9 Granger football players charged in robbery crime spree

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  • papi_chulo Ogden, UT
    Aug. 12, 2013 10:47 a.m.

    Sure proud of my Alma Mater, so sad how far the football program has sunk.

    ---I thought you were a Bingham Alumni? Or do you just cheer for them because they have a good football program?

  • Wiscougarfan River Falls, WI
    Aug. 12, 2013 9:16 a.m.

    Dan Bowen and Jay Green (University of Arkansas) analyzed Ohio high schools and “found that high schools that devote more energy to athletic success also tend to produce more academic success.” (Bowen & Green, 2013 Journal of Research in Education). Also, Wharton economist Betsey Stevenson wrote that a “10 percentage-point rise in girls’ participation in high school sports leads to a 1 percentage point increase in female college attendance and a 1 to 2 percentage point increase in female labor-force participation” (Wall Street Jourrnal, 2010; “Economists link athletics to success in school, job market”).

    That’s what a five minute google search turned up, but I’m sure there’s much more compelling evidence for one that actually digs. My point: it is unfair to pin the behavior of these boys on football, coaching, or a principal that doesn’t care. Likely the coach, principal, and their parents have done much to keep them on the right path. They used their agency, messed up, and now have to face the consequences of their actions.

  • Wiscougarfan River Falls, WI
    Aug. 12, 2013 9:15 a.m.

    RE: JSB

    "To those of you who actually think that sports pay's its way, show me the proof. Ticket sales don't come close to paying the coach's salaries, travel, equipment, referees, security, etc. Research has shown that of the extracurricular activities (sports, debate, student government, publications, music, theater, etc.) athletics is the poorest predictor of long term success."

    You of course contradict your own statement when you ask for "proof" but then provide your own anecdotal evidence with no actual proof.

    I'm no expert, but as a teacher of elementary and high school teachers I have had many students in my own classrooms that participate in athletics. They are often hard working, well balanced individuals. Many students have come to the universities I have taught at because of their athletic reputation. Of course I also get the occasional dud who doesn't value education at all but simply wants to coach (and erroneously believes that teaching is an "easy" profession).

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Aug. 11, 2013 2:00 p.m.


    I'll stand by my comments. But I will add crime rate is not the only factor in my thoughts about the current state of West Valley City. The city government and police department give the city a black eye and need to clean up their act. Still, the juvenile crime rate is much higher than any locale in Utah and something needs to be done and the source is the community itself. They need to say enough to gangs and delinquency.


    As for high school athletics. There are plenty of teams like football, track, cross-country, swimming and wrestling that will take anyone who comes out. You don't have to be politically connected or athletic to do these sports though the coaches would love to have those with a work ethic and commitment to the team. Maybe those that got cut from the basketball team can do wrestling and swimming in their school as examples.

  • justmethoughts Draper, UT
    Aug. 9, 2013 8:23 p.m.

    I understood this happen off season not during the summer. If that is the case, why are we not talking about the parents. Yet we hold the principal and coaches responsible for these players. Put the responsibility on their parents? They raise them? I don't know of any of those coaches that would teach these guys to do this stupid crime. You want blame? Blame the parents and the kids. They knew what they were doing was wrong.
    Innocent till proven guilty. If they are guilty, pay for the crime.
    People always find someone to blame. The coach and school administration is easy. Scape goats. Not right.Just not right.

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 9, 2013 1:36 p.m.

    Sugar City says.....Another example of many examples of how participation in high school athletics helps to build character?

    Yes, why don't we put them all in pansy dresses and send them up to Sugar City!

  • jarka-rus Layton, Utah
    Aug. 9, 2013 1:05 p.m.

    Sure proud of my Alma Mater, so sad how far the football program has sunk.

  • Koda24 West Valley, UT
    Aug. 9, 2013 8:32 a.m.

