Dick Harmon: Mission age, NCAA rule changes close BYU's wiggle room

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  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    Feb. 6, 2013 9:09 a.m.


    You said "No one denies that BYU fans, myself included, post on utah artciles and try to get utah "fans" bent out of shape." THAT'S JUST IT. I don't post ANYTHING for this objective (to get people bent out of shape). That's the difference right there. Saying something relatively unpopular with some Cougar fans (an opinion) is not the same as LOL all the time at upsetting people. That said, you do what some Utah fans do as well.

    You said "What we take exception to is the hypocrisy of utah "fans" like yourself that whine about it only one way, just like you did on this BYU article". I understand this (being fair to both sides). Do you understand the same? Are Utah fans the only ones living on planet hypocrisy?

    Whine one way? Okay I focus on Utah defense bases but I mention BYU in defense at times as well. What about you? Look in the mirror. Come on, do you ever defend Utah? Duck, I say this because I do go after Ute fans who post harshly once in awhile. Have you not seen it? Do you do the same?

  • LadyMoon Orlando, FL
    Feb. 6, 2013 6:29 a.m.

    My honest take away from this piece is: Mendenhall works with the whole man concept in mind while Whittingham just focuses on ball players alone. That should give future recruits pause to consider who is really concerned about their best interests!

  • MC NM Albuquerque, NM
    Feb. 5, 2013 10:59 p.m.

    Um, did anyone else catch the part that says Reno Mahe has SEVEN children? Or am I reading something wrong?

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Feb. 5, 2013 9:44 p.m.


    No one denies that BYU fans, myself included, post on utah artciles and try to get utah "fans" bent out of shape. What we take exception to is the hypocrisy of utah "fans" like yourself that whine about it only one way, just like you did on this BYU article, especially when the 1st three posts were from your fellow utah "fans" that were behaving in exactly the way you accused BYU fans and you didn't say one thing about them.

    When the day comes you utah "fans" end your hypocritical whining, call out your own instead of the BYU fans, on a BYU article no less, then we might make some progress in the direction you claim you want things to go. Until then don't hold your breath.

    And of course I'm not even touching yet on the utah "fan" meltdowns to BYU fan posts that point out flaws in utah, its teams and its athletic program. Remeber we have "sincere opinions" to whether you like to read them or not. It is my sincere opinion that the utah baksetball program is bad, can you handle that without a metldown?

  • Utah'95 FPO, AE
    Feb. 5, 2013 3:10 p.m.

    I wonder if the NCAA has come out and said that 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," or is that Dick Harmon's take on the issue.

    It's worth noting that teams outside of the Big, Bad SEC also sometimes sign more than 25 athletes each year. Utah and BYU are both have more than 25 commitments for 2013, for example....

    How many of you believe that this 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?" The NCAA has hundreds of universities to consider. It's unlikely that they have the time or interest to figure out ways to stick it to the Mormons.

    Regarding the effects of this rule change on LDS athletes, it will impact BYU more than any other program. But Utah and Utah State, as well as the smaller programs in Utah, will have to recalibrate their recruiting and roster managing as well.

  • WhatsInItForMe Orem, Utah
    Feb. 5, 2013 2:55 p.m.

    Actually, Bronco probably hopes that ALL his planning-a-mission signees go right out of high school so he can have them for 4 straight years. This one-and-gone thing is too disruptive and usually makes a player's sophomore year less productive.

    Kudos to the Church for lowering the missionary age!

  • Mildred in Fillmore Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 5, 2013 1:40 p.m.

    All this NCAA stuff is meaningless.

    All that matters is on the field and there is where BYU shines.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Feb. 5, 2013 12:45 p.m.

    Seriously, people. The NCAA is in another part of the country and has dozens of programs to think about - most with more profile and influence than BYU. The problem with ALL conspiracy theories is they give people way to much credit for being more clever than they really are. We just need to adapt and be big boys and girls about this.

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    Feb. 5, 2013 12:32 p.m.

    @Bluto, I agree all throughout for what it's worth.

    @CougFaninTX, your first paragraph; it cuts both ways. the next two paragraphs show a balanced perspective on the issue of over signing and BYU's relative challenges.

    @Wiley Old School, I see the point. But the gentile card?

