse BYU of next week.

    I think I'm jealous - like many of you on this board appear to be, but not jealous enough to appoint myelf as the judge for what is right and wrong in what I'm sure was a very complicated situation.

  • Hah!!!
    May 29, 2008 5:41 p.m.

    Do the Aggies have a football team????????????????

  • Why are Ute fans...
    May 29, 2008 5:40 p.m.

    even on this board? The article has nothing to do with them- zero. You don't see Cougar fans posting comments on Ute stories. Why? Well, we just don't care. For some reason, Cougar stories matter to "Ute" fan. I think they actually pay more attention to BYU than their own school. Very weird.

  • And the winner is............
    May 29, 2008 5:39 p.m.

    He probably didn't say it.

    And the only reason why we have to go through this is because the Haters are out and want an edge on something to condemn BYU and Mendenhall.

    Oh, and the BYU fans who constantly apologize to their friends and family for our success.

    If BYU lost a returning missionary to Utah or Utah State or any other D-1 school. They would be dancing in the streets in Logan, SLC or Timbucktoo.

    I'm sick of this. While Utah had enjoyed success over BYu, no one up there complains about their out recruiting us or enerolling a former athlete in there program.

    It's just that in our case WITH byu, The rich got richer and the poor, well you know the rest.

    And it's just that this Nelson kid has faith in Bronco turning him into the the next John Beck or Max Hall. Though Coach Doman should take some of the credit for Max and John.

    The Ute and Aggie fans are justed p'oed. Ahhhh.....

    When the tables turn if ever, we'll see who laughs at the Cougars for losing a good one. Until then...

    Poor babies, not try not to cry anymore.

  • funny
    May 29, 2008 5:19 p.m.

    I think all Utah fans are scared now , you guys have riley nelson, there hasn't been a transfer this big since chris burgess transferred to utah. bronco if he isnt a hypocrite should just address the issue personally.As for mr. harmon if he truly believes that a football win at all costs coach isnt going to do everything he can to win wake up

  • Whine Whine Whine
    May 29, 2008 5:09 p.m.

    Wow....I can't believe the press and conversation that is piling up over a complete non-issue.

    Everyone seems to be mad about hypocrisy. Whiners...the whole lot of you.

    Sure there were a number of vocal disgruntled BYU fans when Olson left, but there were also a lot of BYU fans who completely understood his decision and who moved on, myself included.

    Has Bronco gone against what he's said in the past about recruiting missionaries? I guess that depends on which set of facts you accept, but even assuming he initiated contact then that's his perogative, it's his policy. By the way some posters talk it's as if he took a flight to his mission, bribed his mission president, and then took the kid to a strip club to hang out with loose women where Elder Nelson signed after a few drinks. The funny thing is there are a lot of coaches who get away with doing just that (substitute HS Coach for Mission President), but somehow if Bronco changes his policy or one of his coaches doesn't follow it exactly right, then he's suddenly dishonest. What a joke.

    I can't wait until football season so these lame stories will end.

  • Waste of Time
    May 29, 2008 5:03 p.m.

    I need to remind myself to stay out of these sessions. Somehow, I need to get the last 10 minutes of my life back.

    I love the game of football. It has the opportunity to teach discipline, hard-work, integrity to a cause, and self-worth.

    Perhaps it would be helpful if those who comment were actually required to play the game (or exhibit any of the aforementioned character traits), before you could post something worthless here.

    Let me sum this WHOLE STORY up:

    A young man changed his mind today. Congratulations to him on exercising his ability to choose--and having the opportunity to do so.

    end

  • Circle the Wagons BYU Fans
    May 29, 2008 4:49 p.m.

    Hit a nerve with Cougar fans and boy--they really get defensive about the topic of the week.

  • Go Cougs!
    May 29, 2008 4:41 p.m.

    I know Derek Tuimauga personally and he wanted to go to BYU over Utah. BYU told him he was too slow and he probably wouldn't get a scholarship! I asked him about it! Ha ha! Sorry buddy...

  • Go Bronco
    May 29, 2008 4:30 p.m.

    If Bronco said that he does not actively recruit missionaries, I believe him. I don't think he violated that rule in any way. The rule is self imposed and Bronco has the right to interpret his own personal rule as he pleases.

  • Re: Are you kidding?
    May 29, 2008 3:41 p.m.

    Well said. As an Aggie I dont have a problem with Riley transferring. One player wont make a huge difference. It is a team sport. And my Aggies haven't had success in football for quite a while. Thats why it really isn't that big of deal. I dont even care what the real reason is, if Keith Nelson contacted the coaches, or if USU broke their contract with him.
    All I know is, once football season starts, it is only soo much closer to basketball season and it will be a fun competitive year. BYU will walk into Logan and kick our trash, what a surprise, they are supposed to do that, but ESA is going to be Aggie Blue, whatever blue that is.

  • this is pretty comical
    May 29, 2008 3:35 p.m.

    It's such a non issue.

    He transferred. Let it be.

    Byu fans hate the U, and Ute fans hate the Y. And the sky is blue. The Sun also rises in the east. Oh, and ice is cold.

  • Are You Kidding?
    May 29, 2008 3:25 p.m.

    Hey JSH and your sidekick, re:JSH, do you actually read what you type and if so are you that ignorant? Are you saying that BYU didn't like USU's success so they stole the QB? What success is that? The only thing USU is more successful in is agriculture and maybe basketball and last time I checked, this wasn't about a basketball player and BYU hasn't opened a dairy farm in Provo.

    I can't beleive I'm actually reading this garbage. Lighten up everybody. Get over it. Your hatred will only destroy your soul. Oops too late.

  • Sam
    May 29, 2008 3:24 p.m.

    Looks like the real religion of the LDS church is football and their athletic program. Just another mainstream religion. Nothing special, with members who are nothing special. I do find it humorous that LDS members love to talk about how special their young people are when they do missionary work. It appears that they're not so special either. While this young man was supposed to be doing God's work, according to LDS members, it looks like he was actually working on his own work. Here's some news for you good LDS BYU fans. No one in the world, other than yourselves, thinks that you're special. Get out of Utah once in a while.

  • Bench
    May 29, 2008 3:22 p.m.

    BYU will be very open to making room on the bench for Nelson. Welcome!

  • JT
    May 29, 2008 3:05 p.m.

    As listed in the comments here, Mendenhall DID say precisely that he wouldn't recruit players while on their missions, meaning he would not initiate the contact (and I'm extremely unimpressed with Dick Harmon for not knowing of this quote). The only question is whether BYU initiated the contact, which, from what I have heard, sounds like the case--as a die-hard Cougar fan, I hope that what has been reported in the media is not quite accurate (gee, that would be a first, wouldn't it?), because I would certainly like Mendenhall to publicly declare a shift in policy before doing that. Nevertheless, if it has been widely rumored that Nelson himself was considering transferring to BYU (I wasn't aware of that), I do think Mendenhall's staff would not have been out of line to inquire if that were actually the case.

  • Re: JSH
    May 29, 2008 3:02 p.m.

    I whole heartedly agree with your first two paragraphs. Unfortunately BYU fans, Dick Harmon, and the Deseret News are all so close-minded that none of them will acknowledge facts and proof of those facts.

  • Roger in Colorado
    May 29, 2008 2:50 p.m.

    It really doesnt matter where a young man goes to school, the fact is he is going. I am a BYU guy and always will be a BYU guy. If you remember Ben Olson left for UCLA after his mission and my self included was disapointed. But the guy has been injured most of his college playing days, and John Beck beat and Oregon in a Bowl game and Max Hall beat UCLA in a bowl game last year and we have been un defeated in the Mountain West Conference for two years. sure we have lost a lot of players to other schools, if a young man has a change of heart dont beat the coach up. You have to ask your self have you ever changed your mind in your life.

  • JSH
    May 29, 2008 2:45 p.m.

    Two quotes from Mendenhall (with sources) have been provided in this thread - no one has refuted them; additionally Riley's Father has confirmed in multiple venues that BYU contacted them *first* - BYU has not denied that. Further, local media radio and print have broadcast/published numerous examples of when Mendenhall said he would not initiate contact, only respond - yet that is not what happened is this case - BYU contact the family first.

    I agree that the broken contract was probably the major contributing factor, but to pretend the BYU did not initiate this transfer is out right lying.

    BYU as an institution does not like to see USU or UoU succeed, and it (BYU) regularly does all it can to stop such success in any and all arenas - political, athletic, social and academic.

  • Not again
    May 29, 2008 2:42 p.m.

    As usual I read an article regarding BYU. As usual half of the comments are from Ute fans or BYU haters. I enjoy reading about BYU. I consider myself a fan but I do not concern myself with the Utes. And I certainly do not waste my time reading articles about them.

    Guess what Dick Harmon does see things through BYU's perspective. Do you know why. Because he is paid to follow the program and write about them. Wow what a revelation. Just like the Ute writers are biased towards the Utes (but I don't know their writers names).

    And again fans argue back and forth about things that don't really matter. A kid is on his mission and decides to go to BYU. Happens all of the time. Who cares. We can play the game where people misquote coaches and writers. We can talk all day about what Bronco did or didnt say or about nonexistent policies or rules.

    So Riley is transferring to BYU after his mission. Is that a big deal? I dont think so. So why do the Utes care? I guess U guys have nothing else to do,

  • Anonymous
    May 29, 2008 2:29 p.m.

    Pathetic Cougar fans are just trying to justify their schools wrong doing. Time to get your heads out of the clouds.

  • Y
    May 29, 2008 2:25 p.m.

    22-4 Says it all! GO COUGS! The rest of you are just Babies. The radio guys are the only reason this blew up. Come on Hart opted into his contract complain ab that and move on.

  • Hay WOW! LET IT BE
    May 29, 2008 2:25 p.m.

    Elder Wirthlin goes to Rice Eccles stadium.

  • BYU
    May 29, 2008 2:24 p.m.

    Great article. Go Cougs and good luck Nelson.

