Dick Harmon: Former BYU hoops coach Steve Cleveland says Cougar players leaving early disruptive, costly

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  • CougarCat Tucson, AZ
    March 15, 2019 5:52 p.m.

    Must agree with Jello....the topic of this article is college-wide, not just a BYU hoops issue.

    Down here in U of A town we had several underclassmen jump ship after their frosh & soph seasons in 2017 & 2018. Some were even 6th or 7th men. An extra season or two at Arizona would've done them some serious good IMHO. But they took off. Some are in the D / G or whatever it is league now. Some are out of basketball. A couple made it to the NBA.

    Many young players are bolting - from schools all across the country. Like it or not, it's the way things are now. Rarely do colleges keep their stars thru 4 years of eligibility anymore.

    I try not to grind my teeth every time I read "If Mika had stayed" or "too bad Bryant's gone". They're gone....they're making their money - good money - taking advantage of the chance of a lifetime. Good for them. Childs is probably going too. Deal with it, folks.

    P.S. - Silly article - ignores today's nationwide realities

  • Some.BYU.Dude Mesa, AZ
    March 13, 2019 5:50 p.m.

    Could've been a special year had they stayed? This team had plenty of talent. They didn't mesh or have any identity all year long. No defense ever, and inconsistency at offense. The players never looked like they meshed, cared to be out there, or had any pride. The ONLY games I remember seeing that are the Utah State and Utah games, which, thank heavens at least those. Mike and Bryant could've stayed, but I don't see how you fix the culture issue with that. Maybe, but this was a team and coaching issue.

  • PRSomega Cedar Hills, UT
    March 13, 2019 4:12 p.m.

    Unlike Gonzaga, BYU does not have the luxury of a head coach that recruits foreign athletes. Pitiful, with the international contacts BYU has from missionaries, etc.

  • Justiciaparatodos Salt Lake City, UT
    March 13, 2019 12:42 p.m.

    I think Coach Cleveland's observations are shallow and misdirected. He should have at least offered some opinion as to why he thinks these players are leaving the team early. Seems pretty clear that he is a "company man" and wasn't about to proffer an opinion that the decline of the program and/or the coaching could be one of the reasons these players are departing. So the interview offered nothing of interest only Steve Cleveland stating the obvious.

    If there is to be a positive change in the BYU basketball program, all associated with the program need to do an honest and in depth evaluation of what is going on and come up with some recommendations for how to stop this ship from sinking into the depths of the basketball sea.

    This old BYU fans thinks a large part of the problem is the current coaching staff. They do not appear to have the keys to turning the program around.

    Look at the excitement and success Utah State is having with their new young coach. It is fun to watch him coach and fun to see his players excited to be there. Not what we are witnessing at BYU anymore!

  • Common-Tator Saint Paul, MN
    March 13, 2019 10:42 a.m.

    "Not being able to score more than 19 first half points against USD is all about coaching. This article is a great attempt to deflect blame."

    (sarcasm font on) Precisely ... how could Coach Rose miss all those open 3s and layups in their last game? And heaven knows all that credit announcers give the Coach for points off inbounds plays is grossly misdirected, as they are really the result of players designing things on the fly!

    Give it a rest.

  • Thin Blue Line ,
    March 13, 2019 4:44 a.m.

    @Utah-Hawaii Alum - CA, 00
    March 12, 2019 2:23 p.m.
    “@ Thin Blue Line,

    Yes, they are "gentlemen" indeed, a rare fact in your community.”

    A rare trait in ANY community. Still with the labels and boxes....

  • John Jackson Sandy, UT
    March 12, 2019 11:52 p.m.

    Things are not rosy in Rose Land.

    If players are leaving early for the pros -- when they only qualify for the G-League and Euro ball -- you have to wonder if it is just an escape -- if they are so not enjoying it at BYU that they just want to get out.

    You wonder if the pressure on Rose has built up till he is not exactly seeing through rose-tinted glasses these days. Is that translating into coaching that's grating on the players? I remember the day we lamented the quick exits in the NCAA tournament. Then came the steady decline while in the WCC. Now days, you have to go through Gonzaga to even get to the NCAA. Now, it is a talented seventh seed you face, and you get no credit for it even being a talented team that you're playing. How about the NCAA sanctions? Wouldn't that wear on you?

