Excerpt from 'Cougar Converts': The LDS conversion of Sete Aulai

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  • sls Columbia, MO
    Feb. 20, 2013 9:33 a.m.

    I live near the University of Missouri (new SEC member with Texas A&M). Both Mizzou and A&M sold out for more money. There aren't Polynesian players like Sete here. I hope the Polynesian players in the west can see that the big conferences with money, like the SEC and the PAC 12, are not what college athletics are all about. They are just some old white men who are using college athletes to line their pockets with greenbacks and are doing so by trying to limit the pie for everyone.

    The Utah fans who continue to try and justify their "sell out" are pitiful. I hope BYU remains independent forever. The sports oligopolies in college athletics are a national embarassment.

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    Feb. 20, 2013 5:30 a.m.

    @Kilpack....if BYU were in the PAC you would be singing their praises. Time to bury the hatchet.

  • Nita Harris Saratoga Springs, UT
    Feb. 19, 2013 1:39 p.m.

    I liked this aricle about a good guy.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Feb. 19, 2013 10:50 a.m.

    AS a Y fan, I could care less if the Y was is in the PAC 10. I would have prefered that the Mtn. West Conf stay intact and just get rid of the commissioner, the lousy TV deal and get a good TV deal. The MWC was a much stronger football conference than the PAC 10 as the track record the last few years the Y and the U were in the conference against PAC 10 opponents attests.

    A conference with the Y, TCU, Boise State, Air Force, the U as the core was an awesome conference.

    The PAC 12 has three good teams. The rest are second tier, including the U (sorry Ute Fans). The U and the Y would have been better served staying in the Mtn. West, provided the university presidents would have had the guts to dump the TV deal with the Mountain and go with a decent deal from ESPN.

  • golfrUte SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Feb. 18, 2013 4:57 p.m.

    @ killpack

    I'm curious what you think Utah should have done?

  • Obama10 SYRACUSE, UT
    Feb. 18, 2013 10:15 a.m.

    Great story. Don't know why this has to devolve into the predictable "Utah vs BYU vs Pac 12" It gets old. As a BYU fan I would love to be in the PAC 12. To say the PAC 12 is a "mediocre" conference is stupid. BYU chose independence because it was the best option at the time. Utah was invited to the PAC 10 because Texas declined. The reasons don't matter, but the argument gets old. Give it a rest.

  • killpack Sandy, UT
    Feb. 18, 2013 10:09 a.m.

    'They were invited to join one of the most prestigous conferences in college sports and they accepted.' I 100% wholeheartedly disagree. Utah is one of the best football programs of the past ten years in the ENTIRE NATION! Given their record of the past ten years, they are head and shoulders above the PAC 12. Ideally, they should not have settled for such a mediocre conference. When Texas A&M went to the SEC, they did themselves a huge favor. I do not disagree with that. But, please, do not confuse the SEC with the PAC 12.

  • golfrUte SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Feb. 18, 2013 8:29 a.m.


    Utah didn't sell out. They were invited to join one of the most prestigous conferences in college sports and they accepted. Utah left a train wreck of a conference with a pathetic commissioner and horrible TV contract. The PAC 12 makes sense from an academic, geographic (easy, fun travel for fans) athletic and financial perspective. The PAC 12 is superior in every way to the Mtn West Conference. Based on your logic, did Texas A&M sellout by joining the SEC? Did TCU sellout as well? What do you think Utah should have done, decline the PAC 12 invitation and remain in the Mtn West?

    BYU chose independence over remaining in the Mtn West, did they sell out to ESPN? I think BYU chose the most prudent course available to them. I wish the Utes and Cougs could be together in the PAC 12, but that didn't happen, but that doesn't mean Utah compromised its principles to leave the Mtn West.

  • killpack Sandy, UT
    Feb. 17, 2013 11:14 p.m.


    I'm an idealist and I have principles. If BYU were invited to the PAC 12 I know they would take it. That doesn't make it right. The PAC 12 is a mediocre conference. USC is excellent, Stanford and Oregon are good, and everyone else is horrible. That makes them a fair to average conference overall. BYU is better than most PAC 12 teams, so what does that make Utah, who is in all fairness, a better program than BYU going by the last ten years. I'm disappointed that they sold out to the BCS scam, even if it was the realistic thing to do. And for what, to be in a average at best conference?