  • No, THIS is great
    May 29, 2008 2:21 p.m.

    The best offensive lineman in the state is Derek Tuimauga out of Bingham, a good old mormon boy, who is going to be a Ute! As a card carrying member of the LDS church, and a Ute fan, I LOVE IT!!!

  • Anonymous
    May 29, 2008 2:20 p.m.

    I say We put this mess to bed. It is obvious there is nothing better to talk about in Utah right now. I am hesitant to even be a part of this stupid misunderstanding. If your mad your jealous, if your defending your too involved let it go.

  • The Spirit
    May 29, 2008 2:01 p.m.

    None of this matters. BYU sports have no importance.

  • Cougar
    May 29, 2008 2:01 p.m.

    re:this is great

    Ya think. This is hilarious. In the end, it is Mountain West Conference football. You know, the conference with 9 players drafted into the NFL this year.

  • WOW ! LET IT BE !
    May 29, 2008 1:42 p.m.

    Let there be peace on EARTH ! LET IT BEGIN WITH ME !This comment may not even have alot to do with Riley Nelson ! Its OK for U fans to dance in our stadium & chant we own BYU ! what arrogance ! We win 2 years in a row & never saw any dancing & chanting ! U talk about our self righteous fans ! Because we dont have a alcohol induced happiness , were all hypocrits ! As a two pack a day smoker, I should feel uneasy knowing Im in a stadium full of pretty much non smokers ! Quite the contrary ! The fans Ive met over the years look forward to seeing me each saturday ! Get past it ute fans ! Bronco never coherced Riley into this decision , PERIOD ! Riley most likely had some turmoil that was interfering with his mission ! Bronco & Riley are not going to respond, cause the TRUTH NEEDS NO DEFENSE ! So lets watch how we throw that HYPOCRIT word around ! U fans need to take a good look @ yourselves , I sure wouldnt take my kids 2 R ECCLES!

  • RE: Dick
    May 29, 2008 1:37 p.m.

    I think you misunderstood Bronco's comments. You said that Bronco said he didn't want anyone who wasn't committed. If he said it, do you really think he meant he didn't want any athlete who wasn't committed to ANY school? So, if a kid isn't commmitted to attending UM, then Bronco doesn't want him? If a kid isn't committed to OSU, Bronco doesn't want him? Does that make any sense? No. that's like saying Bronco only wants kids who are committed to a school, any school, even if it's not BYU. Why would Bronco want a kid who is committed to USU or any other school? Bronco doesn't want a kid who is not committed to BYU. Is this a surprise? Not in the slightest. Would you want to date a girl who is not committed to you? No. Why? Because if you like her you are going to invest a lot of time and effort to her, and you want the same in return. If a kid is not committed to BYU and doesn't WANT to play for BYU, then he probably won't put in all the effort that Bronco would need from him. Get it now?

  • this is great
    May 29, 2008 1:28 p.m.

    While BYU is getting 5'9 QB's on missions the California schools are signing all the 5 star LDS players. The real concern should be the guys we are losing. The best linebacker in the country is from Hawaii, devot LDS, first choice USC. The best JC lineman in the country just off a mission committed yesterday USC. the two best offensive linemen in the state of Utah choosing between LSU, Alabama, USC.

  • Vinman
    May 29, 2008 1:27 p.m.

    I wouldn't believe anything Dick Harmon says. If there was ever a BYU apologists, it would be him. The first time he writes a real, fact finding article, it will be his first.

  • lvman
    May 29, 2008 1:23 p.m.

    Who cares what joe fan says. My recollection of what Bronco said about Ben Olsen was if Ben doesn't want to be here, we will move on with who does and good luck to Ben. I didn't here Bronco say one negative thing about Ben. Things seem to have worked out a lot better for Bronco than they have for Ben.

  • Re;Marilin...Duh
    May 29, 2008 1:20 p.m.

    Duh is right, When Ben Olsen was going through the exact same thing Riley is where were you with all your wisdom. I know, cursing the ground he walked on!.

  • The only thing that matters
    May 29, 2008 1:19 p.m.

    All this hogwash about what reflects poorly on Bronca and BYU Football... there is only one thing.... WINS/LOSSES. 6-6, 11-2, and 11-2 are the only thing that reflects on Bronco.... oh yeah maybe 3rd and 11 and 4th and 18.

  • Made my day!!
    May 29, 2008 1:18 p.m.

    Thanks, Dick. You made my day! Any time we can get the pathetic yewt fans to rise up and scream and howl over ANYTHING is a good day in my book.

    Keep up the good work, and yewt fans: keep whining and wringing your hands. It's good exercise for the upcoming football and basketball seasons.

  • BYU
    May 29, 2008 1:15 p.m.

    Functional on the outside,dysfunctional on the inside.

  • Re: Marlin Duh
    May 29, 2008 1:14 p.m.

    If they all have the same right why did BYU fans attack Ben Olsen and salute Riley Nelson. I don't care what Riley does, but don't act like you treated Ben Olsen the same way you are now treating Riley. It's all okay when it goes your way.

  • Re: Cougar
    May 29, 2008 1:07 p.m.

    Please name the sources with the exact quotes of the last two things you said Mr. Bronco said:

    2) Doesn't want players on his team that do not do the "honorable thing" and keep their committments.(unless you are a USU or ASU quarterback who can help the BYU program)

    3) Will not recruit players on missions. A regional BYU recruiter contacting a high school coach who contacts a parent who e mails a missionary and indicates interest from the regional BYU recruiter would in most cases(other than a Bill Clinton administration) be classified as BYU recruiting a missionary.

    Just as this (BLOG) suggested, those were never quotes. If we are all misinformed and you have the sources; please be the hero you're trying to be and provide them.

    If not --- shut your Ute pie-hole and stop trying to makeup stuff your friend mr. bronco said.

  • WA Coug
    May 29, 2008 12:51 p.m.

    Nice story Harmon. The Cougars are a national team and the fans of the local Utah schools can't understand that. Nothing illegal or unethical done; no harm, no foul. The ags and utes are howling and that only makes them look more foolish. Grow up and get on with it Utah readers.

  • Venom spitters won't retract
    May 29, 2008 12:41 p.m.

    That sets the record straight. This is a non-issue. There is no proof that Bronco isn't dealing as a respectable coach in all recruiting matters. Get your facts straight people before your accusations are turned on you.

    The only self-righteous hypocrisy I see is coming from opponents of BYU, such as those commenting here the last few days, who hold BYU to a different standard then you do your own programs and even yourselves. You all should be held accountable for your slander. The reason you hate BYU is again proven to be perceived stereotypes rather than actual.

  • much to do about nothing ..
    May 29, 2008 12:31 p.m.

    This Nelson kid probably won't even see much playing time at BYU anyway so this is much to do about nothing. I doubt he will see any playing time other than a spring scrimmage or two. Max Hall has three years left and after that I am sure there will be plenty of new recruits waiting in the wings. This Nelson kid is small and probably should have stayed at USU.

  • Anonymous
    May 29, 2008 12:26 p.m.

    I don't think Coach Mendenhall ever made that statement. He isn't a hypocrite. No football coach is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. Dick is just looking for a way to distract BYU football from what they are doing.

  • Hey Authorities
    May 29, 2008 12:23 p.m.

    Since Mark and Thomas seem to be "in the know":

    Are you sure that Favero didn't bring up Nelson in the conversation with Higginson? Are you sure that Nelsons didn't make the contact with BYU subsequent to the coaches' conversation?

  • What should we call this?
    May 29, 2008 12:08 p.m.

    Ok, so we have USU fans made that their star QB left, and they've continued the montra of hatred for BYU.
    We have Ute fans who always look for a reason to say BYU is selfrighteous, loothing hypocrytes; and will try to demen BYU and its fans anytime they can.

    Who didn't see that coming? Ute/Aggie fans hate BYU, can't stand BYU, and take a chance to try and bash them and bring them down (that includes you posser fans who act like ashamed good mormon kids who don't ever do anything wrong and only BYU is a sham for the church)

    The only people's opinion who matter in this situation are BYU fans - No one else matters.

  • RE: Marlin...Duh...
    May 29, 2008 12:06 p.m.

    You said Olson had more "right" to transfer than Riley?

    WHAT?

    They ALL have the SAME "RIGHT" to transfer.

    In fact, they have an OBLIGATION to do what is best for their future, their family and their life. Making a life-changing decision at 17, then having to stick to it forever...well, how dumb is that?

    So, when you go to college, declare your major, and now you stick to it NO MATTER WHAT!

    Yeah, that'll happen. It is NONE of OUR business what Riley does. It is HIS decision. It is HIS life. ALL FANS have NO say in the matter. What-so-ever!

    HIS CHOICE. HIS LIFE. HIS FUTURE. HIS.

    ONLY HIS. NOT YOURS.

  • Thomas
    May 29, 2008 11:57 a.m.

    Why does Mr. Harmon think that Riley's family contacted BYU. They didn't. According to Riley's Dad, a BYU coach, Higginson, told Riley's school coach, Mike Favero, that BYU had interest and Coach Favero told Riley's parents. BYU initiated the contact NOT the family.

  • LarkNelson
    May 29, 2008 11:51 a.m.

    First,the process with Nelson was legal. He has the right to change his mind and was recruitable by NCAA standards. Look at Jorgensen, after his commitment to Kentucky, where former Ute coach McBride had landed, he had a change of heart, as did Steve Tate, and the Poppinga with USU. But Nelson won't win the starting job easily...and to the fool who wrote the "ode to what about Lark" comment, that entry was simply stating that James Lark was a very fine highly recruited Utah prep QB, put up similar #'s to Nelson, and competed against some bigger schools each year than the 3A level in preseason with the Vegas schools that Pine View annually played. Nobody knows if Lark is being recruited elsewhere. Lark also has a year in the Coug program, is bigger and stronger physically than Nelson, and his presence will likely create a great QB competition, not unlike the Hall/Cooper situation of Spring, 2007 before Cooper was injured. As far as Harmon's article goes, should we expect anything else? He is the key writer for BYU sports and seldom varies from his pro-BYU perspective. He is not the only sportswriter who does this nationwide.