    You look north, and see Utah State winning, and the players being excited. If you don't relish the coming battle, you're already defeated. If you don't enjoy what you are doing, you won't do it well. We've seen that Coach Rose can coach, but maybe its time for him to sit back and consider how to instill excitement back into his players. Maybe something's been lost and needs re-found.

  • John Jackson Sandy, UT
    March 12, 2019 11:20 p.m.

    Aye, seeing St. Mary's knocked off Gonzaga tonight, 60-47, maybe you do stay the course in the WCC.
    Lack of talent? Not sure that is BYU's problem. You've four four-star recruits this year (Nick Emery, Yoli Childs, Gavin Baxter and Connor Harding).

  • John Jackson Sandy, UT
    March 12, 2019 10:54 p.m.

    There's a visible decline in the Rose's program since joining the WCC. Five years running before joining the WCC you make the Dance, with the last year being your most successful there, going to the Sweet Sixteen. You make the NCAA tournament the first year after joining the WCC, and again two years later, then are a play-in team the following year. True, you got to the NIT semifinals twice, but the past two years, you've exited the NIT in the first round. The pattern is clear: You've declined steadily since joining the WCC. Whether there are other things going on and it's a coincidence you decline while in the WCC, who knows.
    Maybe you stay the course. Maybe the WCC is developing and you should remain a part of it. Seven of the ten teams had winning records this year. That the seventh seed pummeled you -- what does that say? That you are bad, or that the conference is deep and good?
    Then again, Gonzaga's waltzed through the league this year, its average margin of victory being 26.3 points per game. That speaks of a a woeful conference, not a blossoming one.
    Maybe it's time to call the WCC a bad experiment -- get out before the next season rolls in, if you can.

  • AFCoug Colorado Springs, CO
    March 12, 2019 10:43 p.m.

    So tired of watching BYU giards throw up bad shot after bad shot early in the clock. Everyone wants to be the next Jimmer instead of playing team ball. Sorry defense and fast pace hurt a slow footed BYU team that should be focused on better shooting out of a set offense. Time for a oaching change?

  • Office Linebacker Meridian, ID
    March 12, 2019 4:18 p.m.

    Not being able to score more than 19 first half points against USD is all about coaching. This article is a great attempt to deflect blame.

  • Utah-Hawaii Alum CA, 00
    March 12, 2019 2:28 p.m.

    @ Herbert Gravy,

    You could be correct about Judkins. He certainly knows hoops, being a keen pupil of the legendary Rick Majerus, but who knows what he wants to do? He already has tenure at BYU and could retire yesterday. He is a really sweet man and not confrontational. Maybe he likes coaching girls and doesn't want the pressure?????? Heck, I don't know.....

  • Utah-Hawaii Alum CA, 00
    March 12, 2019 2:23 p.m.

    @ Thin Blue Line,

    Yes, they are "gentlemen" indeed, a rare fact in your community.

  • Denverite Centennial, CO
    March 12, 2019 2:23 p.m.

    There's clearly a huge philosophical divide between those who want what's best for the college's team (i.e. Coach Cleveland, most of the fans) and those who want what's best for an individual athlete (the kid himself, family, etc.)

    To say "We coulda been good if only those selfish kids hadn't left early" , and to blame a lack of success on that, seems both juvenile and counterproductive because:

    1) Coaches leave for better gigs all the time, and no one really gets on them much for that. With the risk of a Gordon Hayward (or even Zion Williamson) injury at any moment for any player, a player should always look out for his own best interest.

    2) Some colleges have better teams than BYU every year, no matter what rules are in place.

    Now if you want to add a requirement, for BYU recruits only, that they promise to stay x years on the team, no matter what happens in their personal lives ( to "help the team"), that might be reasonable--though I can't imagine any really good player actually signing it, or BYU being able to enforce it if they did without looking really bad in the public eye.

  • Herbert Gravy Salinas, CA
    March 12, 2019 1:58 p.m.

    One poster here suggests that Jeff Judkins will be retiring soon.

    I see him "leaving early" to coach in the NBA or in Europe.


  • Thin Blue Line ,
    March 12, 2019 1:37 p.m.

