Jim McMahon closing in on graduating from BYU, opening door for induction into school's hall of fame

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • Strong Man Eau Claire, WI
    April 24, 2014 3:04 p.m.

    Digomart -- My thoughts exactly.

    Rockwell -- read the article from last year about him and his girlfriend struggling to overcome his brain condition. Pretty sure they weren't living together in 'BYU approved' housing.... Quite the potty mouth too. Don't get me wrong... I LOVED watching Jimmy Mac play -- he was incredible -- but sheesh, if he's living with his girlfriend, having divorced his wife of many years for who knows what reason -- then he's not following BYU's honor code and that's a friggin' double standard.

  • Ronald Uharriet SWun City, Ca.
    April 21, 2014 10:08 p.m.


    Thanks for all the wonderful memories.
    LaVel, thanks for the patience, tolerance, and love that allowed
    Jim to be all that he could be while at BYU and beyond.

    Jim, please know and understand that you made us all proud.
    Know that we love you. Know that we appreciate you.
    As much as possible, learn to love and respect and appreciate us too.

    Thanks for coming back and finishing the job that you started.
    I can hardly wait to see your reward, which is also our pride in having you receive your reward.

  • Rockwell Baltimore, MD
    April 21, 2014 3:16 p.m.


    What evidence do you have that Jimmy Mac isn't in good Honor Code standing with BYU?

  • Ed Grady Idaho Falls, ID
    April 21, 2014 11:37 a.m.

    "BYU doesn't deserve McMahon."

    Yes they do. At the time BYU was a quarterback factory for the NFL and McMahon knew it. He didn't go there for the BYU experience, he went there because he knew that BYU could prepare him for the NFL and it did. Kudos to McMahon and BYU for making this happen. McMahon certainly belongs in the BYU Hall of Fame.

  • IDC Boise, ID
    April 21, 2014 11:19 a.m.

    Great news. McMahon deserves to be inducted. I'm glad BYU stuck to their guns and am even happier that Jim came through. Go Cougars!

  • Todd_i Midway, UT
    April 20, 2014 8:22 a.m.

    Good for BYU and good for McMahan. In this period of pushing for college sports to be pro or semi-pro I appreciate BYU's stand to hold athletes to an academic standard.

    Good for McMahan for doing this 35 years later when there are lots of other things to fill his time.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    April 19, 2014 11:44 p.m.

    Marxist -

    You nailed it!

    The thing I loved about McMahon is how "not byu" he was, and still is!

  • islandboy Honolulu, HI
    April 19, 2014 6:02 p.m.

    Great news! Happy for Jim and BYU.

  • Ronald Uharriet SWun City, Ca.
    April 19, 2014 4:16 p.m.

    Thank you Jim McMahan.

    Thank you for finishing the job at BYU. Your graduation will end 35 years of aggravation for me. I have not, since the 1980’s been happy about you not being in our Hall of Fame. You,
    Steve, Tye, Gifford and Bosco and one or two others have given us fans the hope that someday, we may once again have somebody like you to return to us. Thank you.

    I remember what you said while looking in your rear view mirror leaving Provo for what you though would be your last time here. Now that you have returned; Now that you will be graduating; Now that you will be our new Hall of Fame QB; I wonder what you will be thinking of, as you look out your real view mirror this time. Jim, we love you. We know what you will see, it will all be good. You will know and feel our love for you and we will know and feel the same coming from you for us.

  • Mountainman56 Alpine, UT
    April 19, 2014 3:13 p.m.

    I was a BYU student at the same time as Jimmy Mac and have been a big fan ever since. I long hoped that BYU would find a way to get him into the hall of fame and get his number retired and I think most of us would have been ok with an exception being made for him. However, this is SO much better that he is finally finishing his degree and getting in the right way. BYU has always been about doing things the right way and this is the ultimate example of that. Congrats to Jim and to BYU!

  • Chris Degn Salt Lake City, UT
    April 19, 2014 1:53 p.m.

