Will the U. Go Mormon?

The University of Utah is currently in the midst of a search for a new president. They have narrowed it down to two potential candiates and one of them is . . . Michael Young. Young is a graduate of Harvard Law School, a former law professor at Columbia, and current dean at George Washington University Law School. He is also a BYU graduate, an active Mormon and a former stake president.

Since BYU now has a former Ute as its president, will the U. return the favor by hiring a former cougar? Would both presidents be allowed to root for their alma maters at Utah’s annual football jihad . . . er . . . grudge match.

What is happening to the Beehive state?!?

26 comments for “Will the U. Go Mormon?

  1. Mormonism must be losing its scarymaking mojo. Maybe we need to kidnap some young British women or something.

  2. Who cares who they root for? The way I hear it, the football rivalry may not go on much longer, since BYU may ditch their football team. Ricks ditched theirs when they switched over to BYU-Idaho, despite a long and proud tradition. Maintaining a football program costs a TON of money, and that’s not counting the additional money spent on a women’s team in order to stay Title IX compliant. And then there’s all these young men who come to BYU from non-church backgrounds, resulting in a series of honor code-related scandals. BYU’s new coach is having a lot of trouble putting up Ws, some of it perhaps due to recruiting problems inherent to the nature of the institution. So now would be a good time to ditch the team, since they’re not doing well…

    [And now, commence the flaming!]

  3. Gordon: You are right. There are three finalists not two. My mistake. (I was going off Lieter who noted that there were two law professor finalists.)

  4. John, There is no need to flame this idea because it is so absurd. The last President of BYU proclaimed that he wanted all of the sports teams to be ranked in the Top 20 nationally, and BYU put a lot of resources into making that happen. (So far, the results are really showing in Women’s Cross Country and Men’s Volleyball!) The university just built a new indoor practice facility (with private donations) and everything points in the other direction from ditching the team. As a University of Chicago alum, I have some sympathy for de-emphasizing sports, but I just can’t bring myself to give up on BYU sports. I enjoy it too much.

  5. BYU will not ditch their football team. John, have you actually heard this rumor from a credible source or is it speculation on your part?

  6. BYU football will go on forever and ever, into the eternities. Or at the very least, BYU football will continue until all its players are caught breaking the Honor Code. :)

    And yes, I still remember McMahon throwing the hail mary pass against SMU. Go BYU!

  7. Anyone who has had their view of Mount Timp etc. blocked absolutely by the unholy monstrous training facility erected opposite the Richards Building will know that BYU football is here to stay.

  8. Also, I am convinced that if the Church did cut BYU football, three-fourths of the elders of (Utah) Zion would apostatize immediately. You would have the Sempter Six on one side and the September Six Thousand on the other. But perhaps the Lord will allow it to happen in order to sift the wheat etc.

  9. Wow, well, between Eugene England’s public assault a few years back and Coleen McDannel’s more recently, I wouldn’t be surprised if the U were taking some preemptive measures against that sort of thing continuing!

    Any other signs?

  10. Dean Young hasn’t had much to cheer about anyway over the years regarding football programs – he was a prof at Columbia while the Lions obliterated the consecutive losing streak; GW doesn’t even HAVE a football team; and his children’s college teams haven’t been all that good except one (the Princeton Tigers have been abominable, and only the Air Force Falcons have been relatively good over the past while). So, I think Dean Young would be happy to root for a Division I team, no matter how bad it has been recently…

  11. Brayden,

    I don’t know anyone who would be considered a credible source, so, no. Gordon is probably right: BYU cutting football is absurd. Guess I was just playing the troll. Sorry, guys.

  12. After wrestling was cut, I lost all interest in BYU sports.

    My father actually wrote BYU and told them he would not donate any money to the Y until wrestling was reinstated. I hold the same view.

    Of course, I came from a poor family and as a graduate student, I am still poor, so BYU won’t really miss our money, but it’s the principle of the thing!

  13. Ivan Wolfe: since none of the money donated goes to sports unless it is specifically earmarked for sports, all you’re doing by refusing to donate is hurting the academic programs. That’s like refusing to help Sally because you don’t like Joe, her neighbor.

    There are those of us who would like to see BYU follow BYU-Idaho’s lead in the sports area, but I’m not holding my breath.

  14. I’m sorry – I should have been more specific – we don’t donate to the Y when they come asking for sports program money (like when they solicited donations for the new sports complex).

  15. Ben: I have heard persistent rumors that the U. of U. law school would like to hire a Mormon for their faculty since their token Mormon — Ed Frimage — became a Tibetan-Buddhist-Episcopalean (no joke. he wanted to dedicate the 2d ed of Zion in the Courts to the Dali Lhamma). Who knows if this is true or not…

  16. How about a big new “Philosophy training complex” to replace the JKHB? It could be huge with plenty of pulpits for everyone. I’m not sure the materials involved in training philosophers—- presumably lots of books, pencils, Rubik’s cubes, Venn diagrams, and pillows…

    Of course, to justify the expense, Philosophy would at least have to make an attempt to bring in some money. We could have 8 or 9 of them argue with philosophers from other schools– tag team style. Naturally these events would have to take place in some sort of large auditorium where many people could come and cheer. Recruiting might present some difficulties— what with all the marijuana use among most philosophy majors…

    Naturally we’d need to give the philosophy recruits a break in the rest of their classwork; they couldn’t really be expected to pass all those PE requirements, but there would be some minimal level of physical activity required to keep them on the team.

  17. Nate:

    The U’s “Tibetan-Buddhist-Episcopalean” Mr. Firmage has been less than full-time here for at least one year, and I noticed that he is only teaching 1 class next year- and it is a Seminar, Spring Semester. I get the impression he is on his way out- by his own choice (health reasons).
    I should note that I have had at least one LDS adjunct professor in my 3 years here at the U law school.

  18. Hm…well, if religion were a ‘diversity’ issue, by the leftists underinclusive definition of skin color (wow…what if all Mormons were orange skinned!…or gold, like God in the D&C)…

    Then 1, and an adjunct at that…is surely “impact” if not “motive” discrimination.

  19. Isn’t it true, Lyle, that law schools hire nationally? I prof. is still a little low, but not dramatically given the national pool of applicants.

  20. SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — “Following a nearly six-month search, the Utah Board of Regents has named Michael Young, dean of the George Washington University Law School, as the new president of the University of Utah. Young had the strongest Utah ties of any of the candidates. He’s a relative of pioneer and Mormon leader Brigham Young, and received his undergraduate degree from BYU.”

    Full story at

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