    @Utah-Hawaii Alum - CA, 00
    March 12, 2019 1:18 p.m.

    "@ Thin Blue line,

    I hear ya man! Judkins and Whittingham are VERY moderate LDS gentlemen......who accept and relish in all people. I see Judkins retiring soon and KWhitt is raking-in serious coin at PAC Utah. Cheers! "

    May I suggest that they both are simply gentlemen....who accept and relish in all people. Labels can be confining at times and usually don't accurately depict the full extent of the person.

  • Utah-Hawaii Alum CA, 00
    March 12, 2019 1:18 p.m.

    @ Thin Blue line,

    I hear ya man! Judkins and Whittingham are VERY moderate LDS gentlemen......who accept and relish in all people. I see Judkins retiring soon and KWhitt is raking-in serious coin at PAC Utah. Cheers!

    Goooooo Utes!

  • Thin Blue Line ,
    March 12, 2019 12:51 p.m.

    @Utah-Hawaii Alum - CA, 00
    March 12, 2019 12:37 p.m.

    "As a few Y fans have suggested......"Hire Jeff Judkins to coach men's BYU hoops." I imagine he doesn't want that terminal problem and pressure. He is close to retirement and loves his girls team. He is a Ute and I wish he stayed there. He is a good person."

    Jeff judkins is as much a Ute as Kyle Whitingham is a Cougar.

  • majmajor Layton, UT
    March 12, 2019 12:41 p.m.

    The NCAA is a socialist organization which thinks it controls the lives of young men and woman who play sports. This used to be real power, when there wasn't much competition and the NBA and NCAA controlled when players could play professionally.

    Guess what? Individuals have the opportunity to make hundreds of thousands or millions playing basketball in other professional leagues. Capitalism at the finest. The NCAA doesn't seem to be interested in developing players, nor sharing the wealth with the players (who generate the wealth). If players can't survive or even make a minimum wage, why stay?

    Thank goodness basketball players can actually become part of the American Dream, and go to Europe to draw a real wage.

    If universities are unable to provide players with a benifit to stay.. They should leave.

  • Utah-Hawaii Alum CA, 00
    March 12, 2019 12:37 p.m.

    As a few Y fans have suggested......"Hire Jeff Judkins to coach men's BYU hoops." I imagine he doesn't want that terminal problem and pressure. He is close to retirement and loves his girls team. He is a Ute and I wish he stayed there. He is a good person.

  • Fear the Turtle!! ,
    March 12, 2019 12:35 p.m.

    @sunshiner - st.george, ut
    March 12, 2019 11:54 a.m.

    "Jeff Judkins would be a great coach for the men's team, and he's already on campus."

    Let's see...a 62 tear old man with no prior head coaching experience with men's basketball? No thanks. He's doing a great job with the women.

    1. Mark Pope
    2. Heath Shroyer
    3. Dave Rice

    ...in that order

  • TKB Provo, UT
    March 12, 2019 12:28 p.m.

    A quote from HB Arnett of Cougar Sportsline: "BYU will only be as good as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints pipeline provides.

    It hasn’t been a strong pipeline for several years now. Let me quickly explain that there is a difference between the regular pipeline of players of the sponsoring institution’s faith and elite players of the same faith.

    Church players with NBA potential don’t sign with BYU but go with programs who while they may not be offering “Strong Backside” offers financially, they are offering one-way tickets to the NBA.

    The elite Church prospects don’t sign with BYU. Good Church products do, but they aren’t good enough to compete with those prospects that warrant “strong donkey” offers from elite schools."
    I would like to see the NBA and other professional organizations adopt a policy of "hands off" of college players for at least 3 years allowing personal and athletic maturity to take place. Getting a good education seems to be a lost value in the world of professional sports and the lure of big money.

  • Lester L. Wester Salt Lake City, UT
    March 12, 2019 12:20 p.m.

    Well....: no one from any recent BYU-P BB teams are "jumping to the NBA." The NBA isn't even a consideration for them. These players just want out of there.

  • wer South Jordan, UT
    March 12, 2019 12:11 p.m.

    Cleveland is right. Now, the real question is: what's the solution?

  • sunshiner st.george, ut
    March 12, 2019 11:54 a.m.

    Jeff Judkins would be a great coach for the men's team, and he's already on campus.