    To Howard Beal and Patriot, it may be advantageous to resist the stereotype you are portraying with the false image of West Valley City. There were many cities with higher crime rates per 1000 citizens in a recent study by the Department of Public Safety, including Murray, Park City, Salt Lake City, Glendale, Harrisville, Ogden, Riverdale, and South Salt Lake. Taylorsville is nearly identical with West Valley. Futhermore Payson, Murray, and Fairview( among others)have higher arrest data by agency, and West Valley was not in the top two cities for homicide, not in the top two for crimes against persons, not in the top three for crimes against property, not in the top two for crimes against society, and not in the top three for overall total IBR offenses; the arrest breakdown was not in the top two; in fact, Provo's was higher. This is to say nothing of white collar crimes in neighboring suburbia. What happened at Granger could, and often does happen across the nation at Penn, East High, Bingham, the Olympics, even at BYU. But sports often instills trust, work ethic, camaraderie, zeal, dedication and commitment. Let's not lose perspective with this event.

  • footballisgood Holladay, UT
    Aug. 8, 2013 11:27 p.m.

    Wow, nice unbiased opinion. You claim you got screwed by the basketball coach and, surprise surprise, you are anti-athletics. This is not the forum to take out old grudges in a discussion. My friend's wife has been a regional HR manager for three big, successful companies, and said that the #1 indicator of workplace success is athletic background, and thus they look for it when they are hiring (non-sports related fields for all three companies) and it has held true in terms of those that earn their way in to management positions and are top performers. This is because in the workplace, as on the athletic field, performance counts. High school sports are different than intramurals and little league because you must perform to be on the field, and this carries over in to life.
    If you think everybody who wants to play should play in high school, then you are wiling to fund it I presume? Oh, right, you contradicted yourself talking about cost. And programs do not drain money from schools to run themselves, they fundraise to make up shortages and still give ticket money to the school for other expenses.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Aug. 8, 2013 9:58 p.m.

    SlopJ-You're right. I did't play football or basketball in high school though the basketball coach lied to me when he promised me that he'd put me on the team. If sports is so critical to character development, it should be available to all who want to participate. I enjoyed intramural sports in jr. high. Everyone that wanted to play, got to play. But, in high school, sports is limited to a small number of athletically gifted or the politically connected who get to have their super egos further inflated. I have a good friend who lettered in four sports in high school-a typical high school jock. He told me that if he had it to do again, he'd focus on the books and not waste his time with sports (his words, not mine).

    To those of you who actually think that sports pay's its way, show me the proof. Ticket sales don't come close to paying the coach's salaries, travel, equipment, referees, security, etc. Research has shown that of the extracurricular activities (sports, debate, student government, publications, music, theater, etc.) athletics is the poorest predictor of long term success.

  • Sportsman Salt Lake, Ut
    Aug. 8, 2013 9:50 p.m.

    @ RedRocks... The article is about 9 football players banned from playing football by a judge and is the reason it is linked to the team. It is football related.

  • Colin Flaherty United States, DE
    Aug. 8, 2013 9:24 p.m.

    anyone know any details?

  • BigBenzo88 Herriman, UT
    Aug. 8, 2013 5:39 p.m.

    Sheamus....I don't see what the connection is between Granger, East, Bingham, Timpview, Cottonwood.

  • let's roll LEHI, UT
    Aug. 8, 2013 4:59 p.m.


    Prohibiting the 4 who haven't pleaded guilty doesn't run afoul of the presumption of innocence.

    Based on the charges, the judge likely has the right to keep these 4 in custody for some period of time, perhaps even until their trial. If they are released to the custody of their parent/guardian, there are often conditions of that release. Not playing football may be one of those conditions.

    It's akin to being required to surrender your passport or not leave the state as a condition of being granted bail. No impact on the presumption of innocence.

  • S-UT West Valley City, UT
    Aug. 8, 2013 4:12 p.m.

    SlopJ30, This is the coach's 2nd year and he has done more for these boys in a year than any coach since 1992. Coming from what they consider a disadvantage community, he has done a pretty darn good job taking care of the other 50 kids playing. He actually cares for these kids on the field and in the classroom. If they do something stupid outside of school hours, that's that the Administration and Coaches job.

    These kids chose to do this on their own. It's not the administration and coaches job to hold their hand all day and all night. These YOUNG kids decided to do something dumb and just have to pay for their own consequences. No one is at fault but themselves.

  • S-UT West Valley City, UT
    Aug. 8, 2013 4:10 p.m.

    Bored to the point of THIS! That is something unrelated to this story. The nine kids that this story is talking about did these crime a while back, this is just a follow up what decisions have been made by the courts.