    Jim, glad you will be a fellow alum! Proud of you for finishing the degree. Thanks for lots of great NCAA and NFL memories. You always showed guts and played your best. This is awesome!

  • NH Transplant HEBER CITY, UT
    April 19, 2014 1:49 p.m.

    Why do some have to be negative about others completing their degree later in life? It is a great accomplishment whenever it is completed. My mom started her degree earlier in life and after some major events getting in the way, she finished at the age of 56!

    Way to go Jim!!! My mom is a real hero for her example of finishing school and I am sure you are a real hero to your family as well for finishing school.

    Oh, I enjoyed your football career too!

  • DEW Cougars Sandy, UT
    April 19, 2014 1:42 p.m.

    Hope to get couple of tickets when Jimmy Mac gets his banner up. And I will chear Loudly for him! Former student 79 - 84.

  • BlueHusky Mission Viejo, CA
    April 19, 2014 1:35 p.m.

    Way to go Jimmy Mac! I still remember that Miracle Bowl. I was laying on my couch in New Haven. Getting sleepy and disappointed. Then wham! and Wham! and WHAM! BYU wins!!!! People trying to get back in the stadium. Pandemonium!

    Well, at 2:00 AM I finally went to sleep Greatest comeback I've ever seen. You deserve the honors.

    And you deserve much more credit for coming back and getting that degree! We old time BYU fans love you dude!

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    April 19, 2014 1:22 p.m.

    Silent Lurker,

    Your criticism is completely unjustified. There is no reputation of "letting athletes slide." The NCAA was critical of one aspect of the BYUIS program for high school students and BYU made an adjustment. BYU Independent Study is NCAA compliant. Remember that Michael Oher made the dean's list at Ole Miss; he even graduated in four years. So BYU Independent Study did nothing to hinder his academic potential. In fact, the tutoring of teachers and the curriculum offered in the form of BYU independent study were part of the recipe that turned Oher's life around.

    Also, Jimmy Mac did not take courses from the high school program, these are college-level courses and the quality and rigor are excellent.

    I will be so pleased to see Jim McMahon's diploma justly granted and #9 retired. He is an enormous part of the history and legacy of BYU athletics.

  • Stringer Bell Henderson, NV
    April 19, 2014 12:31 p.m.

    Good job on sticking with it and seeing it through. Congratulations!

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    April 19, 2014 11:32 a.m.

    BYU doesn't deserve McMahon.

  • trueblueBYU Provo, UT
    April 19, 2014 10:49 a.m.

    To Silent Lurker: While attending BYU I took one correspondence course and decided to never do that again. It was probably the most demanding course that I ever had either at BYU or in graduate school. I seriously doubt that Jim "answered 5 simple questions". Not from my experience. I for one am very proud of and pleased with his accomplishment. HE DID IT!

  • Digomart Evansville, IN
    April 19, 2014 10:13 a.m.

    Hmmm. The following info from the BYU page on graduation requirements:
    Adherence to University Standards/Honor Code

    Students must be in good Honor Code standing to graduate from BYU.

    The term "good Honor Code standing" means that a student's conduct is consistent with the Honor Code and the ideals and principles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Excommunication, disfellowshipment, or disaffiliation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints automatically results in the withdrawal of the student's ecclesiastical endorsement and the loss of good Honor Code standing. Further, a student is not in good Honor Code standing if his or her ecclesiastical endorsement has either lapsed or has been withdrawn, or if the Honor Code Office has placed a "hold" on the student's records.

    Students who are not in good Honor Code standing are ineligible for graduation, even if they have otherwise completed all necessary coursework.

    So, there must be other things besides football that stars like Jim McMahon can do that ordinary non-compliant Mormons (and non-Mormons) cannot.

  • Rational Salt Lake City, UT
    April 19, 2014 9:56 a.m.

    Press On
    Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence.
    Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
    Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
    Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
    Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
    The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
    Calvin Coolidge
    30th president of US (1872 - 1933)

    Congratulations, Jim. We love you.