  • Antipus5 Lehi, UT
    March 12, 2019 11:39 a.m.

    "I suspect that for the trustees, basketball and big money college athletics is not a priority for them. "

    Very true....

    Given that the Trustees are all General Authorities whose overwhelming mission in life is moving forward the progress of the LDS church and Gospel - college sports, big money, the praise of the world (or at least the Sports media whom seem to excuse away nearly all bad behavior as long as the player is highly skilled, and often not even all that skilled ) is not much of a consideration.

    Avoiding more scandals of the type that occurred in the 2001-03 Gary Crowton years IS a big consideration...

    Personally, I wish the Brethren would decide/get confirmation that it's time to end the major intercollegiate athletics programs at BYU for good... (and I'm a BYU grad/football fan).

  • az willy San Tan Valley, AZ
    March 12, 2019 11:18 a.m.

    Thank you Captain Obvious

  • Utah-Hawaii Alum CA, 00
    March 12, 2019 11:15 a.m.

    Another thing that isn't talked about at BYU is that many students, athletes too, who are married, some with kids, are on welfare(food stamps, WIC, housing stipends and Medicaid). In fact, there is a bustling federal and state welfare office on BYU's campus. Thanks to social media, the truths are being told.

  • Confused Sandy, UT
    March 12, 2019 11:04 a.m.

    The problem is not players jumping to play pro ball...

    The problem is Coach Rose does not know how to use the talents he recruits and plays favorites with other players

    There are several top quality players who have "Transferred" because less talented players seems to be getting the playing time.

    It is time for a change at BYU basketball and let Rose "retire".

  • Confused Sandy, UT
    March 12, 2019 11:04 a.m.

    The problem is not players jumping to play pro ball...

    The problem is Coach Rose does not know how to use the talents he recruits and plays favorites with other players

    There are several top quality players who have "Transferred" because less talented players seems to be getting the playing time.

    It is time for a change at BYU basketball and let Rose "retire".

  • Utah-Hawaii Alum CA, 00
    March 12, 2019 11:03 a.m.

    BYU fans must realize that the internet and now social media has crippled BYU and its owners. Back in the old'n days information and truths could be hidden or disputed. That is impossible these days. BYU cannot get the black kids and non-LDS that are good and most necessary for the Y to be any factor in football and basketball in the 21st century.

  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 12, 2019 10:59 a.m.

    "stay in school, finish what you started and quit trying to grow up too fast!"

    coog sports nut:

    Thank you, Roger Reid.

    Don't we WANT students to go to school to prepare for life in a chosen field? Why do they need to stay after THEY feel they have made all the preparations they possibly can? That's kind of the goal, isn't it?

    That is, unless fans don't want the coogs to be worse next year. Then they HAVE to stay!?

  • madirishman Seattle, WA
    March 12, 2019 10:56 a.m.

    It is about time that we sit down with these players and explain how much time, effort and money we put out to recruit them and let them participate in the game they love and at the same time receive a degree (from a school recognized as one of best in the USA and in the world).
    We should expect them to honor their word and play at BY U for 4 years or pay back the money we (BYU) have invest in them. If they choose not to, BYU should take legal action to recover that money and show the players what happens when you break a contract in the real world.
    Make them think twice about coming to BYU and four times about leaving BYU. Go Cougs

  • CV Storm Hyrum, UT
    March 12, 2019 10:55 a.m.

    I have a hard time making sense of an article where a coach who has made hundreds of thousands of dollars using student athletes talents bagging on said student athlete, usually married, leaving a program so he himself can make hundreds of thousands of dollars so he can support his family. That is the most hypocritical thing that I can imagine. If the student-athlete cannot improve his skills so he can make more money by staying then he should leave and grab what he can get. Whether it is in Europe, China, or where ever, a kid has a right and an obligation to make a living for his family.

  • Jello is Good ,
    March 12, 2019 10:36 a.m.

    This is not just a "BYU" problem, it is a college basketball problem. I don't worry about kids that leave to play professional basketball. The only thing they owe BYU is to play basketball for the year BYU is paying for their education. It is a contract that is voidable by either party at any time.