  • Husky John Laguna Niguel, CA
    Aug. 8, 2013 3:49 p.m.

    I agree with Principal Jerry Haslam's decision not to comment and refer reporters back to the district officials. At this time, they have only been charged and justice will be meted out in due order. I played football for Coach Haslam 30 years ago and he always expected us to conduct ourselves in an appropriate manner. Now that he is the school's principal, he cannot be expected to defend or castigate students that happen to be enrolled at his public high school on actions done off campus and their own time.

  • colleen peters Portage, MI
    Aug. 8, 2013 3:19 p.m.

    Were the nine Granger football players who suffered heat exhaustion related to the same nine Granger football players who robbed the little kids. Stories ran the same day in DESNUS and I just wondered if they were all one and the same?

  • red rocks Saint George, UT
    Aug. 8, 2013 2:13 p.m.

    For those who blame this on football are way off target. This was not an act sponsored by the football team. The writer was wrong to link them with the team. The writer probably could have also linked them to attending church also. They all attended kindergarten at one point. If we look hard enough we can link them to everyone.

  • Sheamus Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 8, 2013 2:11 p.m.

    Can anyone see a connection between the following schools who have had "issues" fairly recently, that are not necessarily criminal? Granger, East, Bingham, Timpview, Cottonwood?

  • Dante Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 8, 2013 2:07 p.m.

    I don't presume to judge the coach for declining to comment on this matter. If he were to condemn the players and one or more of them turns out to be innocent at trial, he has done them an injustice. He could be disciplined by the school district if he says something overly complimentary or overly condemnatory, or if he discloses private information about his players. Only politicians HAVE TO make comments to the press for publication. The rest of us are private citizens who can clam up if we darn well please. This coach is smart to leave the commenting to the school district PR folks.

    After all, isn't that why our tax dollars are being spent on salaries for "official spokespersons" for nearly every government office in the state? The Attorney General's office is full of attorneys who love to talk, but they have to hire a spokesman to interact with the press. The Utah DMV has at least half a dozen spokesmen. Even the Department of Natural Resources has a spokesman. Maybe the SL County Animal Control Department has its own spokesman.

  • My Point Exactly Pleasant Grove, Utah
    Aug. 8, 2013 2:03 p.m.

    Most school districts have policy in place where coaches, administrators, teachers, etc. are required to refer all media inquiries to the district. Whether you agree with it or not, employees have no choice than to follow policy or otherwise be reprimanded. Mr. Haslam did the right thing.

    The students involved in the crime need to be charged and disciplined to the full extent of the law. There are bigger issues with these kids and expecting the coaches, teachers, and administrators at Granger High School to take any accountability whatsoever is wrong and unfair. They didn't raise these kids.

    School employees have to deal with this kind of judgement daily and by no choice of their own, have to teach values, morals, behavior skills, anger and conflict management, social skills, etc. on top of teaching curriculum. They do a great job for the most part and blaming them is unreasonable and unfair.

  • Lancer801 WEST JORDAN, UT
    Aug. 8, 2013 1:45 p.m.

    This Story Sucks, But I Don't Think You can Blame The School Or The area for what a group a teens decides to do, I Went To Granger and have lived in West Valley City for 20+ Years and Its easy to judge the community for the actions of those that live there, If we judge an area by who resides there then draper in case is a bad area because some of the most violent criminals reside there maybe not by choice but they still reside in draper.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Aug. 8, 2013 12:13 p.m.

    Jerry Haslem, the principal of Granger HS, is a good man. I'm sure he's shocked and disappointed by this recent news. He might be under legal counsel or orders from higher ups in the district not to say too much until all the facts are known.

    I am a fan of HS athletics. I have seen it change thousands of lives for the better. I don't think the climate of the football team created this but unfortunately sports participation can only change people so much. I think there is a bigger issue at play and that is the corrosive nature of West Valley itself. From corrupt cops to others in government, to crime, drugs etc. the community itself must step up and demand more of itself. They must say no to crime, drugs and crime and more people need to demand better from its own residents and leadership.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Aug. 8, 2013 11:54 a.m.

    I suspect this has something to do with mob mentality. Much good can be done in groups, and also great evil. At times, when people combine together they do things they might not otherwise do --- again, good or bad. It is unfortunate that this time is was so much bad.