  • golfrUte SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Feb. 17, 2013 7:54 p.m.

    Let's be realistic, any University (Utah, BYU, Utah State, Colorado, etc) would jump at the chance to join the PAC 12. One can debate why Utah and Colorado were invited and BYU was not, but we all know that were the rolls reversed and BYU invited and not Utah, Cougar fans would be thrilled to be in the PAC 12. It's only logical to expect it will take time for Utah to recruit enough PAC12 caliber athletes to have the necessary depth to compete against all members of the conference. It's a huge step from the Mtn West to the PAC12 but I don't know of any Ute fan who would choose to go back.

    Feb. 17, 2013 4:52 p.m.

    Sete, I really enjoy your life and conversion story. I really appreciate your effort and understanding about the LDS gospel. Continue to the fullest best you can be as a man and priesthood holder. :)

  • suzyk#1 Mount Pleasant, UT
    Feb. 17, 2013 1:11 p.m.

    I appreciate reading the positive in these comments..I suppose there will always be negative and unkind words expressed but I for one, look forward to the day where more will be positive and uplifting and not denegrated. Good for this young man who stuck to his goals and looked for the good and he surely did find it in many ways. Go Sete and may you continue to learn about the Gospel and the many blessings that come from being a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

  • killpack Sandy, UT
    Feb. 17, 2013 10:38 a.m.

    @Chris B

    Except for USC, Stanford and Oregon, the PAC 10 and now 12 is a mediocre conference. I still don't understand why you Ute fans think otherwise. When are you going to quit justifying your selling out to such an average conference?

  • PolyWatch Huntington Beach, CA
    Feb. 17, 2013 10:12 a.m.

    I watched Sete play at El Camino College. What great young man he was able to focus himself despite all the negative things around him growing up in Carson. There many good student/athletes in this area,, getting a Pac 12 scholarship is great but BYU has been able to mold these young men for life after being a student/ athlete. Great story!!

  • DRay Roy, UT
    Feb. 16, 2013 11:19 p.m.

    Golfrute, good comment for us all to heed, the high road.

  • golfrUte SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Feb. 16, 2013 10:20 p.m.

    @ Chris B

    Give it a rest. You're an embarrassment to the U. Nobody loves to see the Utes win more than me, but your constant sophomoric attacks on all things BYU is ignorant and annoying. It's one thing to be proud of our school (not sure if you're an alum of the U or not) but it's quite another to constantly belittle another school, its players, etc.

    Try taking the high road.

    Go Utes!

    Feb. 16, 2013 9:19 p.m.

    Just want to point out this is a Faith story, not really about sports.

    But to answer those sports questions, the PAC-10 didn't have cellar teams to take the lower level recruits in those days. Now that they are the PAC 10.2 they can and do take these players into the cellar teams.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 16, 2013 4:31 p.m.

    Eastern Washington was a non conference back when he played?

    Aren't they a conference opponent these days?

  • kaspercasey gilbert, AZ
    Feb. 16, 2013 2:09 p.m.

    Great story, thank you for telling it.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 16, 2013 1:38 p.m.

    As the article states, there are just too many kids that want coveted PAC 12 offers. Some have to be turned away. Congrats on making the best out of a last resort situation.

  • Jonathan Eddy Payson, UT
    Feb. 16, 2013 11:37 a.m.

    Good guy who played for a good team sponsored by a good religious organization. Not a whole lot to spin here.

  • tlaulu Taylorsville, Utah
    Feb. 16, 2013 10:11 a.m.

    This was a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing it with us. Sete had done everything right before he became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. My wife and I met at BYU-H many years ago. She was our campus ward Relief Society president. She had a roommate and good friend who was a non-member of the church. She asked our ward bishop if she could have him call her as her relief society secretary. He said to her no problem. She was called as relief society secretary. A year later she was baptized as a member of the church. Again, this is very touching story and a great experience at BYU.

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    Feb. 16, 2013 6:46 a.m.

    Great story. I got real emotional while reading it, having been a football player myself.