    I worry more about those that transfer to play for other college teams. Part is they were not getting the playing time they thought they would get. Part of it is that they quietly leave because the school has let them know they would not be renewing their scholarship the next year.

    The one thing it isn't is unique to BYU. That is an excuse by/for a coach who has not adapted to the new game, the new rules, and the new culture. Time for new, younger, hungry blood at coach. And for those that say there is nobody out there, the last 5 BYU head coaches and their prior coaching experience:

    Rose - Dixie College
    Cleveland - Fresno CC
    Reid - Snow and SUU
    Anderson - Utah State
    Arnold - Clark JC

    Outside of Anderson, either Heath Shroyer or Mark Pope would have exponentially more coaching experience than anybody BYU has hired.

  • Jello is Good ,
    March 12, 2019 10:15 a.m.

    @El Conquistador - American Fork, UT
    March 12, 2019 8:31 a.m.

    "A lot of comments about the coaching . . . I understand you think a new coach is going to help, but I'd like to see a list of qualified candidates. Actually, I'd like to see two or three candidates—temple recommend-holding members of the Church that have proven they can coach a D-1 basketball program. Here's a short list:"

    1. MARK POPE
    2. MARK POPE
    3. MARK POPE

    Oh, by the way, did you hear me say...MARK POPE

  • Fabled Soul Provo, UT
    March 12, 2019 10:09 a.m.

    The norm is for every good program to lose players to professional leagues. The turnover at Duke is incredible. Can you imagine if Duke kept its stars for 4 years?! Nice of Coach Cleveland to throw a bone to Rose, but we don’t have to buy it.

  • BYU Sports Nut Heber City, UT
    March 12, 2019 9:49 a.m.

    A societal issue we face is not only the money but due to college and AP opportunities in high school we are pushing kids to try to get out of college as quickly as possible. We see tons of early graduations from college and graduate transfers to other institutions.
    When will we learn that it is the academic journey.... and in this case the athletic journey that makes the difference. Enjoy the journey, stay in school, finish what you started and quit trying to grow up too fast!

  • goosehuntr Tooele, UT
    March 12, 2019 9:30 a.m.

    Some good thoughts everyone. My wife and talked about this last night. I told her that we can't keep players. We had some good ones come with Mika and Bryant. We had a little core there that had potential... If they stay, and challenge, they create a little success and it is then a bit easier to recruit. I was super angry with Mika and Bryant. I thought they lacked commitment to a University and a group of men who laid it out there to get them. Now you end up filling in gaps. Program now can't compete and recruiting suffers. We go from one of the best recruiting classes to early exits and mediocre basketball. You saw the chemistry issues this season. You saw a coach trying to find it. Guys who play four years with each other can compete. We are watching the disintegration of BYU Athletics. It is not prospering at this time. The brand is diminishing.

  • ConradGurch Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 12, 2019 9:17 a.m.

    Time to look in the mirror folks. BYU isn't getting the talent it once had. Everyone is looking around for excuses but there aren't any. The skill set just isn't there.

    Does any one in here think Europe or any other league is drooling to get Yoeli after his performance this year?

  • bemorefair , 00
    March 12, 2019 8:56 a.m.

    @at long last

    1 & 2, yes.

    3, 4, & 5, no, no, and EMPHATICALLY no.

    Stop hating, bro.

  • Vegas POV Las Vegas, NV
    March 12, 2019 8:54 a.m.

    Sounds like an excuse to me.

  • Mind Baggage Bentonville, AR
    March 12, 2019 8:52 a.m.

    Everyone here be honest with yourself for a moment.

    If you were a highly touted LDS kid coming out of high school and had offers to play for BYU, Gonzaga, Utah, Kentucky, Duke, or Arizona, which school would you pick?

    My guess is that in 2019, BYU (even if you grew up as a big fan) would be at the bottom of that list. Even if you were not considered a "one and done" player, you would probably pick a different school than BYU.

    Also, be honest, if BYU had Mark Few or Coach K as our head coach, could they have convinced Jabari Parker or Frank Jackson to play for BYU?

    BYU represents a worldwide church. Are you telling me that we can't recruit athletes from Africa, Argentina, and Australia when St Mary's can?

    Though the issue is with Coach Rose, I assumes it runs much deeper. I suspect that for the trustees, basketball and big money college athletics is not a priority for them. No sane university that wanted a successful basketball program would have extended Rose's contract this past season.