  • Pastor88 Kearns, UT
    Aug. 8, 2013 11:06 a.m.

    What is disturbing here is that the Administrators and Coach are dodging the question of whether these violent individuals are in school or practicing for the coming season.
    Not the kind of example we need in our schools. I know the white house is exhibiting the same practices but we all know that Obama is a fraud and is hiding many issues , but a local school principal and coach.
    Sounds like the coach and principal are hiding something

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Aug. 8, 2013 11:00 a.m.

    Reminds me of Junior year, when the B-ball coach cut all 3 of us Mormons and kept all the punk sons of guys HE had gone to HS with in the same town 30 years before.

    When 4 of the 5 starters were busted for grand theft and drugs, and were kicked off the team near the beginning of the regular season, he actually had the cajones to come ask us to suit up. By then we were in the middle of the Church league season, having a blast. We told him to shine it on, and they lost every remaining game on the schedule.

    He didn't coach much longer.....

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    Aug. 8, 2013 10:17 a.m.

    It's poor leadership from the coaches and administration that allows a particular program to develop a culture that lets kids get away with deliquent behavior, drug and/or alcohol use, and antipathy towards academics. I played HS hoops for Ogden, and luckily our coach was not a pushover or a "win at all costs" type, though he did win. The best player, by far, in my class refused to put forth any effort to keep his grades up. So, after our soph year, he was gone. No coddling, no twisting teachers' arms to keep him around. I hated it, but it was handled the right way. We still did pretty well (lost in the state final to Bradley's Emery team), but I've always wondered if that guy would've made the difference.

    To luckyguy -- Eliminate inter-school athletics? Yeah . . sorry, not going to happen. Even without debating the issue of revenue generation vs costs or pointing out that, overall, athletes get BETTER GRADES than non-athletes, too many people like sports. You'd get loud objections from even a lot of the non-athletes.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 8, 2013 10:07 a.m.

    Granger is part of West Valley City ...the crime capital of Utah. Enough said.

  • J-TX Allen, TX
    Aug. 8, 2013 10:02 a.m.

    Principal Jerry Haslam's failure to weigh in on this outrage is cowardly. He should be incensed like the rest of the community.

    I hope these kids do jail time. And if they're LDS, they should experience disfellowship while they investigate the atonement.

  • BigBenzo88 Herriman, UT
    Aug. 8, 2013 9:56 a.m.

    Having played football and basketball in high school and having played football in college...I disagree with the belief that high school athletics is a waste. High school football allowed me to earn a $100,000 education from Northwestern University.

    High school athletics is sometimes the only avenue for some to gain higher education. I don't agree that high school or football had anything to do with these incidents. The fact that all 9 individuals were from Granger and on the football team is merely a coincidence and actually should be expected because most friends usually attend the same high school and participate in common activities.

    It comes down parents teaching their children correct principles. Let the law run its course and whatever the consequences are...we all have to respect that. I will say...if any of the individuals are playing football on a permit...I believe the permits will be forfeited on the basis of citizenship.

    High school athletics is good for high school and good for student-athletes. I hope these young men can learn from this and move forward with their lives. I hope that no one makes excuses for the boys.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Aug. 8, 2013 9:47 a.m.

    My son's coach in high school told us at a meeting with athletes and parents that he would not tolerate any athlete being involved in alcohol, drugs or crime.
    He wasn't going to wait for the trial. He didn't care if he was a star player or a minority.
    He told us, "I may not be able to drop you from the team, but I will leave you on the bench if I can't."
    A few students each year were foolish enough to test his threat. Every one of them lost.
    The coach also required each athlete to dress in a button-down shirt and trousers with creases.
    Now THAT'S teaching kids something.

  • Bored to the point of THIS! Ogden, UT
    Aug. 8, 2013 9:31 a.m.

    Now we know why they were 'exhausted' at practice... they were up all night commiting crimes.

  • footballisgood Holladay, UT
    Aug. 8, 2013 9:18 a.m.

    Agreed with SlopJ30. Football and basketball bring in more revenue to most schools than the budgets allocated to all sports combined. A lot of schools would actually lose money by eliminating athletics. Plus, athletes learn so many great things. Given similar intellectual ability, I would rather have an athlete working for me over one who did not participate in athletics, because they understand what it takes to succeed and overcome trials, adversity, etc. It is a mindset that is difficult to learn in a classroom alone. Please stop generalizing athletes by the behavior of some. Other students do this kind of stuff too, but it does not get in the paper because we tend to sensationalize the behavior of athletes.