  • dww722 North Salt Lake, UT
    April 19, 2014 9:56 a.m.

    I don't think it's too much of a stretch to say that Jim McMahon was the best COLLEGE quarterback in history. Only a super human season by Marcus Allen in 1980 kept BYU from having 2 Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks. The day his #9 goes up will be a great day for both Jim and all BYU fans who had the privilege to watch his amazing talents on the field.

  • coltakashi Richland, WA
    April 19, 2014 9:51 a.m.

    This is an inspiration to every person who didn't complete their degree. Thankfully, American universities give us second chances, and the new opportunities to study and communicate using the internet make distance from the campus less of an obstacle. When he graduates, BYU should mae his story the focus of a new ad inviting other former students to follow his example.

  • Turtle Owasso, OK
    April 19, 2014 9:28 a.m.

    Great job Jim. I believe he quarterbacked the greatest game in the history of BYU when he did that comeback against SMU. I could hardly pick up the KSL signal 1000 miles away, but what little I heard was exciting, but this comeback is even greater. BYU will long remember this young man as an outstanding quarterback and now showing some outstanding character by finishing the job...

  • woolybruce Idaho Falls, ID
    April 19, 2014 9:05 a.m.

    To bad they didn't let him finish after his triumphed victory in the Holiday Bowl.

  • TOO Sanpete, UT
    April 19, 2014 8:53 a.m.

    Mark from Montana

    Or could it possibly be that he wants to accomplish one last great thing before his brain is completely incapable of doing something more? Maybe it's not for fame and glory. Maybe for once in his life he wants to do something for himself, not for his image.

    Food for thought.

    April 19, 2014 8:17 a.m.

    Oh and the Miracle Pass may be impressive - but it what is more immersive is the 3 minutes before and his unwillingness to leave the field on fourth down when everyone - and I mean everyone else thought that game was lost.

    BYU's win in that game set the tone for the next ten years. That win is all on Jim McMahon. Other may have stepped up - but even the great LaVelle was following this time.

    If you don't know the story - Lavelle had sent the kicking team onto the field and Jim refused to go. He got the first down and the rest of the story is BYU legend

    April 19, 2014 8:13 a.m.

    I was in San Diego and saw the pass in the Holiday Bowl to Clay Brown. McManhon was magical on the field - and if I had to start a QB on the All BYU team it would be Jim. Why? Because that guy never quit fighting and but for the lame New Mexico loss the next year he would have finished out in a major bowl.

    It's true BYU did not push him for the Heisman like they should have, but I don't think the school knew how to - if they had the skills then that they do today Jim would shave been the top candidate for that award.

    Young, Bosco, Detmer all spectacular work but they stood on the shoulder of this giant.

    I always thought BYU should back down and let him in - but I may have been wrong because this victory may be one of the best in BYU football history - the prodigal son comes home and I will be there for the party.

    Welcome home Jim - you're still the best.

  • Silent Lurker Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 19, 2014 8:01 a.m.

    Props to Jim for finishing. I wonder if he had to read some small pieces and answer five question to receive credit. BYU's independent study program has had a reputation for letting athletes slide and receive credit for course work. Anyone remember Michel Oher from the Blind Side? See the DN article May 25, 2010 about the NCAA banning credit for HS classes.

  • ericNorCal San Jose, CA
    April 19, 2014 7:51 a.m.

    Our high school played in region against Roy. When I was a soph some of his records were still in the program in basketball. He stepped up even higher at BYU. He finally taught the Cougars how to win a Bowl. Thanks again for everything Jim 9#

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    April 19, 2014 6:53 a.m.

    Congratulations to both BYU and Jim

  • Bluto Sandy, UT
    April 19, 2014 6:16 a.m.

    Welcome Home Jim!

  • Max Upstate, NY
    April 19, 2014 5:34 a.m.

    I was at BYU when McMahon was. I have seen a lot of good quarterbacks but none of them left me stunned in amazement the way he did. I wish I had a dollar for all the times my jaw dropped while asking "How did he do that?"