  • Matt
    May 29, 2008 11:52 a.m.

    BYU Fans were upset at Ben Olsen when he left, but nobody was accusing UCLA coaches of being hypocritical or unethical for recruiting him.

    I understand that USU fans are unhappy with the player and I don't blame them, but BYU has done nothing hypocritical or unethical and criticism of the program is undeserved.

    Fans of neither team should just butt out. It has nothing to do with them.

  • Sugar Land
    May 29, 2008 11:50 a.m.

    Coach Higgins of BYU recruits Cache Valley and has regular contact with the HS coaches there. During one of his contacts with the Logan coach (who has another QB this year that is being recruited, btw), Riley Nelson's name came up and the coach indicated that Riley would consider a transfer to BYU. Higgins followed up with Riley's parents and they confirmed what the coach said. BYU Coaches then 1) Contacted Riley's Mission President for permission to email Riley, and 2) Contacted Coach Guy at USU to let him know what was happening so he could make necessary preparations to fill Riley's absence. Through a few email exchanges (missionaries are allowed to use email for correspondence once per week), Riley's desire to transfer was confirmed and BYU decided to hold a scholarship for him.

    BYU did not recruit Nelson by making unsolicited contact - which is what Bronco meant. They responded, as Bronco said they would, to inquiries made on behalf of players from their family or representatives. Bronco gets many of these inquiries every month.

    Thankfully, Riley himself can clear all of this up when he returns in 10 months. Unfortunately, that won't stop the wild, baseless, speculation.

  • Cowboy
    May 29, 2008 11:43 a.m.

    BYU fans are not hypocrites they are Fan-atics like every other college fan. We do not need to say it is O.K. for Riley but not for Ben because we are Fanatics and we want whats best for the team. don't cloud the issue with the church or a holier standard, it doesn't exist. We boo the other teams just like every other school and we put our pants on the same way - one leg at a time. You Ute fans should allow us to sometimes come down to your level once in a while.

  • Weschuck
    May 29, 2008 11:40 a.m.

    Since there are so many press writers and bloggers that try to knock my Cougars, it's great to have Harmon objectively and ethically present the Cougars' side. Keep it up, Dickie!

  • RE: floridian
    May 29, 2008 11:39 a.m.

    Perhaps you neglected to read the article to which you are commenting so I will impart unto you and your great righteousness a fact. The article was about BYU football - not BYU academics, hence people who are commenting (other than yourself) are at least doing so with a coherent understanding of what it is they are commenting on. If the story had been about BYU academics and Sunday night firesides then perhaps your comments might have some relevancy - but they do not.

  • coach C -- lets clear the rumors
    May 29, 2008 11:30 a.m.

    I honestly do not believe any of you want the full truth. Let's dispel the rumors out there:

    1. BYU did not recruit Riley Nelson while on his mission. Riley has received interest from Utah and other schools while on his mission. His coach at Logan High, who is a close family friend and awesome, awesome man, mentioned this to Coach Higgins who said and I quote, "Well, let us know if Riley is interested in coming to BYU." The HS coach contacted the dad who contacted Riley who said he was interested, which then came about the events of the transfer.

    2. Dick Harmon does not receive phone calls from BYU coaches and administrators to spew forth the BYU spin.

    3. Ben Olsen said he was coming back to BYU even when he was back from his mission and back home. I happened to go to the ward while he was at the end of his mission and spoke with his parents who said to me, "We think he will still go to BYU." Ben changed his mind almost during the 11th hour. Riley is letting all concerned parties know now, hence avoiding confusion when he returns.

  • Cougar
    May 29, 2008 11:24 a.m.

    Dick Harmon sticking up for Bronco? Who would have thought?? The facts are that Bronco has said the following:

    1) Never lost a recruit form Utah that I wanted.(evidently Riley wasn't wanted at the Y because he originally went to USU).

    2) Doesn't want players on his team that do not do the "honorable thing" and keep their committments.(unless you are a USU or ASU quarterback who can help the BYU program)

    3) Will not recruit players on missions. A regional BYU recruiter contacting a high school coach who contacts a parent who e mails a missionary and indicates interest from the regional BYU recruiter would in most cases(other than a Bill Clinton administration) be classified as BYU recruiting a missionary.

    Having said all that, way to go Bronco. Cougars rule and we will continue to do so. Bronco is just like every other coach(he just needs to acknowledge that) and that will win us a national championship. How does the saying go? When in Rome.............

  • L.A. Coug
    May 29, 2008 11:17 a.m.

    "Nice One Dickey" said:

    "Every non-member I know here in California thinks we are all hypocrits and the basis for their belief is BYU athletics. Nice missionary tool!"

    That's funny...every non-member I talked to at the BYU-UCLA football game at the Rose Bowl last Sept. was impressed with how BYU fans conducted themselves and with the determination of the team in the second half. Some even started rooting for the Cougs. Most of my friends are non-mormons here in S. Cal. and NONE of them think Mormons are hypocrits because of BYU athletics.



  • Mark
    May 29, 2008 11:16 a.m.

    Intersting how many of the folks defending BYU continue to spin this as the Nelsons contacting BYU as justification. Very simply, that is not what happened. So if you want to justify this, you at least need to be accurate - come up with a different reason why it is OK. I am a BYU alumni and I find this very disappointing.

  • Jace Anderson
    May 29, 2008 11:10 a.m.

    Jorgensen was not going to the U, he was committed to Kentucky where McBride was a coach

  • floridian
    May 29, 2008 11:09 a.m.

    What I find interesting in all of these comments is that they address missionaries and attending BYU from an athletic approach. As if the only reason BYU exists is for it to become a football powerhouse. You do a major disservice to BYU and to all of its non-athletes. In my opinion, the primary purpose for the three BYUs is to provide a place for young men and young women to obtain an education in an environment of morality, honesty, and service. To spend as much time as has been spent in your commentary arguments reflects poorly on you and, unfortunately, by some on the Church.

  • I agree with Steve-You rock
    May 29, 2008 11:07 a.m.

    Best comment ever!

  • Ode to: What about Lark?
    May 29, 2008 11:05 a.m.

    Dear What about Lark?,

    Firt of all I must state that you are a genuine idiot.
    Perhaps you should contact Mr. Lark and his family and inform them of this grave injustice that BYU has dealt upon him by allowing another player to be on the team.
    Certainly such a prudent action taken by yourself will free him from Cougar oppression and he wil certainly sign with either USU or Utah. I am certain your grand scheme will work. How could it not. It is genious - just like you.

  • Oklahoma
    May 29, 2008 10:59 a.m.

    What is with all this California nonesense? Who cares what someone from California says? There is a 53% chance that the Californian is a sodomite and planning a marriage for the 17th of June. Thus, his opinion about anything football is relegated to the trash bin.
    One steadfast rule that has been passed down through the ages is that there are no gay people (i.e. Californians)allowed in football or anywhere near it.

  • TO: IHC = "ick"
    May 29, 2008 10:55 a.m.

    USU did the exact same thing as Riley Nelson: they chose the "better team." The fact of the situation is that the contract between USU and Dr. Nelson et al had expired, and the university was taking bids for the future. IHC submitted the best bid, from a business standpoint, and saved the university money which is a critical issue at USU. You mention honesty, honor, and loyalty; sometimes in running a business where tax dollars are spent, the bottom line dictates where your loyalties must be placed--to your constituents!

  • Brett
    May 29, 2008 10:52 a.m.

    User 'Church Policy' said: "Spiritual common sense should tell us that the LDS Church should be the one who has a policy that its own school has no contact for athletic purposes with missionaries serving the Lord. The Church knows that is not what these young men are there for and they know it is a distraction. Samualson and the Church leaders have gravely disappointed me if they continue to allow this to take place..."

    umm ... Right. Get off your spiritual high horse. I had an academic scholarship on hold and had to apply for it to be reinstated while I was still on my mission. The Church expects focus from its missionaries, but does not set them up to fail once they return home. A mission is not the end-all-and-be-all of LDS life. Had the Church not allowed me to reapply, I would have lost my scholarship and probably wouldn't have gone to college, I don't have the money for it. IT'S NO DIFFERENT HERE. College athletes get a first-class education paid for with athletic scholarships. Why would the LDS Church deny this opportunity to any of its members?

  • Ute Fan
    May 29, 2008 10:50 a.m.

    I as a Ute fan could care less about the fact that Riley Nelson is transferring to BYU. There was obviously a reason that BYU and Utah didn't recruit him out of High School. I harbor no jealously over BYU gaining a quarterback who will be two years removed from a glamorous season in which he threw 6 TD's & 6 interceptions and got yanked after one quarter in his final game before his mission. I only find the story interesting because so many people are saying that it is "legit" and BYU should recruit missionaries when they were freaking out over Ben Olson leaving just a few years ago!

  • Dick
    May 29, 2008 10:47 a.m.

    Clearly, with the "facts" that we know today, BYU did nothing illegal or even immoral. To me, that isn't the issue.

    The issue to me is the two faces that are appearing with Bronco. First, he is on record as saying he doesn't want players on his team that don't honor a commitment. He made that statement when detailing this past recruiting class in February. Many of his current players changed their mind after committing to a school - Hall, Unga, Tonga, Poppinga, Jorgensen, etc. Now, Nielson can be added to that list. So, while someone changing their mind isn't bad, Bronco needs to retract the statement that he doesn't want mind-changers on his team.

    Second, Bronco has made statements about BYU athletes being recruited by other schools while serving missions. He has said that it is a bad practice and these schools need to respect the mission experience and not "tamper" while they are gone. Now, we find that he is recruiting athletes from other schools while they are serving. You can't have it both ways.

    While mind changing and missionary recruiting aren't illegal, the BYU brass needs to determine their stance on these issues and be consistent.

  • I agree with Steve
    May 29, 2008 10:45 a.m.