  • luckyguy Holladay, UT
    Aug. 8, 2013 9:17 a.m.

    There must be something wrong with the football program at Granger High School for this to happen. Also no one probably remembers that this is NOT the first time for football players at Granger High--it was within the last 25 years that the same thing happened. Football encourages agressiveness and for some teenagers they cannot cope with it. Perhaps they need to start teaching anger management as well. I am also of the opinion that inter-high school athletics have no place in our compulsory public education system. Athletics in high school should be limited to only inschool activities and not travel around. and yes, I did not play any sports in high school.

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    Aug. 8, 2013 8:50 a.m.

    JSB, I'm guessing you weren't an athlete in HS. Your comment springs from a glaring logical fallacy . . "these players were football players, therefore particiapation in high school athletics inspires or encourages criminal activity." Yes, without their association with the football team, these nine guys would've no doubt been volunteering at the local homeless shelter or studying for their ACT at the library.

    The assumption that cutting the athletic department budget would automatically translate into smaller elementary school class sizes is cute. A tad simple and hopelessly optimistic, but cute.

  • suzyk#1 Mount Pleasant, UT
    Aug. 8, 2013 8:36 a.m.

    Shame on them - all of them. I hope they all receive the toughest punishment..that is the only way they will learn.

  • JimInSLC Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 8, 2013 8:33 a.m.

    My guess is some are victims of peer pressure and did not have the courage to say, "What we are doing is wrong" or to walk away. In some circles there is a culture where athletes are revered. As these kids are now learning, being a football player does not put you above the law. The two attending school on permits were probably given permits just so that they could play football for the high school. Even at the high school level schools are trying to build winning teams. Why not just play with the kids that lives in the school district? These kids are learning a valuable lesson, Football is just a game and being a player does not make you any more special than anyone else. This sounds like an initiation stunt that could have been done in the 50's, but today it is more violent and instead of getting a few dollars they're getting expensive tech gadgets. I hope all the victims are okay and that these young men learn from this and make some life course corrections.

  • Cool Cat Cosmo Payson, UT
    Aug. 8, 2013 8:28 a.m.

    Does anyone else think it's ironic that 2 different stories about 9 different Granger football players came out at the same time? That's kind of strange...

  • footballisgood Holladay, UT
    Aug. 8, 2013 8:00 a.m.

    Don, so in Missouri there is no presumption of innocence? Or do you mean that they would have their face put in the paper after convicted? If they are guilty, I agree that they should be punished, but I see nothing wrong with not releasing this info on high school kids until their guilt or innocence has been determined.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Aug. 8, 2013 7:56 a.m.

    Another example of many examples of how participation in high school athletics helps to build character. Wouldn't the money spent on athletics be better spent on reducing classroom size in the elementary schools? Or some other legitimate educational expense instead of using the money to inflate already over inflated egos to say nothing of involvement in criminal activities?

  • Opinionated Sandy, UT
    Aug. 8, 2013 7:56 a.m.

    Uh, from where I sit, 4 of them have every right to play football and the judge cannot legally ban them...you see, it's that whole "innocent until proven guilty" thing. So far, 4 of them have done NOTHING wrong.

  • JBQ Saint Louis, MO
    Aug. 8, 2013 7:54 a.m.

    I agree with the commenter from Sainte Genevieve. Seventeen seems to be a reasonable age of consent. Missouri changed from 16 to 17 about 10 years ago. Utah law is a bit too protective. The one who assaulted the soccer referee was 17 and received 3 years in a juvenile facility.

  • DonP Sainte Genevieve, MO
    Aug. 8, 2013 7:22 a.m.

    In Missouri the 17-year-olds would have had their faces and names on the front page of the local newspaper. Unless it is this publication's policy not to publish such photos, even when released by the authorities, I would have to assume that Utah law is different. That gives the older youths a rather undeserved second chance to put their lives in order. I hope they do so.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 8, 2013 7:07 a.m.

    Lock them up and let them taste sweet sweet justice.