    @DavesKnowsWhatsUp, even though it sort of seems you're justifying the hate speech and your comments were directed my way, that doesn't mean I don't get the same feeling the opposite way from time to time (no hate though). If you go to Ute articles you will find just as many frequent Ute slams from the blue trolls as well. It's ugly. I have my allegiance with Utah but relative interest in reading BYU articles. Yes I comment and it's not always complimentary, but my takes are not meant to be malicious and my design is to focus on honesty as I see it. Oh yeah Dave, the unemployed comment was still cheap though.

    @reasonableUTE, point well taken after I go @somebodyelse 5 more times. Uh, maybe not as not many words are left. I am glad you are 'reasonable' brother.

    @Radio nowhere, an indignant meltdown here?

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    Feb. 5, 2013 12:25 p.m.

    to JoeBlow 2/5

    The whole *religion is under attack angle* was eventually going to surface.

    If BYU is going to get *special treatment* then shouldn't other religious/private institutions be afforded the same *privilege*.

    Its a slippery slope. The NCAA IMO is trying (dare I say) to make the playing field even.

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    Feb. 5, 2013 11:34 a.m.


    You're wasting your breath, man. The usual suspcts will find a way to twist any article with the letters "BYU" into a dig about a lack of 4-5 star recruits, a lack of athleticism, or any number of other tired, beaten-to-death cliches. I would think it would get boring to post essentially the same thing over and over. I know it gets boring reading it.

    I grew up with mostly BYU fans, and as far as I recall all would root for Utah except against BYU, which is by my observation pretty common. In contrast, I always thought it was weird -- even in the LaVell days -- how much many Utah students and alum loathed BYU. Clearly it's not universal, but it's not rare. I've always thought that was a backhanded kind of respect . . nobody bothers hating on an irrelevant opponent. Do we have any real anti-Wyoming or anti-Pepperdine fans in the gallery? Nope. Thanks, Chris B and all the rest. I love you too.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 5, 2013 10:46 a.m.

    Alls I know is we are going to be awesome. who cares what trolls say they don't no anything

  • CougarBlue Heber City, UT
    Feb. 5, 2013 10:44 a.m.

    I seriously doubt this NCAA rule is anti religion. After all one would have had to put some thought into this rule and based on the NCAA's past history they do not do much logical thinking.

  • Obama10 SYRACUSE, UT
    Feb. 5, 2013 10:29 a.m.

    Great article until the Ute "trolls" came out. As a BYU fan, I would like an article on how Utah and Kyle plan on addressing the new age limit? Utah has a large number of RMs that BYU haters (Utah Fan) seem to forget about. Also @kvn/Hoff want 0-4 against Utah your spellchecker didn't work. I am sure your screen name was suppose to be "went". Might want to fix that.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Feb. 5, 2013 9:50 a.m.


    "I can't say anything that doesn't contain the BYU fan stamp of approval without personal attacks coming back at me. All this for sincere opinion (not intended for bashing or inductive red justification)."

    Yea you're the victim. As opposed to BYU fans being able to post anything but effusive praise of utah and being treated so well by utah "fans". I wish they had an eyeroll emoticon on this site, just use your imagination because I'm definately rolling my eyes.

  • DEW Cougars Sandy, UT
    Feb. 5, 2013 9:32 a.m.

    Hey its not just BYU, Kyle Whit. would feel the pinch too as well at USU and Weber State. So, what can you do about it. NCAA is a joke and same rule with Army, Navy and AFA?

  • oxbuck Lehi, UT
    Feb. 5, 2013 9:20 a.m.

    There's two ways to score: Points and Assists. Jimmer needs to pick up his assist/turnover ratio (see www.cougarstats.blogspot.com). Every time he gets the ball he should be looking to either Score or Assist.

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    Feb. 5, 2013 9:19 a.m.

    Even with fewer signee spots annually BYU will do just fine. There will be many who, like Dennis Pitta, will walk on and have great impact. It's about more than just football at BYU and they'll come out of the fray just fine.

  • reasonableUTE Provo, UT
    Feb. 5, 2013 9:18 a.m.

    Utah fans... This article has absolutely nothing to do with Utah, at least wait until a byu fan bashes on us before you start commenting on a strictly byu article. A small percentage of byu and utah fans are what I will call "lesser intellects." My desire to be a byu supporting mormon was destroyed by that small percentage of byu fans. I'm sure there are many byu fans that were influenced in a similar way by foolish ute fans.

  • JMH Provo, UT
    Feb. 5, 2013 8:44 a.m.