    I will be getting back to work now. I've spent more time reading these comments than Riley probably had to spend in making his "no brainer" decision. There's really not a controversy here. BTW - I'm an Aggie fan from Logan, but let's get real, they don't have a football program that is good enough to even make this an issue. Good luck Riley!!! For all you LDS people that want to complain about his use of time - "every member a missionary" - how are you spending your time?

  • Re: Another Observerr
    May 29, 2008 10:38 a.m.

    Stop trying to split hairs as to why Ben Olsen was wrong and Riley is right. You know as well as I when the Olsen thing came down BYU fans were not upset about when he made his decision to leave it was the fact he left. The same reason Utah State fans are angry. stop trying to re write history. Oh I forgot that goes on alot around here!.

  • Now Hold On
    May 29, 2008 10:35 a.m.

    All these BYU fans in here say it is no big deal for Nelson to be conducting this business during his mission because it is a football related matter that might benefit their team. One would have to doubt these same fans views if a missionary was thinking about joining the military after their mission and had armed forces recruiter talking and pitching to him during his mission. One could imagine them saying "he needs to be focused on one thing...his mission"

    These are the same fans who not only freaked out when Ben Olsen jumped ship but also vented their anger at Shawn Bradley when he announced during his mission he was entering the NBA draft?

    Maybe the DN needs to think about hiring Jay Drew away from the Tribune to keep Mr. Harmon informed about what is really going on with BYU recruiting.

  • Journalism? Not here
    May 29, 2008 10:36 a.m.

    Dick Homer Harmon just digs himself a bigger hole of no credibility each time he "blindly votes BYU." And he adds to the image that Y fans can't think for themselves. It's just a shame that Harmon is allowed to use every single article to promote BYU, instead of using it for what it should be-- objective journalism.

  • Re: Steve Reeves
    May 29, 2008 10:35 a.m.

    I'm rich I don't work! so you go back to work. You probably work for me!.

  • Kenny
    May 29, 2008 10:35 a.m.

    First the transgression, now the moral justification.

  • Jonathan
    May 29, 2008 10:32 a.m.

    Let's call it how it is. All of the feelings are obviously based on what school you are a fan of. If you're a BYU fan, you're okay with Nelson, Jorgensen, Unga, Hall, Tonga, Poppinga and others that come to BYU after originally at least indicating they were going somewhere else, but you're not happy about Olsen leaving. If you're a Utah or USU fan, your feelings are the opposite. If you are a Florida State or Boston College fan, you could care less. All of the "hypocrite," "dishonest," etc labels are used to justify one's already help opinion.

    The truth is that missionaries think about and plan for the future all the time. The difference here is that it has received so much publicity and so many people care about it. On my mission I could have come home 2 weeks shorter or 2 weeks longer than my 2 years. I came home early to help with my family's business before my younger brother went on his mission. Even though I thought about that stuff before my mission ended, I felt good about my service overall.

  • What about Lark?
    May 29, 2008 10:32 a.m.

    I hope somebody is recruiting James Lark, the QB BYU recruited and landed the year they could have recruited Nelson out of high school. If I were him or his family, I would be pretty upset about this. Does anybody know his family and know if they have had any comment about any of this? His numbers weren't quite as good as Nelsons, but he's in the record book:
    Total O in a season
    6th 3,917
    Passing Yards in a season
    3rd 3,497
    Passing TDs in a season
    1st 41
    Passing per game average in a season
    8th 249.80
    I hope he goes to another school and absolutely tears it up!

  • TO: IHC = "ick"
    May 29, 2008 10:30 a.m.

    Just like "Riley went to the better team for many reasons" so did USU. You are totally misinformed; USU's contract with Dr. Nelson et al had expired, and the contract was open for bid. USU made the business decision that was in their BEST interests and, as you put it, "went to the better team," IHC!! You need to get your facts straight before you cry dishonor, dishonesty, and disloyalty.

  • Drew, Ohio
    May 29, 2008 10:26 a.m.

    I love Y-haters. I guess every zoobie needs an opposing 'boo'bie. Some dude in Califonia thinks the world is turning on BYU because a missionary contacted Bronco and asked if he could play at the Y. Wow, if that is actually true, which I entirely doubt, I am glad I am living in the midwest, far away from you high-strung religion haters.

    Two questions. First, Did this USU kid contact BYU or did we make a cold call? Second, did UCLA contact Olsen or did they contact him? There is a huge difference here. When this qb contacts Bronco what would you like him to do? If he refused to talk to you you 'boo'bies would find some reason to hate on him, calling him holier-than-thou.

    There is nothing more comical than reading BYU hate mail on Harmon's column? Why are you reading Harmon anyway? It would be like Sen. Kennedy reading Ann Coulter's column. Do you guys enjoy getting yourselves all worked up? Do you really HATE BYU that much? Hating is one thing, but reading the columnist who 'bleeds blue' just to complain? Come'on people, get a life. You'll never see me post on a UTE-lover column!

  • Did you read the same article?
    May 29, 2008 10:26 a.m.

    Simply stated, Bronco will respond when a missionary-player is interested.

    Also, the meeting in the last month wasn't the first contact. Thus the "rumors" over a year old that Nelson might switch.

    There's nothing else except what is being imagined and made up.

  • I love Cougar Football
    May 29, 2008 10:25 a.m.

    Because it is awesome

  • Paul Carter
    May 29, 2008 10:24 a.m.

    Great read finally some fair spin on the subject. I get so tired of People like Locke that us issues like this to keep the show going. They can't have a regular show without some anti BYU crap, they simply are not good enough.

  • JD
    May 29, 2008 10:22 a.m.

    Jay Drew wants to make a name for himself so much that he is willing to chase down recruits and try to be their mouthpiece, even when they have nothing to say. He says the days are long gone when a player stays in state to go to BYU or Utah....what the crap????? I remember aas far back as Bruce Hardy when I was younger, players leaving the state for other schools and I am sure there are many others before this time, and certainly many afterwards. Reading Drew's articles are like having to endure someones repeated stale breath.

  • Get off the internet
    May 29, 2008 10:22 a.m.

    I noticed the first comments to this story were at like midnight. You people need to use the internet less. At midnight you should be doing one of three things:
    (1)Sleeping
    (2)Doing some activity like a date or something with a real girl - perhaps your wife.
    (3) Or if you work nights - Working in which case you should not be commenting on a BYU story you should be using your employers money for what they pay you for.
    Please consider this and take the appropriate actions

  • McKay
    May 29, 2008 10:10 a.m.

    All of you ripping on DH and saying that only BYU fans take him seriously, that may be the case and yes he does wear blue goggles... but it's no different than the fact that none of us Y fans take you Y haters with your red goggles on serious. You Y haters already have your opinions and regardless of what BYU says, or any Cougar Fan or Coach or DH for that matter, you've already got your minds made up and there's no changing it so what's the difference? You all wear your red "anti BYU" goggles just like we wear our BYU blue goggles

  • Steve Reeves
    May 29, 2008 10:10 a.m.

    Everyone go back to work. Your employers aren't paying you to add your idiot comments.
    I am exempt from this however because I am a supervisor and I can accomplish both tasks at the same time with my superior intellect and managerial skills. In fact I can comment on three stories at the same time and still tell several people what to do.
    Thus, my point it that unless you are a well paid supervisor like myself you need to get back to work.

  • Bayou Cougar
    May 29, 2008 10:08 a.m.

    Several players transfer each year. I live in SEC country (Louisiana) and many big time players have transferred to other universities. Just last year, Mitch Muscatin the Arkansas startaing qb transferred to USC. BYU players in the mission field are often contacted by other universities while on their missions to check if their commitment has changed. Let it go.

  • Another Observer
    May 29, 2008 10:02 a.m.

    Here's the difference between Nelson and Olson.

    Olson came back to BYU during the middle of his mission to get medical treatment for an injury. At that time, he reassured BYU that he would return. He also reiterated his return to the press, which discouraged several QBs, most notably Max Hall (initially) and Nate Longshore from considering BYU. Olson suddenly sprung his change of heart on BYU after his mission, deep in to the recruiting season, when it was too late to rebuild the QB pipeline. Fortunately Hall fell in to BYU's lap.

    Nelson changed his mind during the first year of his mission. Once he changed his mind, he immediately made it known so that BYU, Utah State, any other coaches that might want to recruit him and future recruits (like Jeff Manning) could have an accurate picture of what is going on. The public announcement ends speculation, allowing Elder Nelson to focus on the work rather than constantly answer questions about it during the remainder of his mission.

  • JC
    May 29, 2008 9:58 a.m.

    For BYU fans, this is simply another case of 'BYU can do no wrong - anything BYU does is okay, but other schools have to live by higher standards.'

    I believe the LDS church ought to encourage its missionaries to focus on their work and not be entertaining recruitment solicitations from any school -including BYU.

    Also, any missionary who initiates dialog with any school about transferring to their program 'while in the middle of their mission' should not be on a mission. That shows that their heads are not where they should be.

    Of-course, there will always be the shallow BYU fans who claim that it is ok for BYU and not for other schools since BYU is LDS owned. The BYU double-standard mindset lives on.

  • Omaha
    May 29, 2008 9:57 a.m.

    My only question is why does anyone care if the kid transfers? If the kid wants to attend BYU why on earth does some idiot reporter or some dork sitting in his living room care?
    Fact is BYU is a much better school IN EVERY WAY. That isn't a slam on Utah State, it's just a fact. I didn't go to BYU or Utah State but the two schools aren't even close. Perhaps they were in th 60's but that was almost 50 years ago.

  • E Plurus Unum
    May 29, 2008 9:54 a.m.

    What are you talking about? Are you just making stuff up to offer support for an argument that has no other factual support? EVERYONE I know who served a mission, I'm talking about hundreds of people here, was encouraged to get their applications for school in and registar for classes while still serving. In a few cases I know of, mission presidents strongly encouraged their missionaries to go home a month early so they wouldn't miss the start of fall semester. If someone needed to interview with a school as part of the application process, everything reasonable was done to accomodate that interview (phone interviews from Brazil or Mongolia require some explanation to selection commities but can be done). Your comment makes no sense.

