The LDS Church opened the option for 18 year olds to serve missions. But, I
don't see any change here from the schools. Seems like we are trying to
make news where there isn't any.
Demonizing coaches not of the LDS faith who are NOT responsible for any
religious matters (with a few exceptions) is not a welcoming attitude as we try
to help people find the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Two years is a long time,
especially in today's win it all college football environment. Coaches get
fired left and right.A mission is between an individual and God.
After careful prayer, determine the path that is right for you. If you are
gifted in a sport and decide that is your path, great. There are
Missionaries sacrificing much more in poorer countries and the attention paid to
LDS athletes living in favorable conditions and sad about their sports prospects
does not make them any more special or deserving of our attention.
I had a missionary companion that was in the same situation about basketball
that you describe for baseball. Even tho' we played b-ball as a prep day
activity, he had lost that drive to excel and the focus necessary to sacrifice
for b-ball. He took almost 2 years to get it back and spent the time earning to
pay for college. When he finally entered college he walked on and won a
scholarship spot in his second season.
Here's an idea, because colleges don't just give scholarships for
athletics. There is a lot to be said for the quality of individual that serves
two years as a missionary (or in other non-lds ventures). If these schools,
that accept letters of intent and then need to wait two years to see what
they've got, then offer non-athletic scholarships as a back-up. If the
player then returns, isn't deemed worth a full athletic scholarship, then
offer the other while they sit, eventually walk-on and prove their worth. Sure
this could be abused, but it is a long way around and certainly worthy of the
risk the student makes coming out of high school. And it indicates on the part
of the university/college a seriousness about education which largely seems to
If I am a college coach there is NO WAY I am giving a kid a full ride
scholarship until I see what I end up with after his mission. After my mission
my college baseball days were done. I lost so much arm strength as a pitcher and
so did my older brother who came back to BYU only to be red shirted for a year
and then cut simply because he lost 25 lbs and much of his former ability as a
pitcher. If I am a high school player who wants to both serve a mission AND play
college ball at a D1 school I play for one year after HS and then go on a
mission at age 19. At least then the coaches know you and have seen you at your
best and would be willing to take the risk of a full ride scholarship.
BU52 - This was a sports article written by a Utah newspaper. That makes the
issue relevant, and I found it interesting. JJJHS - I write the same to you.
The article was not a news article about how football players compare to others
on the scale of importance. It is a sports article about the impact of missions
on LDS football recruits. The players are not being singled out as
"special" compared to others, they are simply the subject of a piece
about football players. There have been many articles (and I suspect many more
will be written) about the impact of the new mission ages on colleges'
These "student athletes" make up what 1% of the college population so
the article is about 25 kids here in Utah, and there's nothing more
important going on in the world to write a news? article about. It will all
shake out eventually. The good players can come back and walk on then get a
In 1984, after BYU won the national title and Sports Illustrated ran an article
about all the returned missionaries among the Cougar team and the resulting
level of maturity, Coach Tom Osborne at Nebraska immediately instituted a new
rule that every Cornhusker would red-shirt early in their careers.
I am LDS, I support LDS athletes.A mission is about many things
including personal sacrifice. I don't like how this story makes these LDS
atheletes any more special than the ones who are poor and sacrifice earning
wages for their families while they serve God.NCAA Football is a
money making machine, not a religious vehicle with a few exceptions.Why should an NCAA coach who could get fired in the two years it takes for a
missionary to get back bother to wait? Pay the price or don't if you are a
gifted football player. Let's not make these guys any more special than
Why not go after college? People go before marriage. Seniors go. In countries
like South Korea the men have to serve a few years in the military and typically
do school first. Sometimes you don't get to do everything you want the way
I think Barton had one thing wrong the way I understand it. You can only have 25
LOI sent in for the year. It used to be that a kid that was going on a mission
could sign a letter of intent but it wouldn't count against the 25, loi
that were signed. So I know Utah will have all sign and sends not send in loi so
that is why u see 28 verbals.
Recruits, do you want a scholarship or a hand shake? If you want a contracted
scholarship, you need to sign and play now. You can on go on a mission, but may
have to wait after the first semester. Before the RILEY NELSON rules, kids could
'jump ship'and leave their respective school. You can't do this
any more without getting a release from that school. This new
situation is great. If a kid is a 'sign and send', then he can leave
and start at another school. In turn, the school can go and do the same. It
sure seems fair both ways. Is this religious freedom, sure it is.
Kids can still go one missions. Overall this article isn't well
researched. Schools like Boise State, who don't sign mission kids are now
opening the door because there are less chances for kids to jump. There are some
school that are biased toward mission kids, but door are opening, they're
not closing. We'll have to see for awhile how this mission change will
"Interestingly, Carl Barton said some in-state schools were initially
supportive of the idea but then tried to make the mission less appealing to Sean
during the recruiting process."That is a university of utah
tactic. They have used it on quite a few kids. I'll now await the utah
"fan" outrage but the fact is I know kids that were recruited by utah
that had this exact thing occur.
@ John Charity SpringThis article leaves out any of the context
surrounding the new rule. Their is an article specifically regarding BYU that
discusses the new rule in the following way:This rule came about
because many SEC schools over-signed, then withdrew offers on signing day or
used the 29 or 30 signees as a buffer when they had players flunk out or get
kicked off the team for discipline issues.The affect on
mission-bound LDS athletes seems to be unintentional (at least to me) and is
certainly not an attack on religious institutions.
"Discriminate against religious institutions"??? Pardon me but most
colleges accept public funds, therefore, they are supposed to be secular in
their policies. There is a great deal of peer pressure and family pressure put
on these young people to go on missions before they have the emotional and
educational maturity to do so in many instances. This young man is passing up an
outstanding opportunity to attend Stanford. To think that the Lord will not
appreciate his pursuing his dreams of this in life is just absurd. These kinds of opportunities should never be wasted and there will be others
who really need this scholarship and will seize that opportunity. That is both
fair and appropriate as he is making a choice. As to the NCAA "subverting
justice and integrity" Please. Most of society feels that pursuing an
education and learning the discipline, fairness and team ethics of sports is an
essential way to learn both justice and integrity. In this case: you can’t
have it both ways. It’s a hard world out there and it will pass him by.
This new rule is just more evidence of the NCAA's anti-religion bias.
Indeed, this organization has discriminated against religious institutions for
almost its entire history. This policy is causing coaches to discriminate
against religious athletes. In this, the NCAA has subverted justice and