    I am always amazed at the Utah fans that have to run to an article about BYU to comment to validate themselves. First, LDS athletes are not obligated to attend BYU anymore than athletes from the state of Utah are obligated to attend the University of Utah. Second, the rule of 25 signees was aimed at SEC schools abusing it and not at BYU. Third, Utah has done nothing to distinguish themselves in the PAC 12 other than being a member (last choice available) so what is the fascination with being in a conference where you may end up being the second tier school all the time.

    Students and athletes that choose BYU do for their own reasons and you have to accept that and leave it at that. The same applies to those that choose any other school. I had hoped that Jabari Parker would choose BYU but he chose Duke and I wish him well.

    The vitriol that is exposed in comments by both sides only shows a lack of maturity by the poster.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 5, 2013 8:36 a.m.

    We are so fortunate to have Brigham Young University and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sponsors and supports such a vital place of real learning and a place to gain wisdom from experiences from life.

    The name of the Church indicates that there are times like these and that life will go on, after bowl games on Sunday. I understand the Super of all bowls had plenty of immorality displayed for half-time instead of marching bands of the past. Money is a driver and ratings mean so much more money. The NCAA is a money driven organization and the whole momentum of what league or conference a team is in, is nothing but money. They use that to get more money, grants and prestige. We saw the effect of that kind of power with the Penn State putting it's integrity and the lives of innocent children on the line without investigations or actions being taken for decades. Money may be important but so are values.

    We know that the conferences, leagues and other forms, such as advertising for games is nothing but money. Europeans knew that when they bought Budweiser and control media.

  • DaveKnowsWhatsUp Bloomington, IN
    Feb. 5, 2013 8:24 a.m.

    The "poison hate speech from the blue side" that's "accepted way too frequently" is a reaction that comes from the constant barrage of hate speech, snide remarks, and frequent criticism we've endured from the red side for way too many years. Anonymous comment boards like this have only made it more frequent and more difficult to get away from. I come onto the boards to see what people have to say about BYU's schedule, games, or recruits; to commiserate or celebrate with fellow fans. I do find that, and some people are entertaining, but when the comments on every single article begin with 3-4 anti-BYU remarks, it gets old. I have a great sense of humor and can take a lot of kidding, but a lot of this isn't joking around, it's just hateful. Sure, I know I should turn the other cheek, and most of the time I do, but it is tiresome, especially when I just want to see what other Cougars have to say about stuff. There are some who post so frequently that it leads me to believe they are unemployed and have nothing better to do.

  • Sandyclaws Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 5, 2013 8:22 a.m.


    By the "Big Leagues" are you referring to the league in which the Utes have played a total of two games against top-25 teams in two years? BYU had five games against top 25 teams this year alone.

  • Wiley Old School RIC, VA
    Feb. 5, 2013 8:17 a.m.

    Are LDS athletes obligated to attend the Y? This could be a great missionary opportunity to have LDS players attend gentile schools and expose them to the LDS religion. I hope to see more LDS athletes playing for gentile schools in the coming years.

    (Doesn't this scenario provide a lot more missionary opportunities than recruiting a handful on non-LDS to play at BYU? From a missionary standpoint, wouldn't it be much, much better to have dozens of 20-year-old returned missionary athletes playing for schools across the country rather than concentrating them in one school who's student body is already 99% LDS?)

  • sls Columbia, MO
    Feb. 5, 2013 8:04 a.m.

    Back in the 60s and early 70s, when BYU football was pretty pathetic, the ute fans were saying that BYU would never be any good because returned missionaries just weren't mean enough to be good football players. By the 1980s, the ute fans and people from all the other WAC schools were complaining because BYU had an unfair advantage of more mature players.

    The moral of the story: it's always easy to criticize and BYU's missionaries have a target on their back.

  • Dixie Dan Saint George, UT
    Feb. 5, 2013 7:12 a.m.

    Is the Y obligated to only recruit LDS athletes? This could be a great missionary opportunity to recruit gentiles and expose them to the LDS religion. I hope to see more gentiles playing for the Y in the coming years.

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    Feb. 5, 2013 7:03 a.m.

    Harmon hit the nail on the head. Charity missed the point. The other Ute trolls probably didn't even read the article, they are always just looking for an opportunity to spew their hatred.

    This regulation has nothing to do with religious bias. It has everything to do with so many of the marquee universities who oversign and do not have enough scholarships and leave good athletes hanging. Yes, there is an unintended consequence impacting missionary service. But it will have far more consequences on many of the teams who were in the top 10, than BYU. Alabama was one of the worst offenders.