  • ExUte
    May 29, 2008 9:52 a.m.

    I like it when the Cougs perform to a higher level. I'm glad to see that it's happening on and off the field. Even in recruiting! My attention is on the upcoming season. It's no secret that the Cougs are getting better and better from season to season, thanks to coach Mendenhall and his great staff. Can't wait to kick it off in '08. BYU is the real deal. We're out to win 'em baby!!

  • BYU HAS NO ETHICS
    May 29, 2008 9:50 a.m.

    When that apparently happened with Collie in 2006, Mendenhall expressed disappointment, saying that "it is a shame" that rival schools "don't see the big picture."

    Everyone else should leave missionaries alone except BYU. BYU has the god given right to lie, cheat and steal as long they win. If other schools do it they are going to "heck." (sorry to be so profane)

    If BYU wants to play fair they should give out their players mission e-mail addresses to the other schools. BYU does not have respect for the mission why should other schools??? O wait BYU is above the ethics that they expect other schools to live by. God Bess.

  • DHTEYA
    May 29, 2008 9:48 a.m.

    Dick Harmon, the Eternal BYU Apologist.

  • brerabbit
    May 29, 2008 9:47 a.m.

    What facts are missing. As I glean from both sides of this sports story.: 1. The USU quarterback has been on a mission for his church for more than a year 2. BYU coach has had no contact with missionary. 3. conversation was between coach and close associates of the QB/Missionary. 4. coach made assurances that there would be a place on the football roster if the decision was made to transfer. 5. Agreement was made between coach and athlete/missionary through this communication pattern. What is with all the fill in the blanks on this site?

  • That is the question
    May 29, 2008 9:46 a.m.

    Who initiated the Riley conversation? Was it Higgins, or was it Nelson's old coach? If Higgins initiated it, then BYU did actively seek out and recruit Nelson, which would reflect very poorly on the Bronco Mendenhall administration.

    But, if the high school coach initiated it, then BYU did absolutely nothing wrong nor hypocritical.



    This is right up there with the made up quote that Bronco would never again lose an in-state recruit. He never said that, but it sure hasn't stopped people from saying he did.

  • hypocrisy
    May 29, 2008 9:45 a.m.

    It is not hypocritical to want good athletes to stay at and come to BYU. If your brother decided to leave his friends so he could hang out with you, you'd be happy, right? And if your brother decided to leave you at home and go hang out with his friends, you'd be sad, right? How on earth is this hypocritical? It's not. And that's the way BYU fans feel about good athletes come and going to and from BYU. It has nothing to do whatsoever with hypocrisy. Maybe you should go look up hypocrisy in a dictionary.

  • CougarKeith
    May 29, 2008 9:45 a.m.

    USU should quit crying and just worry about the program growing and make "Adjustments". They are in the WAC so IMPROVE and play like a WAC team instead of a high school team!

  • Hmmmmm
    May 29, 2008 9:45 a.m.

    Are BYU fans really crying about being held to a higher standard????? Isn't that what BYU is all about, isn't that what BYU professes to be?

    The BYU athletic program truly is an embarrassment to the church. You all have forgotten about the number of player arrests, and the recruiting violations in other sports i.e. volleyball. They are no different than other schools programs. If that's the way you want it fine, but that's not how it's supposed to be. Admit that you CHEAT just like everyone else.

  • haunyocker
    May 29, 2008 9:42 a.m.

    For Yewt Whinners, it boils down to "We didn't get Riley" and BYU did....waa waa waa waa. We didn't get Nelson but we can malign Bronco and BYU, lets do that."
    How sad that Yewts have to resort to lying and phoney quotes to make their case. Harmon is an accurate, interesting and careful writer...that is what sticks in the craws of Yewt Whinners. I feel so sorry for them and their pathetic Utah football program. Keep up the inferior program...we'll be be cheering the Cougs all the way to the championship.

  • all they preach
    May 29, 2008 9:42 a.m.

    it's because the minute you go on a mission they preach "leave yourself" or "leave the world behind you and go forth and serve" talk. That's why and other schools aren't LDS schools so it wouldn't be a conflict because they don't care or maybe know better. But BYU does! and they know the importance of it right? MAybe BYU football is the real religon there at BYU. People can't pay their tithing but can afford season tickets???

  • Chicken Little
    May 29, 2008 9:40 a.m.

    The sky is falling! The sky is falling! A kid is transferring to BYU! The sky is falling! The sky is falling! Whatever shall we do!!!!

  • Harmon is a Homer
    May 29, 2008 9:40 a.m.

    Dick Harmon is such a BYU homer he twists the facts to make BYU look like they did nothing but respond to Nelson begging to become a Cougar. It is clear from interview's with Nelson's father that BYU inititated the contact through Nelson's High School football coach and recruited Nelson. That kind of activity is dirty recruiting and is contrary to what Bronco preaches. He has even stated he is not interested in athletes who have orally commited somewhere because he isn't interested in athletes that do not keep their word.

  • Utah St. is D2
    May 29, 2008 9:38 a.m.

    Utah st. football is D2 football. SO Nelson is playing D2 football. I think Azusa Pacific could handle Utah St. or even Pomona Pitzer college. There you go! that's how crappy Utah St is. Set it up.

  • re: who cares
    May 29, 2008 9:38 a.m.

    If you're going to jump in the middle of the subject, do your research. The issue was brought up by those critical to BYU.

    I do agree that this subject has gotten way more attention than it deserves. But that's what happens when BYU, or The Church, or the state of Utah is involved.

  • Are you all kidding me???
    May 29, 2008 9:35 a.m.

    Those of you saying that he should have waited until he came home to make his decision so he wouldn't be distracted from his mission...are you kidding me? Did you folks go to college? You don't just come home and get enrolled instantly...there are admissions, housing, other factors that have to be considered and arranged before you can show up and get in to school instantly. And just because you're considering those issues (or others including where you'll play football) while in the mission field does NOT mean you're not fully serving a faithful mission. I had to make similar decisions regarding my future while on a mission, and used time in the evenings/P-Days to do so. It didn't detract from anything, but it would have been stupid for me to return home without any plans in place for my future. In fact, most mission presidents worth their salt encourage their missionaries to give thought to how they're going to begin the next important phase of their lives...post-mission. You guys need to cut this kid some slack, he did nothing wrong here. And neither did BYU.

  • Why
    May 29, 2008 9:34 a.m.

    Why would BYU actively go after Riley when they can attract QB's from other states already. They don't need Riley so they didn't initiate contact. I listened to Keith Nelson on the radio to and he said the high school coach initiated contact with BYU. But what does it matter. If he was transferring to the Utes, this wouldn't even be an issue but because it's BYU and The Church, it's not right. Get a life people

  • Bronco Lover
    May 29, 2008 9:32 a.m.

    The best thing about Bronco is that he believes the standard of conduct at BYU is a strength, rather than a weakness. He knows that young men who subscribe to this code will reap blessings from living the standards of the church. Some previous coaches were defensive about the issue. Kudos to Bronco.

    As to Nice One Dicky, it's not surprising to me that with your attitude, every non-member you know in California thinks Mormons are hypocrites. They must judge us by the Mormon they know best -- you.

  • It's not hate
    May 29, 2008 9:29 a.m.

    YOu guys just need to get a life about this whole thing. Some kid transfers. FINE! Some kid who is 5'10 from Utah St. transfers. Fine! WHo cares about this kid. I know I know it's because he would be the first UTah kid in probably 20 years. I may be wrong I don't care. I don't see what all the hype and talk is about. The kid isn't Matt Leinart or anyhting.

  • Can someone explain....
    May 29, 2008 9:27 a.m.

    why it is OK for virtually every school in the Pac-10 to recruit missionaries as we witnessed in the Austin Collie and Ben Olson case, but the second BYU does it, they are portrayed as evil cheaters?? I honestly don't get it. I actually don't have a problem with missionaries being contacted by ANY school, as they are fair game and will end up playing where they really want to play anyway. Are we witnessing a double standard? Like, it's OK if it happens as long as someone doesn't transfer TO BYU????

  • WHO CARES!!
    May 29, 2008 9:25 a.m.

    It's some no gamer from Utah St. You BYU fans make such a big deal over nothing. THat's why BYU sports is your religon. Look no one cares that some dude from Utah st. transfers to BYU that's like some guy transfering from SDSU to Fresno St. YOu guys are like making it like the guy is Tim Tebow or something. OHHHH riley Nelson is transferring to the Y so oh my gosh!!


    "Fight On"

  • Huh?
    May 29, 2008 9:21 a.m.

    Regular students aren't allowed to register for classes while on a mission? What non-LDS church mission did you serve in?

    I'm one of the few BYU fans who wished Olson had decided to stay (for my own selfish reasons), but completely understood his reasons for leaving BYU (the destination school didn't make much difference in my mind). He did what he thought was best for him and his future (I don't believe he foresaw himself being a flop), and you can't fault a guy for that.

    I sent a girl off on her mission with the spoken intention of marrying her when she got back. I was married before she came home. Guess I'm a hypocrite. Or, maybe my life simply took a direction I wasn't expecting.

    The big story here is that Nelson was supposed to be the USU savior, but instead chose to jump a perpetually sinking ship. Most USU fans have taken the stance I took with Ben Olson. As fans, they would've liked to see if Riley could've been their savior, but they completely understand why he'd want the chance to prove himself with a winning program.

  • JB
    May 29, 2008 9:15 a.m.

    Elder Nelson can do whatever he wants that's not the issue, in my opinion the article written by DH questions the supposed quote by Coach Mendenhall of not recruiting missionaries. CougFan showed that the quote was given (D News Feb. 2,2006 written by Jeff Call) Jay Drew from the SL Trib also uses the quote, so will DH apologize. I don't fault Coach Mendenhall for initiating contact with Elder Nelson (if he did) but be careful of what you preach, you might have to live up to it.