  • Hawk Littleton, CO
    March 12, 2019 8:50 a.m.

    Interesting to see the comments from concerned Ute fans stating that the departures are symptoms of bigger issues in the BYU program -- especially considering that Utah seems to lose half of their roster every season, resulting in a scramble to fill spots and poor play throughout the preseason trying to figure out who they are....

  • 65TossPowerTrap Salmon, ID
    March 12, 2019 8:41 a.m.

    Circle the wagons and protect Rose. Let's ignore how many good players transferred because Rose doesn't run a meritocracy.

  • El Conquistador American Fork, UT
    March 12, 2019 8:31 a.m.

    A lot of comments about the coaching . . . I understand you think a new coach is going to help, but I'd like to see a list of qualified candidates. Actually, I'd like to see two or three candidates—temple recommend-holding members of the Church that have proven they can coach a D-1 basketball program. Here's a short list:
    Yep, that's about it. Danny Ainge isn't going to leave Boston to coach at BYU.
    The article is spot on in most cases. There are certainly changes a coach can make. But you can't make someone go to BYU. And honestly, if you can go to Duke or Kentucky or North Carolina, why would you go to BYU if you want to have a basketball career.
    They are leaving for the money because they can get paid while the develop in Europe. It's not that they think they can't get better while at BYU, but BYU isn't paying them to get better. Europe will. And if you can play in Europe for 5 to 8 years and make a few million dollars, you can retire and be set for life if you want to be.

  • Pugman Tremonton, UT
    March 12, 2019 8:04 a.m.

    Lot of good comments here except from the usual Ute haters. But they can never be part of a cival dialog even when it comes to their own team. Probably the two best remarks are that it's a cultural problem and I also liked the fact of talking to former players to get their take on what's going on. I believe that would be the best way of finding out what's going on with the program and at least trying to figure out where you go from there.

  • at long last. . . Kirksville , MO
    March 12, 2019 7:19 a.m.

    It is very evident to anyone looking objectively at byu's men's basketball program that there is a significant problem. Parts of the problem are 1) coaching that fails to develop the players; 2) coaching that is perceived to play favorites regardless of talent level; 3) Poor conference without national publicity other than Gonzaga; 4) weak schedule without exposure to big name programs; 5) the culture at the school, which is perceived to be hostile to blacks.

    Anyone who considers these points will be able to think of examples that justify my comments. Some of these issues are easier to resolve than others, but all require some 'pain' and consequently aren't likely to happen. This is especially true with Holmoe as AD.

  • Jfronk28 Tremonton, UT
    March 12, 2019 7:17 a.m.

    The question to ask: Are other college teams losing players early to Europe?

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    March 12, 2019 7:08 a.m.

    Cleveland is spot on.

    I think that it is coaching, or lack thereof that makes the players leave.

  • CowboySky Green River, WY
    March 12, 2019 5:46 a.m.

    BYU's problem is not difficult to identify. First, marriage. A lot of BYU athletes marry early. Marriage is expensive, especially when children come. These players need more money than others. Second, age. Returned missionaries. Pros don't like older players. Incentive to leave early. Don't see an easy solution. It's cultural.

  • Wookie Omaha, NE
    March 12, 2019 4:54 a.m.

    This is college ball now. This is the mentality of the youth now. It has to be immediate. It has to be right now. This is more a byproduct of society and the youth of today. They don’t know how to stick with things. They don’t know how to be patient. I can only imagine when they start to have children.

  • BlueHusky Saratoga Springs, UT
    March 12, 2019 4:51 a.m.

    It is true that too many hoops players are leaving early. Some programs can simply reload. Duke for example. The NBA meat grinder needs more and more cannon fodder. So you leave college after a couple of years and jump into the professional whirlwind. Where are you in five years? Running a lawn mowing business?

    MBA's and grad schools are becoming pretty standard for a lot businesses and professions. Pro hoops provides none of that. Some guys graduate early, so they transfer to a grad school somewhere and play another year. How do people graduate in three years now? Sure didn't happen much in my day, especially athletes, who often took more time to graduate, if at. all.