  • poyman Lincoln City, OR
    April 19, 2014 3:17 a.m.

    Congrats Jim McMahon... One of the best QBs to ever play the game and we got to see it first hand... Proud that you wore the Blue and White Jimmy-Mac... And there are thousands of us that are proud that you have your Bachelors from the same school that you helped so much many years ago. Retired Jersey and Hall of Fame, Here it comes...

  • El Chango Supremo Rexburg, ID
    April 18, 2014 11:21 p.m.

    Mark from Montana,

    The sports programs at BYU bring in revenue (thank you football & basketball)!

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    April 18, 2014 10:53 p.m.

    Jim's miracle Hail Mary pass in the Holiday Bowl needs to be given equal TV time as the Doug Flutie Hail Mary pass. It was much more miraculous, in my humble opinion.
    Go for it Jim! You're a fierce competitor. Complete this pass for the degree. You can definitely do it.

  • bradleyc Layton, UT
    April 18, 2014 10:00 p.m.

    Jim McMahon may have been the best natural leader to ever wear the blue and white. Congratulations to Jim and his family.

  • UteMiguel Go Utes, CA
    April 18, 2014 9:59 p.m.

    Congratulations to Jim. This will be a great outcome for him and for the school.

  • BlueCoug Orem, UT
    April 18, 2014 9:33 p.m.

    Congratulations Jim. I couldn't be happier to see you graduate and be inducted into the BYU Hall of Fame.

  • Tom in CA Vallejo, CA
    April 18, 2014 9:05 p.m.

    Zorro -

    Good point. lol.

  • Born in Provo Logan, UT
    April 18, 2014 8:43 p.m.

    He passed for so many yards at BYU that it took him this long to finish his stats class, trying to calculate and add it all up. Way to go Jimmy Mac!!!!!!! Time to take your rightful place in the pantheon of legends at BYU. I hope Provo does something worthy to commemorate your accomplishment!

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    April 18, 2014 8:43 p.m.

    Some of my fondest memories watching the Y in their glory years was when Jim was the QB. What a great QB and player. Holy cow - I remember him just toying with teams and throwing for 400 yards. Glad to see Jim come home and get the honor and the friendship from Y fans.

  • BigSkies Issaquah, WA
    April 18, 2014 8:07 p.m.

    To those that think sports should not be part of the college program, I have to wonder how many of you actually played competitive sports in your life. I'm sure there are some that did, and still feel that sports don't belong as part of the campus experience, but either way, I simply have a difficult time understanding your logic.

    The life lessons learned through competitive sports quite often far exceed that which can be learned in a lecture hall or classroom. The same line of reasoning could also be applied to dance classes, orchestra, drama, etc. All of these types of activities are incredibly enriching and educational. I try to be open minded about this topic, but again, I see the logic on the other side of this argument as overwhelmingly rudimentary.

    And, as long as we're on the subject of Jim McMahon, I wish to say thank you for the example that you have set for so many other people. Not just with finishing your degree (although that's part of it), but just in general. Great job!

  • 4 in a row! Ogden, UT
    April 18, 2014 7:30 p.m.

    Another clutch performance!

    Still, the greatest ‘gamer’ of all time.

    As a fan of the game, still my all time favorite.

    This is a QB that begs the defense to blitz.

    Congratulations number nine!

  • Zorro Bakersfield, CA
    April 18, 2014 7:16 p.m.

    The reason Jim McMahan is the greatest QB in BYU history is the 56 pt AVE. he put up on Utah!

  • Y Grad / Y Dad Richland, WA
    April 18, 2014 7:07 p.m.

    Mark from Montana
    Davis County, UT

    Fair comment, but I disagree. I too have a degree from BYU that is largely ceremonial. University is about so much more than just an education. The education is the foundation, not the pinnacle.

  • KPED Hurricane, UT
    April 18, 2014 7:05 p.m.

    Congrats to Jim McMahon! Glad to see he found the proper motivation to finish! As a life-long Cougar fan, it is a great day! So many start college and fall short of finishing for various reasons. No one can take the degree away! Thanik you!