  • Aggie
    May 29, 2008 9:15 a.m.

    Doesn't your word mean anything anymore? He told Utah State that he would be back. When you tell someone you will do something you do it. As an LDS member who is an Aggie fan I feel that BYU was wrong in contacting him on his mission. Leave the boy alone and let him serve. If he wanted to transfer so bad, he still would hav transfered when he got home. Next time leave missionaries alone. When they are home they are free game. If Riley Nelson does not want to be any aggie than we do not want him on the team. Who wants to play with someone who does not want to be there? These kinds of things are what makes me hate BYU. Then your fans go around and act like nothing is wrong. I would like to talk to one cougar who didn't think bronco walked on water and could see that the same thing happened with Ben Olson and riley nelson. It is wrong to mess with them on their missions. Your mind should be focused on one thing and one thing only. Go Aggies and forget Riley Nelson.

  • WHY???
    May 29, 2008 9:13 a.m.

    Why do you Utahns always have to include the state of California in every post on the Deseret news. What's your infatuation with the state? Get over it! your Utah.

  • Henry Drummond
    May 29, 2008 9:10 a.m.

    You certainly put all dissent to rest with this column! I'm sure nobody will bring the subject up again by golly! All questions have been put to rest by gum!

    Let's see. BYU coach Patrick Higgens gets Elder Nelson's old high school coach to contact him and tell him BYU is interested in him transferring. That isn't recruiting as we can plainly see. Its really Elder Nelson waking up in the middle of the night with a "strong interest" in becoming a Cougar and BYU having no choice but to respond. That puts that issue to rest!

    If that doesn't convince you then look at all those rumors that were going around that Elder Nelson was going to transfer anyway. It was a done deal before he even left for his mission! Which explains why both USU and Riley put out statements denying them. No question about it, he was dying to transfer!

    Bronco my have won a quarterback but he has lost the right to deliver any more sanctimonious lectures about character. If this had been Utah recruiting a BYU player do you really think this article would have been written the same way?

  • Non-belilever
    May 29, 2008 9:02 a.m.

    "Avoid the very appearance of evil"
    Well, Coach obviously you don't care about that because you certainly have the appearance of evil whether you are innocent or not.

    Part of the problem appears to be that Mendenhall has to answer to no one. With his win record he can do, say, and act any way he wants to. No one has control over him.

  • BYU Fan
    May 29, 2008 9:00 a.m.

    BYU fans won't boo Ben Olson. He won't be playing.

  • re: could care less
    May 29, 2008 8:58 a.m.

    I applied for school while on my mission. My family filled out the application, mailed it to me. I signed it and wrote the essay and mailed it in. One of my companions even got registered for classes. He told his family what classes to sign him up for and they registered for him. So see, regular students can do it to.

  • For what it's worth
    May 29, 2008 8:57 a.m.

    I remember when Olson transferred to UCLA, there were many BYU fans who were upset about it. Called him all kinds of things.

    But...not all BYU fans felt that way. I had no problem with his decision. Given the state of the program at the time, and his experience while at BYU, it seemed like a very logical and good decision. It hasn't really worked out for him at UCLA yet because of injuries (and poor play), but I still wish him the best and hope he does well. I know of many other BYU fans who feel the same way.

    That's part of the risk of letting players go on missions. Some will transfer. Some will never be as good as they were before the mission.

    And, finally, what's all this talk of it being some sort of sin for Nelson or any other missionary to make decisions about his future while on his mission? There's nothing wrong with that, in fact there's everything right with that. You mean to tell me that you never thought about what you would do, who you would be or how you would act after the mission? Give him a break.

  • sob
    May 29, 2008 8:54 a.m.

    what tempest in a tea pot

  • Higher Standard
    May 29, 2008 8:52 a.m.

    Higher Standard by eye. Every dedicated sports fan puts their favorite team on a pedastal, it's called being a dedicated fan. The childish part is when you start condemning other teams out of spite knowing that if your team had done it, it would be okay. Lighten up people, read the facts, and stop jumping to conclusions. Hey, I know maybe we should just blame Tracy McGrady for the whole thing.

  • Could care less
    May 29, 2008 8:48 a.m.

    I could care less if missionaries are allowed to talk with coaches and schools while on their mission. The double standard is why aren't "regular" students, not athletes allowed to do the same. All the students wanted to do was apply for graduate school or register for classes, but were told no. Apparently it's more about athletics than academics.

  • So. Cal
    May 29, 2008 8:47 a.m.

    If BYU is so good, then no one will boo Ben Olsen when UCLA comes to Provo just becuase he decided to go to another school. For some reason I find that hard to believe.

  • Dudes . . .
    May 29, 2008 8:46 a.m.

    Look, it's the kid's choice to play and go to college wherever he wants. He decided he wanted to go to BYU when he gets back, so through his father, he contacted the BYU coaches to let them know of that desire. What's the big, frickin' deal? And you can't call someone a hypocrite if you don't know for sure that it was that particular person who complained about Ben Olson leaving. Everybody just chill out, for crying out loud. It's football; it's fun; it's a game. Go Cougars, Utes, Aggies, Wildcats, T-Birds, etc . . . but especially Cougars.

  • Re: Observer
    May 29, 2008 8:45 a.m.

    It is not a "case of a religion saying one thing and doing another." At most, it would be the case of a football coach at a religious institution "saying one thing and doing another" and even that is debatable. So you can make Bronco Mendenhall, Jon Heder, David Archuleta, or any other Mormon your straw man, but it doesn't mean that you have a worthwhile point.

  • Big Deal
    May 29, 2008 8:45 a.m.

    I am an LDS Ute fan. This whole thing is not a huge deal. Was there some hypocrisy on BYU and coach Mendenhall's side. Probably. Probably more so on a spiritual sense. Leave the kid alone, he's on his mission, not because he was at USU, but because he's on his mission.

    Would it be nice if Riley would have said, "I'll figure it out when I get home, but for now I'm just focused on the work,"? Absolutely, but I don't completely blame him either.

    I hope he excells on his mission, achademically, and in life, but falls flat on his face in football.

  • Vegas Ed
    May 29, 2008 8:42 a.m.

    I went to the U before my mission, and while on my mission I decided to go to BYU. No, I didn't play sports in college, but while on my mission I decided to put myself in a better(in my eyes)environment for an LDS student. Was it the right move? I think so. I didn't initially go to BYU because I thought it would be too "spiritual" for me. While on my mission, I decided that's exactly what I wanted. It's up to each person. Who knows if Nelson will ever even start? Anyone even remember Chris Burgess(is that even how you spell his name)? He didn't go to BYU. It had 11 million Mormons upset, allegedly. Where is he now? Did he even play hoops in college?

  • BYU fans
    May 29, 2008 8:42 a.m.

    "UCLA did it to us with Olson, so we have the right to do it to USU with Nelson!" I thought BYU fans had standards that were supposedly higher than everyone else's. But it looks like that when it comes down to it, BYU allows schools like UCLA to determine the standards for them, and they really are no different than anyone else. So much for that stripling warrior thing.

  • Missed the point entirely
    May 29, 2008 8:37 a.m.

    Who cares if the coach "technically" did what any other coach in America would do? I agree that he would have flunked "coaching 101" if he hadn't responded to the inquiry.

    The issue here is simply that the coach made a stupid comment that he not recruit missionaries, thus giving the impression that he was different from any other coach in America. Well, he is not different, and I do not fault him for it.

    All that needs to happen here is for the writer of this article, and any delusional BYU fans out there to relieve themselves of the assumption that BYU coaches are any different from their counterparts at other schools.

    In other words, what's the big deal? The BYU coach is human, and just doing his job! Get over it...

  • To BYU haters
    May 29, 2008 8:37 a.m.

    Whaaa Whaaa. Get a life.

  • A Hypocrite
    May 29, 2008 8:36 a.m.

    I guess I am one of the hypocrites that holds BYU to a higher standard. I do the same thing with the church that holds my membership. For the BYU faithful I guess it is okay to have active contact with the football program, but call home to your family twice a year (a measure to keep the missionary focused). The article by Harmon is absurd and his journalist skill is becoming more like an amateur blog. To compare active football recruiting to a letter from a girlfriend, etc, is a stretch at best. If BYU was trying to have these missionaries focus on their calling they would say "we are interested in you, but contact us again when your mission is over". In that way the message is sent that the mission if the foremost priority and football someplace afterwards. Really as a BYU fan living outside of Utah this is embarrassing, particularly when you read the sacrifices of the early missionaries.

  • Attn Critics
    May 29, 2008 8:34 a.m.

    The problem here isn't the recruitment process or missionary focus or BYU being held to a higher standard, etc. The problem here is that those who hate BYU look for reasons to continue to hate and nothing will make them change their minds. It's sad and pathetic, but true. The recent success also irritates them because they hate to see BYU succeed. Truly pathetic. Are you that insecure about your own schools that all you can do is criticise and put down some one elses? (That also goes for BYU fans that act that way).

    And by the way, I may be a BYU fan, but I cheer for ALL the schools in the state to win and also ALL the schools in the conference (even Wyoming). It's called THE BIGGER PICTURE IN LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Take a step back, you might be able to see it.

  • DEPSERATE
    May 29, 2008 8:34 a.m.

    It boils down to nothing. Bronco did nothing wrong, no violations were made, everything was legitimate. The only thing he is being held is IF he said he would not contact missionaries. And if he did, he still didn't do anything wrong but CHANGE HIS MIND!

  • Re: Marlin
    May 29, 2008 8:32 a.m.

    The same thing could be said about Nelson. He told the coaches and the press he would be back after his mission. Real similar story. BYU fans were upset that Olsen left, we are upset that Nelson signed with BYU. In the end it will all not matter because non of these two players play basketball.

  • re:dick is wrong
    May 29, 2008 8:31 a.m.

    `Maybe you should contact KFAN and have them verify the source. Maybe you need to pull your "hate" goggles off. I would take Harmon's credibility over KFAN "U" jays anyday.