    The next two years will be challenging for BYU as it adjusts to the new missionary age, but by 2015 it should actually be easier to manage the recruiting process with most of the kids going on missions straight of of high school. The JC recruits are a perfect solution to manage through the next two years.

  • Bluto Sandy, UT
    Feb. 5, 2013 7:04 a.m.

    Bronco has done a great job managing the RM dynamic.

    And quite frankly, it's about time that BYU again fills in some of their voids with JC transfers.

    Every school uses JC's effectively and I believe that BYU made a mistake going completely away from them after Crowton.

    Bronco, unlike Gary Crowton, has demonstrated an ability to recruit to the honor code, effectively.

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    Feb. 5, 2013 6:09 a.m.

    Of course, some of those unsigned recruits may go on missions and realize that they can play in the big leagues and join Kyle's familyto the north.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Feb. 5, 2013 5:29 a.m.

    I agree with Mahe: Bronco has the balance right in the program. He is doing his best to build a winning tradition but is more holistic on how he develops these young men and in his view of BYU's mission. Sad some Ute/LDS fans can't at least support that - rather they ridicule it. I've never been able to understand that. Many of their kids go to BYU, while the parents undermine any goodness that is there.

  • K Mchenry, IL
    Feb. 5, 2013 5:08 a.m.

    Why can't they go after college?

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    Feb. 5, 2013 4:39 a.m.


    Your comments are very inappropriate and are the type that divide the red and blue all too often. This mentality is not what your university represents. If passionate about BYU, then be what they are about. I mean that is BYU's signature calling card. Winning the right way should be accompanied by rooting for the team the right way.

    When BYU looks for exposure and takes advantage of an independent schedule, going to new markets each year to make an impression, I doubt your remarks are what they want exposed.

    Now I would not be surprised at all if I get the 'denied' tag from the DesNews, which would not bother me so much, if the poison hate speech from the blue side wasn't accepted way too frequently.

    Both sides are out of line at times. I like to believe it's the small percentage of fans, but these posts make me feel sick inside all the time.

    I can't say anything that doesn't contain the BYU fan stamp of approval without personal attacks coming back at me. All this for sincere opinion (not intended for bashing or inductive red justification).

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Feb. 5, 2013 4:31 a.m.

    This line from the article ..

    "An unintended side effect of this rule"

    Elicits this line from JCS

    "This new rule is just more evidence of the NCAA's anti-religion bias"

    Anyone else see a disconnect here?

  • gdog3finally West Jordan, Utah
    Feb. 5, 2013 1:25 a.m.

    There is a lot to digest with the changes here. The missionary players were somewhat hard to manage before. That said, BYU and Bronco have been fully entrenched in the missionary program relative to football, and found a system to work with productively for football and missionary service.

    Sometimes this protocol for missionaries works for BYU football and sometimes it doesn't. But it's a major part of what BYU is about either way. BYU benefits in regards to its' missionary players in many cases even when football suffers. Why? It's the core of operation under Bronco that will influence the team for the better more often than not.

    With the situation the way it is turning now, BYU will have to work with players on when they plan to serve missions more than ever (after freshman year or before). But the real challenge appears to me (from the outside looking in) to be the scholarship issue. A program like Alabama, who abuses over signing, effects BYU who needs to work within those parameters legitimately.

    BYU will probably balance this whole thing out, but it might take some lumps first.

  • AltaHawkFan Sandy, UT
    Feb. 4, 2013 10:05 p.m.

    A BYU article with 3 utes commenting first. What are the odds ? Obsessed much utes ? Keep in mind utes that your players that go straight on missions out of high school will now be able to transfer to BYU without penalty since they won't attend college before leaving.

  • KVN/Hoff want 0-4 against UTAH Ogden, UT
    Feb. 4, 2013 9:26 p.m.

    All I know is every recent national champion has consisted of very highly rated recruiting classes. Probably a coincidence. I am sure byu fans have nothing to worry about.

  • Howard S. Taylorsville, UT
    Feb. 4, 2013 8:41 p.m.

    Ahh... the "committed but unsigned" recruits.

    That must be where BYU is hiding its 3, 4, and 5 star recruits this year.

  • John Charity Spring Back Home in Davis County, UT
    Feb. 4, 2013 8:04 p.m.

    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. If the NCAA will not treat them fairly, it is time for these institutions to leave.