    I don't know the answers. But as a fan, it sucks to see a potential all-American drop out after a couple of years then wind up playing in Europe. Not that that experience is not a good thing; I've traveled the world in my career, but I have a Ph.D.

    My advice to Yoeli? Get that degree and play another year. You're not going to make an NBA team this year.

  • ParkCityUtah Park City, UT
    March 12, 2019 3:24 a.m.

    Why not ask former players off the record? You're likely to find they don't feel the extra time at BYU will develop their game.

  • One of Vai's Cousins DC, Washington
    March 12, 2019 3:14 a.m.

    I wonder if part of this is the BYU culture of often marrying while still a student. It is so rare to see college athletes married at other universities but quite common at BYU. That has to provide some urgency to make some money while you can. The mentality has to shift a bit from enjoying the college experience to providing for a family. In that case, how can you fault someone for making their money while they can and not risking injury.

  • AZUTE1 Mesa, AZ
    March 12, 2019 1:35 a.m.

    Congratulations to these key byu-p players for choosing the right & jumping ship when the program needs them the most!

    Go Utes!

  • There You Go Again St George, UT
    March 12, 2019 1:08 a.m.

    The players who left BYU would stay if they wanted to stay.

    The players who left did not want to play any more at BYU.

    The fact that they would be willing to play in Europe or elsewhere says alot more about the state of the BYU Basketball program than it says about the players leaving.

  • Sportsfan123 Herriman, UT
    March 12, 2019 1:02 a.m.

    I think players would stay if they felt the program was a perpetual competitive team in the NCAA playoffs, and players like Mika, Bryant Childs And company would have been a very competitive team and a threat to Gonzaga this year and last.

    But the big glaring problem is Rose has absolutely no big time talent following these players coming up in either under classmen or recruiting pools. BYU used to be able to recruit talented bigmen that is no longer the case, the days of BYU not only having better talent but also had a decisive size advantage are gone with coach Rose, he litteraly has nothing coming up the ranks.

    Rose is the problem because recruiting has gotten worse, the football team has its own struggles not being a member of a conference, but the basketball team does not have that excuse. It seems ever since leaving the MWC the basketball recruiting has deteriated.

    I think coach rose needs to focus on recruiting better talent, or we need a new coach.

  • Scott5 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 12, 2019 12:04 a.m.

    It seemed really odd when Shawn Bradley declared for the draft while still on his mission after only playing one year. It is also strange when players leave early simply to go play in Europe. It seems that if Mika and Bryant had stayed with the others, collectively they would have improved each other's profile. I have no problem with players leaving early for riches, but these cases are odd. I occasionally wonder if it could be due to the LDS church sucking so much energy out of its students that they feel the need to move on.

  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 11, 2019 11:36 p.m.

    Man, that’s some major-league whining going on. Cleveland, Harmon, etc., evidently believe players must be loyal to BYU-P, despite coaches that play favorites and don’t prepare them well.

    Sorry, but once the players figure that out, it’s Goodbye!

  • water rocket , 00
    March 11, 2019 11:28 p.m.

    BYU not only has the problem of players leaving early, but they also have the problem of having great recruits go on missions first. In Mika's case, he was considered to be getting too old to be drafted into the NBA. Just look at Mitchell with the Jazz, who was drafted at 19 (Mika was 25). Bryant didn't leave "early". He had graduated. Yes, he had another year of eligibility, but he did make the G-league, and even played for the Dallas Mavericks for a time.

    Personally I believe that there is a problem with some of the players. Certain players seem to think that they have the green light to shoot, even when they aren't having a good night, while other players clearly have talent, but don't get the screens and assists that the glory shooters get. Is this a coaching problem? Perhaps. But it is also a huge problem when an individual player is seeking his own glory, and not the team's.

    I would love to see the BYU team focus on just having fun and winning, and forget about the NBA for the present. So Cleveland is right, the players should plan on staying put, then things will take care of themselves.

  • wallyball SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 11, 2019 10:50 p.m.

    I'm watching St. Marys and San Diego play in a 50 to 50 game with just under 10 minutes to go. The difference in virtually every aspect of this game is superior to what I usually saw from byu. Do these two teams have better athletes than byu or does it come down to coaching and player development? I say the latter!

  • Scores Idaho Falls, ID
    March 11, 2019 10:50 p.m.