  • Cougtucky
    May 29, 2008 8:29 a.m.

    I agree. I mean do people honestly think that missionaries are unable to serve "with all their heart, might, mind, and strength" while at the same time making solid plans for their lives when they return? They can and do; I did. I had to complete college applications on P-days, but the work was never neglected nor was it a distraction.
    It was perfectly fine for Nelson to make these decisions and correspondences while serving. The only difference here is that he was a reputable QB it was a football scholarship he had to secure and therefore, received media attention.
    There is no debate here but only an opportunity for anti-BYU and/or anti-LDS an attempt at fault finding.
    Re: Cougfan. Thanks for the reference to Bronco's recruiting statements.

  • Adam
    May 29, 2008 8:27 a.m.

    It's funny how people read/believe what they want, regardless of what actually happened. I find it so funny that so many people picked up this "Bronco is a Hypocrite" line and it spread like wildfire, and yet there is no truth at all to the claim that Bronco never said he would recruit missionaries. Even some reporters {cough, Jay Drew, cough} joined in on the act.

    It just goes to show how eager Utah fans are to besmirch BYU and its reputation. They'll grasp at absolutely anything.

    Thanks for pointing out the truth, Dick, that 1. Bronco never said he wouldn't recruit missionaries, 2. Other schools try to pick off our missionaries, and 3. We absolutely should respond to athletes when they express interest in BYU.

    Great article, Dick. I enjoy your stuff.

  • Anonymous
    May 29, 2008 8:27 a.m.

    "Nice one Dicky" - I've lived in California, Oregon, and Washington, and I can't think of anyone I've met that views Cougar fans as hypocrites any more than any other rabid fan base. Your comments are typical spew from the yoot fan with "little brother" syndrome.

    The only reason anyone had a problem with Ben Olsen leaving is because we were sad and angry to see him go. We thought he was going to be our next hall-of-fame quarterback. He said he would come back. I was included in this group. But it had nothing to do with him making this decision while out on his mission. At this point, I am more than thankful he left.

    Of course you wish BYU athletics didn't exist, so you wouldn't have to suffer through the annual butt kicking.

  • Go Utes!
    May 29, 2008 8:25 a.m.

    Oh wait, there are no Ute stories in the Deseret News. I forgot. Oh, and by the way, BYU set themselves up for a higher standard. U fans did not put this "mantle" upon them. When you talk the talk you gotta walk the walk. In addition, it is not always wise to call people by their initials. All this PK and DJ and now BM? Gross!

  • Think About It
    May 29, 2008 8:24 a.m.

    It seems apparent that when Bronco said he does not "recruit" missionaries, that he was referring to identifying and actively seeking out and persuading young men who are currently serving missions. Of course, one could read the term "recruit" as broadly as possible, and interpret that to include any contact whatsoever with missionaries, irrespective of who initiated it. But Bronco is no idiot, and it seems fair to assume that he intended the former meaning, not the latter. I think that is the point Harmon is trying to make.

    Bronco has never said that BYU would, under no circumstances, talk to a player who was serving a mission. The SLTrib, Locke, Ute fans, and others are purposely distorting Bronco's words by assining them an unfair meaning that is advantageous to their agenda. This is politicking at its finest, and is no different than what Obama and Hillary do to one another every day.

    Let's have an honest discussion about the facts, and leave hyperbole and conjecture at the door. Bronco's policy is--quite simply--to not actively seek out missionaries, but to respond to any recruiting inquiries. That is exactly what happend in the Riley case. Get over it.

  • Anonymous
    May 29, 2008 8:22 a.m.

    I had tremendous respect for Bronco and his staff until this happened.

  • Mark
    May 29, 2008 8:21 a.m.

    Problem is Dick Harmon is spinning this. His examples are legit but different than Riley Nelson. BYU contacted the Nelsons. They pursued him while on a mission. Very bad form Cougs. It may be legal but it is not right. Bronco should take serious heat for this. And he should not get up and talk about how BYU is different. Very bad form.

  • Observer
    May 29, 2008 8:19 a.m.

    As a non LDS person, I've followed this story, and it appears to me that it's just another case of a religion saying one thing, and doing another. Not uncommon. However, it is disappointing that BYU and the LDS church seem to be more interested in the success of their football program than they are in living up to what they espouse. BYU, the LDS church, and it's members like to point out how they are different, have higher standards, etc. Well, after this incident, it appears that they are no different, and their standards are the same as any other institution.

  • Re: Church Policy & Calif
    May 29, 2008 8:19 a.m.

    I'm going to contact BYU and Church Officials and state that Bronco needs a policy that states that "BYU will follow NCAA rules and will recruit missionaries after 12 to 18 months of service." Then Bronco should state that he doesn't care what anybody else thinks about that.

    Cali boy -- Wow! So you know everyone in California. I lived there and I never felt that way. The Ben Olson move to UCLA happened just as Bronco was taking the reins at BYU. Ben didn't know where the program was going and decided to opt for UCLA. I understand the decision and while disappointed felt okay with it. It helped that we got Beck!

    What I find comical is that everyone with sour grapes is deciding what should be Bronco's and Church Policy. Actually, the Church should stay out of some things like this. I actually heard that BYU "would" start going after the missionaries unlike the LaVell Edwards era. If you don't like that eat some more grapes. You remind us that BYU is still doing well. Thanks.

  • Adam
    May 29, 2008 8:17 a.m.

    I have never heard louder whining than when Ben Olsen was being rumored and then decided to go to UCLA. Now BYU fans are acting like giddy little school girls.

  • Adam
    May 29, 2008 8:15 a.m.

    I agree that missionaries should be allowed to transfer while on there mission. However, if the player does so they should lose one year of eligibility just as regular transfer does or two years if it is within conference (a rule most conference have).

    Also I would like to say from a state not so LDS dominant that most college sports fans find it without honnor that certain coaches recruit former committed players while they are on their mission for such religious beliefs. A church school abusing the priviliges of their patrons. Such a school started the player stealing and have suffered since.

  • Come on
    May 29, 2008 8:13 a.m.

    Other than BYU fans, does anyone take Dick Harmon seriously? Harmon is nothing more than a mouthpiece for BYU who happens to work for the Deseret News as well. Oh, there's the rare opinion piece by Harmon that's worth reading. But overall, you can't call Harmon's writing factual reporting. Maybe pandering to BYU, but not reporting. Let's see the desnews add this comment.

  • Imperfect World
    May 29, 2008 8:12 a.m.

    This is what it is... a kid decided to transfer to BYU while on his mission. Deal with it and forget about all the politics. There is politics everywhere, especially at BYU (and yes, I am a Y grad). This is college athletics. Not everything is perfect, peachy and rose scented. Best to take it for what it is and move on.

  • Dick is Wrong
    May 29, 2008 8:04 a.m.

    Funnyon 1320Kfan all week they have been reading the quote on the air from Bronco not recruiting missionaries from other programs. Theyevenhad Keith Nelson, Rileys father confirm BYU coaches contacted the family through the high school coach. Wake up Dick and pull your blue googles off. As well as you BYU fans.

  • RE: Marlin
    May 29, 2008 8:02 a.m.

    I was just waiting for someone to justify how it is alright for Nelson to swith schools and not Ben. Ben had far more right to leave than Riley. When the coach that recruited you is fired all bets are off. I'm a BYU fan that doesn't blame Riely for leaving, but please don't justify how Ben was ripped on by BYU fans and now Riley is given a free pass. Tell the truth we hated Ben for the same thing Riley is doing, and in Ben's case he was more justified to do it.

  • BYU Pay
    May 29, 2008 7:58 a.m.

    How much is BYU paying Harmon to be their P.R. rep?

  • Bryan
    May 29, 2008 7:55 a.m.

    RE: nice one Dicky
    You are so far off base. I lived in the Northwest most of my life. Nearly every non member that I had contact with, and there were many, said nothing but good things about the Church and BYU. You are the embarrassment to the church. Stick with the California schools and leave the Cougars alone.

  • IHC = "ick"
    May 29, 2008 7:55 a.m.

    One reason that Riley left USU is because USU broke a 5 year contract with Riley's father to be the team physician for USU athletes. USU acted in bad faith to secure $$$ that the "non-profit" IHC boys threw at them. USU has no honor, nor loyalty. Riley went to a better team for many reasons, but if the Aggies administration had been honest, he would have been an Aggie for life.

  • Exposed
    May 29, 2008 7:51 a.m.

    I think Unga's comments concerning his recruiting experiences between Utah and BYU pretty well exposed the main differences between the coaches. Nelson made a great decision and will never regret playing for Bronco. Nuff said.

  • Oh brother...
    May 29, 2008 7:46 a.m.

    Why do I even bother reading a Harmon article? He's such an apologist it's nauseating. It doesn't matter if he's right or wrong, you always know what his stance is going to be.

    He almost makes Hot Rod look anti-Jazz.

  • Here's the quote:
    May 29, 2008 7:39 a.m.

    Quote from Jay Drew at the Tribune, he seems to have had a different conversation with Bronco than Dick Harmon:

    "The news is sure to send shock waves through both programs, and will undoubtedly cast some suspicion on BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall's claim last fall that he does not "recruit" athletes who are on missions."

    "When rumors were swirling last fall that Nelson was considering a move to BYU when he got home, I asked Mendenhall about it and was told that BYU only contacted guys on missions who were already in its program."

  • Anonymous
    May 29, 2008 7:39 a.m.

    @Nice one Dicky
    Your attitude is an embarrasment.

  • No Wonder
    May 29, 2008 7:29 a.m.

    He probably can't find the quote because he deleted it off his computer. Seriously, I love that all these byu fans/homers think that every word Harmon says is 100% truth. Hey, news flash, he's a writer that covers a school that he is infatuated with. Please, to think that everything that comes out of his mouth is "the way it is", is a little naive. Don't you think?

  • Re:utwingnut
    May 29, 2008 7:29 a.m.

    Where were you when Ben Olsen was getting brutilized by BYU fans for the same thing.