  • jzzlvr Salt Lake City, UT
    April 18, 2014 6:42 p.m.

    This is so cool!

  • souptwins Lindon, UT
    April 18, 2014 6:08 p.m.

    Doesn't sound like he's planning on walking in the convocation but I wish he would. He's a Communications major and my daughter will be graduating from that dept. too. It would sure be fun to see that! Way to go, Jim! Now, just don the cap and gown to make it official.

  • Bobster Boise, ID
    April 18, 2014 5:50 p.m.

    It is a long road from wanting to be the exception to being exceptional. I am happy that McMahon is going the distance and getting his degree. He is very deserving of the honor which I hope will be his soon. I kind of felt myself drifting to the exception crowd with the talk of McMahon's concussion issues. It is much better this way. Congratulations!

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    April 18, 2014 5:41 p.m.

    Glad to hear some good news coming from Jimbo.

  • CalGTR Merrimack, NH
    April 18, 2014 5:36 p.m.

    Congratulations, Jim!!!!! This is awesome! I'm going to make a serious effort to travel from the east coast to attend whatever game it is when they hang that jersey at LES. It will be epic!!! I hope BYU blows it up big for Jim! No matter who the opponent will be that day, I have no doubt that it will sell out, easy.

  • Brent T. Aurora CO Aurora, CO
    April 18, 2014 5:27 p.m.

    Understand the NFL career and accomplishments don't line up for this, but McMahon is the best QB I've ever seen -- Montana, Staubach, Elway, Marino, Tarkenton, Brady, Manning, Young... guy could hit a dime at 80 yards. NCAA-wise he held a bunch of records at once eclipsed that senior season by one Marcus Allen for the Heisman and some other hardware. But he was an awesome player and force on the field... and his legend at BYU deserves to be commemorated as this graduation will finally allow. Congratulations.

  • RockOn Spanish Fork, UT
    April 18, 2014 5:11 p.m.

    Extremely impressed by Jim's willingness to fulfill the requirements without asking to be an exception. Impressed with BYU for not knuckling under to the whiners and doing what they said they would do. In this culture we need more and more people who set and live standards for excellence.

  • jwalker Monticello, UT
    April 18, 2014 4:25 p.m.

    Great Job Jim!! Congratulations, all the best to you.

  • Mark from Montana Davis County, UT
    April 18, 2014 4:24 p.m.

    Yes, call me unimpressed. So the only reason he wants to graduate is so he can gain recognition with the HOF. I guess that is better than not doing it, but it why I continue to say it is time to remove sports from college. Money should be spent on educating the next generation not on sports. I would rather see McMahon finish school as an example to youth on the importance of an education.

  • CougarSunDevil Phoenix, AZ
    April 18, 2014 4:24 p.m.

    Good job Jim for not expecting the easy way and fulfilling the requirements instead of expecting people to accommodate you simply because you're Jim McMahon. Good job BYU for not creating a different standard just because he was an awesome quarterback. This shows the rest of the world that people can raise themselves to a standard instead of lowing the bar simply to include everyone. Probably the best story of the month.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    April 18, 2014 4:20 p.m.

    Congrats to a legend!

  • AZKID Mapleton, UT
    April 18, 2014 4:06 p.m.

    As a freshman at BYU, I loved watching Jim M. play at Cougar Stadium back in the "Miracle Bowl" season.

    Now looking forward to seeing his number prominently displayed there soon!

    Congratulations on finishing up the degree!

  • promoteabook Austin, TX
    April 18, 2014 4:01 p.m.

    Go Jim, I can't wait to see your # hanging from the stadium.

  • BigCougFan Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 18, 2014 4:00 p.m.

    This is great news! Way to go Jim. All your fans have hoped for a positive outcome to this dilemma. Looking forward to seeing #9 in the Hall of Fame.

  • BlackDiamond Provo, UT
    April 18, 2014 3:46 p.m.

    Good on you Jim... Great job