    If Yoeli Childs leaves after his Junior season, I say there is something wrong in the basketball program.
    Hardnett is leaving as a graduate transfer, and he is the best guard they have.

  • Who am I sir? Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 11, 2019 10:42 p.m.

    BYU is such a unique and special school. Players leaving early there are disruptive and costly while there is no such effect on any other university. And that is what makes this such a big story.

  • LDSAZ Casa Grande, AZ
    March 11, 2019 10:28 p.m.

    The benefits to leaving college are so great, how can colleges compete? If you are a key player for BYU, you are not headed to the NBA; hence, the money can start coming your way sooner by leaving for overseas. I get it. It's sad. It's too bad for the college game, but it is better financially for the players.

  • Deanvrtc Vancouver, WA
    March 11, 2019 10:23 p.m.

    I have to disagree with a few comments here that defend Rose. Players WOULD stay if they felt it was best for their future. These players who are leaving...see no value in coaching or development. They see no hope for any national spotlight because the program is in decline. They risk injury for what? If players felt like BYU and coach Rose offered player development and a national spotlight...they WOULD stay. Right now...none of that is happening so you can’t blame them for leaving.
    This is all about a winning program that attracts recruits and makes players want to stay and show what they can do. BYU has none of that now. For the program and future recruits, we need a new coach, a new culture, and a better direction.

  • blue & white , 00
    March 11, 2019 10:01 p.m.

    Agree 100% with the article. Mika and Bryant were told they wouldn’t be drafted but left anyway . Are they being selfish? Perhaps they don’t realize the time and cost to get the kids to commit. After all they are getting a free education. I wonder if we have skilled enough coaches to prep the guys for the NBA thus creating a desire to stay or even come to BYU in the first place. Ask brother J Parker. I think the rules should change to allow players to return to school even after signing with an agent if they don’t get drafted. Who knows till after the draft. We want the best interest for players then let them return or choose to go to Europe. Go Cougs!

  • sam1 Washington, UT
    March 11, 2019 9:43 p.m.

    I agree with much of what Coach Cleveland has said. I would like those who are critical of Coach Rose and his staff to consider a few things. I am sure that no one wants to make it to the Big Dance each year and go as deep as you can than Coach Rose. Coaches usually want it more than the players do. That is one of the reasons they do it.
    If I am not mistaken, in his 14 years as the head coach he has had eight 25 or more win seasons, two 24 win seasons and only this year fell below 20 wins. Eight trips to the tournament plus multiple invites to the NIT. Coaches can't control everything their players do and the decisions they make. Who knows how far they would have gone had they had Brandon Davies for the entire year with Jimmer.
    When commentators say it is time for a coaching change would you please list the names of possible coaches out there who are LDS. Also, where are all those great athletes that will "fit" the BYU brand that Coach Rose is not trying to recruit. If you are BigTime you are probably not going to go to BYU even if you are LDS.
    Considering the overall mission of BYU as an institution and the challenges of missionaries coming and going Coach Rose has done great.

  • Well.... Phoenix, AZ
    March 11, 2019 9:29 p.m.

    Absolutely and agree 1000%. BYU has historically thrived with veteran senior leaders who know the way and have developed chemistry with the younger players. This trend of "I scored 20 points a game this year so I'm jumping to the NBA" (and landing in Europe instead) really is killing the Cougs. They're getting beat by teams with senior leaders who have a system in place and chemistry. This is no knock on Yoeli--he's got the right to make his own decisions--but the trend overall really is disturbing and damaging. Seeing Hardnett go is also disconcerting. Dave Rose is a good coach, but he'd do even better if he can talk his guys into sticking around.

  • THEREALND Mishawaka, IN
    March 11, 2019 7:57 p.m.

    I can't disagree with the overall premise of the article. It did come off as a preventative plea to talk Childs into staying. I would suggest someone on the BYU coaching staff find out why they are leaving.

  • Old Jake Salt Lake City, UT
    March 11, 2019 7:49 p.m.

    Coaches leaving to chase bigger contracts is what usually hurts the program.

    The NCAA has gotten better but it still regulates the athletes to death and let's the coaches do whatever they want.

    Your body only has so much it can give and to play for "free" isn't going to pay the bills.