  • What About the Missh?
    May 29, 2008 7:27 a.m.

    This situation is enough to make anybody sick, and I am not a fan of any school involved.

    Whatever happened to having a missionary focus on the work at hand and forget what is going on at home?

    How can the people involved, especially the BYU coaches and administration, just turn a bild eye to this and act like it is no big deal. How can Dick Harmon do this?

    Wow--where are the priorities?

  • middleroader12
    May 29, 2008 7:24 a.m.

    The bottom line is that the NCAA rules determine what recruiting and personal contact windows are allowed. Not BYU; not the coaches; not even boosters, fans or news columnists! Others can decide if they want to abide by the NCAA rules or break the NCAA rules. (Or even bother to read the NCAA rules.) It would be nice if the media would point out the existence of such things as NCAA rule books, since many college sports fans think teams/coaches and leagues are nothing more than feifdoms.

  • DICK HARMON
    May 29, 2008 7:21 a.m.

    Good job Dick, Thanks for cleaning things up here. For a while there we were afraid the truth would come out!.

  • Re:Woody
    May 29, 2008 7:19 a.m.

    Did you really say"More smarter than the coaches".

  • @Belgie
    May 29, 2008 7:05 a.m.

    If you didn't hear anyone complaining about UCLA's coach recruiting Ben Olson while on a mission, you must have been dead during the time.

    BYU fans were all over that one. Dorrell was highly criticized on every internet board and talk show that exists. They stated at the time they were so glad their coaching staff wouldn't do stuff like that while missionaries were out doing their thing.

  • @Time of Answers
    May 29, 2008 7:03 a.m.

    Nothing is wrong with thinking about your future while on a mission. Likewise, nothing is wrong with changing schools after your mission.

    The irony here is the outrage BYU fans had against Ben Olson for doing exactly that but the love and respect they have for Riley Nielson for doing exactly that.

    And, BYU-haters are not the ones that hold BYU to this "higher standard". It is BYU fans and the BYU coach that claim they have the "higher standard". If everyone would just realize and admit BYU athletics is just an athletic program that plays the same games and recruiting tactics as everyone else, then we wouldn't be in this mess.

    It is Bronco himself that brings this "higher standard" into the equation. At the last recruiting class announcement, he claimed he wouldn't want athletes that commit to one program and then reneg on that commitment. Geez, many of the stars of the BYU team fall into that category - Jorgensen, Unga, Hall, Tonga, Poppinga, etc.

    Life would be simpler if this whole "higher standard" thing wouldn't be promoted by BYU and BYU haters wouldn't use it.

  • To "Nice One Dickey"
    May 29, 2008 7:02 a.m.

    You said, "Every non-member I know here in California thinks we are all hypocrits. . ." You come across as an angry BYU-hater, much like the angry Mormon-haters you associate with in CA.

    Enjoy your "I HATE BYU" life. Mean while, those of us that recognize that good done by BYU and it's sports teams will continue to sing "Rise and Shout"!

    Go Cougs! May you give the "I HATE BYU" crowd lots more to complain about!!!

  • Marlin
    May 29, 2008 6:57 a.m.

    For those wanting to compare the Ben Olsen situation and claim hypocracy, you better get the facts right. The problem with Olsen leaving was not his leaving; but, rather his commitment and pledge to return even until after his return from his mission and then the last minute decision to switch to UCLA which left BYU hanging. That was the problem. He had every right to switch. It was his method that was flawed, not the result.

  • Church Policy
    May 29, 2008 6:53 a.m.

    Spiritual common sense should tell us that the LDS Church should be the one who has a policy that its own school has no contact for athletic purposes with missionaries serving the Lord. The Church knows that is not what these young men are there for and they know it is a distraction. Samualson and the Church leaders have gravely disappointed me if they continue to allow this to take place. It sends a message that football or any other sport has a greater importance that what their mission is about.

  • Incredulous
    May 29, 2008 6:34 a.m.

    You mean that Ute and Aggie fans just made up a quote out of thin air? Unbelievable! I'm just speechless. Now they are angry because Bronco won't hold to a standard they made up and assigned to him. Wow. No wonder BYU is hated.

  • Homer
    May 29, 2008 5:53 a.m.

    As always Harmon defends Bronco and BYU. Dick Harmon is such a fan it is hard to take him serious as a writer.

  • Anonymous
    May 29, 2008 5:46 a.m.

    "Imagine, a kid in America, trying to find out his options in a free country, centuries removed from serfdom and earls of old England"

    Was this a cut and paste from an eighth grade "What Does Freedom Mean to Me" essay? Seems very out-of-place. I like DH and usually enjoy his colorful writing, but this paragraph strikes me as odd.

    Go Cougars!

  • Anonymous
    May 29, 2008 5:40 a.m.

    it's too bad that this story (excellently written by the way) will likely get less press than the "conspiracy" of BM recruiting missionaries even though he promised he wouldn't (which you point out isn't true)...
    BM is the real deal and we are lucky to have him

  • utwingnut
    May 29, 2008 5:09 a.m.

    Mr. Nelson has the right, now that he has been gone (out of school) for more than one year to inquire about what school he would like to attend. Mr. Mendenhall has the right, now that Mr. Nelson has been gone (out of school) for more than a year, to recruit Mr. Nelson to his football program. To those of you who think a rule, policy or law was broken you are wrong. It is also neither unethical nor immoral for Mr. Nelson to change his mind and transfer to another school. Nor is it unethical or immoral for Mr. Mendenhall to recruit this young man. Get over it people!

  • Osmosis Recruiting
    May 29, 2008 2:15 a.m.

    Why is Captain Dick the point man for BYUs actions concerning Nelson? It seems the issue received a lot more attention than BYU liked, so they channel thru DH to explain or find Bronco's previous statement on mission service and football commitments. Why doesn't BYU just have its media relations folks give a statement from Bronco. Nothing wrong with a DH story but come on BYU.

    The Tribune's recruiting trail reporter had more info concerning the actual story than the DN or DH did about Nelson's move to the Y.

    Bronco and crew should've given more details up front to ensure the rumor mill didn't go from 0-60 in no time at all.

  • Coach
    May 29, 2008 1:44 a.m.

    If I had a young man with a decision to make, I would encourage him to be go to BYU to be coached by Bronco. He is a great man. As much as I do not like the Utes, I certainly would have no fears of my son being under the watchful eye of Whittingham either. It's great to have these men leading our state's best football programs (no disrespect to other Utah school intended).

  • Belgie
    May 29, 2008 1:39 a.m.

    It's good to see this issue finally addressed. Thank you Dick. I'm sick of the rumors about exactly what Bronco's policies are and what he has and has not said about "recruiting" missionaries.

    It's interesting how it's mostly Ute fans that are crying about this. Kind of sad that, at least in the hearts of the fans, Utah athletics is defined in such a large part by BYU.

    I also love how Ute fans are claiming that Bronco just initiated "open season" on BYU's missionaries. Schools have been trying to poach BYU's missionaries for years. I don't remember anybody criticizing Karl Dorrell when Ben Olson left BYU.

  • Time of Answers
    May 29, 2008 1:37 a.m.

    I made the decision to go to do BYU while on a mission and that was just for academic and social reasons. Is that wrong that I was thinking about my future while I was in Peru?

    I love how non-Cougars hypocritically hold BYU to a far higher standard than they themselves are willing to live.

    Isn't the one of the many byproducts of a mission improved decision making?

  • Nice one Dicky
    May 29, 2008 1:26 a.m.

    I will bet lil Dickey Homer looked long and hard for that quote. I remember hearing all of the BYU babies cry when Olsen decided during his mission to go to UCLA about how unfair it was. It's funny how hypocritcal all of you Coogs are. Ridiculous! You are all a complete embarrassment to my church. I wish BYU athletics did NOT exist. Every non-member I know here in California thinks we are all hypocrits and the basis for their belief is BYU athletics. Nice missionary tool!

  • AZ Jazz Fan
    May 29, 2008 1:25 a.m.

    Those who are up in arms about this situation are the same folks who always seek reasons to be mad at BYU, no matter the facts. There's no smoking gun here. BYU gains athletes after missions, BYU loses athletes after missions. Win some, lose some. I've spoken to Bronco personally about this issue, and wish BYU would be MORE aggressive in this area (since other programs are very aggressive coming after BYU's missionaries), though I respect him for merely responding to inquiries as opposed to actively recruiting them. Those who accuse him of doing more than that are simply uninformed. Any by the way, anyone who has served a mission knows that kids grow during that period of time, and change their minds about their future. I had companions who decided to transfer to BYU after their missions for other reasons that had nothing to do with sports. It happens people, get over it.

  • Ed Clinch
    May 29, 2008 1:06 a.m.

    Love Bronco. He is a man of his word and would admit when he makes mistakes.

    He didn't seek this QB, the family and the individual sought out this transfer. This was all ok to me, but the missionary's timing could be better, but if he knew his heart and opportunity to switch out, I think he is helping his original school out being prepared for his absence, unlike Ben Olsen who announced much later in the transfer process.

    I hope that USU can replace him and move on, as BYU had to without Ben Olsen.

    Best of luck to all involved.

  • Woody
    May 29, 2008 12:44 a.m.

    It just shows one that all the know-all who look past the mark are really dreamers. I'm sure most who write in are more smarter than the coaches. It would be the end of a coach to have said or even thought of not keeping to the NCAA standards. Like Bronco because of what he has done and said, rather than open your mouths and prove yourself stupid. Go BYU

  • Suck it up people
    May 29, 2008 12:24 a.m.

    Nice article. Anyone who doesn't see this as it is clearly explained just doesn't want the truth. I agree with Bronco's approach here - missionaries at other schools are recruitable.

    BTW, Nelson did the Aggies a favor by making his intentions known as early as possible. No 11th hour surprises.



  • cms28
    May 29, 2008 12:20 a.m.

    Coach Mendenhall is truly a class act. He is an example, a leader, and a great coach. That is all there is to be said!