After a weekend that saw numerous powerhouses get smacked down by teams ranging from the Spiders to the “whointhehell?”, the Gators lived up to expectations and their inflated seeding, pounding the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos to within an inch of their lives before sliding by UCLA and into the Sweet 16 (or the “fourth round” for those unwilling to infringe on new tradition grounded in irrationality.)

Next up: the Brigham Young University Cougars, a team that has captured America’s curiosity in large part to a coldblooded crossover machine that many sports fans simply refer to as “The Jimmer.” For UF fans, the game should hold a lot of meaning as it was this very team that sent the Orange and Blue packing after a heartbreaking double-overtime slugfest one year ago. If there wasn’t enough excitement to kill a schoolyard of children, sportscaster Gus Johnson will be in New Orleans to deliver his aneurysm-inducing play-by-play. Huzzah!

Unfortunately, these things will get lost this week as Internet trolls, barstool intellectuals and overzealous diehards take aim at BYU’s religious tradition and culture in an effort to provide a cheap laugh. Although these rhetorical sucker-punches are nothing new for the university, which is owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they have recently become more ferocious and commonplace following the suspension of BYU forward Brandon Davies, who violated of the school’s honor code by having premarital sex. While this development provides a favorable matchup for the Gators’ frontcourt, it also gives the insensitive and the asinine more mud to throw around in their pigpen.

We ask you, the Gator faithful, not to take that head-first dive into the slop.

Although we acknowledge that the school’s requirements may appear as nothing more than theological overkill for the majority of students, it is inappropriate for us to cast a moral judgment on another university’s practices. In regard to the Davies episode, while the concept of losing one’s playing privileges over a bedroom matter between two consenting adults is mind-boggling for most, the fact is that a player broke a team policy, one that he and every BYU player signs before putting on a uniform, and the coach and university decided to handle it their way. For that, we cannot fault them.

In terms of the bigger picture, Thursday’s game is a matchup between the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds in the Southeast Region, not between Sodom  and Gomorrah and the Promised Land. The game will come down to whether the Gators will be able to contain Noah Hartsock, Jackson Emery and their pesky point guard, not whether they can convert them.

While lighthearted swings at the Mormon faith may not come close to the same dirt-high level of burning scriptures or using a higher power’s name to justify the desecration of the memory of fallen soldiers, it’s still religious bigotry. These are human beings, some of whom you may be cheering alongside with on Thursday (Yes, there are Mormons in The Gator Nation). It’s fine to have qualms with their doctrine, but leave it in the pews come tip-off time.

Otherwise, you can just Fredette about it.

(18) comments


What a joke. BYU does something sensationally stupid (who'd have every thought that from a Mormon institution...) and we're supposed to turn our heads because they're mormon?

There's an old quote on the internet that's perfect for this kind of situation: "If people don't like having their beliefs laughed at, they shouldn't have such funny beliefs."

And before you go defending LDS, don't forget about their meddling in recent elections. The LDS church is socially radical and wants to influence your life. Their minion even stalk our own campus. Best defense to this kind of insanity: laugh at it until you cry.


@the7thscribe, for the record, bro, nobody at BYU asked you not to make fun of them. This is an opinion piece in a Florida newspaper. BYU is plenty comfortable in its own skin.

People like you are a dime a dozen. If you like to laugh, I'm sure you will find plenty to laugh at. As for me, today's my lucky day, I found you to laugh at!


what a scathing comeback BYU fan. Except that you didn't say anything. Leave it up to cult members...

and I'm glad BYU is comfortable in its own skin, because you're all a joke to the rest of us.


Thank you for this excellent editorial. The amount of Mormon-bashing that goes on is astonishing and the venom of the attacks is bewildering. A recent Pew study found that those who claim to know the most about Mormonism actually know the least. There is a tremendous amount of misinformation out there. Sadly, despite your plea, it didn't take long for the "insensitive and the asinine" to start throwing mud.
Hey 'the7thscribe," after you look up the definition of the word asinine, look up bigot.


What a great article! Thanks for your respect and your honor in calling for civility! I am a BYU fan, and a mormon, and I am accustomed to the sort of stuff that I am seeing from posters like the 7thscribe. I am still surprised and saddened to see it. It is so mean spirited and misleading!! While on the surface I may seem like a typical Mormon, with my 5 young children, minivan, conservative dress, clean cut mannerisms, and University education, I am also like the typical American. My son plays too much x-box, I worry about the economy and food prices, how to make ends meet, and keeping my daughter from texting late into the night. Yes, I might seem a bit peculiar to some, but I am a good neighbor, a pretty decent mother, an avid believer in Jesus Christ, and a patriotic American. That said, I hope BYU wins this week against the Gators, but looking at your team, I know it's going to be very tough!


Thanks Alligator Editorial Board for the support and your calls for basic civility and kindness. Your efforts to stand up and be counted (as well as sadly discounted by some commenters here) and to take the high road are noticed by Mormons and appreciated.


Kudos to your editorial board for writing this. You're a credit to your school. I'm the opinion editor at BYU's paper so I know how tempting it can be to bash on your enemies instead of taking the high road, but this is a much classier editorial than normally appears in the student newspapers of our rivals before games. If it stops some of the obnoxiousness we get from certain schools it will be much appreciated. We just want to have fun trash talking about crossovers and free throw percentages, not get attacked for our beliefs. It should be a great game this week.


Cosmo, you should look up the Mormon church's role in Prop 8 in California before you start throwing words like asinine and bigot around. Its so funny when you see persecutors crying about being persecuted. Its the new PC game christians play: anytime someone criticizes their BS they go around screaming about how oppressed they are. Its pathetic.


@ the7thscribe - Yours is a classic case of someone railing against something that he doesn't truly understand. Does it make you feel sad knowing that you aren't the truly open-minded intellectual that you aspire to be?


Great article by the way. I'll be at the game. I hope that UF fans are as respectful as you've asked them to be. After all, Tim Tebow was your QB for 3-4 years, so I figure there must be some respect at UF for people who hold strongly to their Christian convictions.


texas, it makes me sad that we live in a society that has decided respecting insanity is more important than confronting it.


whats amazing is that I didn't even say anything that offensive. We all know that what BYU did was stupid; if we didn't then the alligator's board wouldn't have implored us not to make fun of them for it. It seems that mormons are just hyper-sensitive to criticism, but from the responses I've read, not very good at engaging it.


I guess by "we all know what BYU did was stupid" you mean the fact that you have 5/12 of the posts on this article. When you refer to yourself in the plural, is that the 3rd person, or the 4th person? You could have included Amar'e Stoudemire in your "we", but he retweeted after only 24 hours. I guess because he is not an anonymous poster, and he actually has to live his life next to his real name, he didn't want to go around looking like an asinine bigoted buffoon. The majority of the opinions out there regarding BYU's honor code situation can be summed up as "that's their code, not mine, but I respect them for enforcing it." I think this article is speaking to a campus of 18-22 year-olds, letting them know there are classy ways to behave in public.

Based on the sum total of your posts, it is pretty safe to say that we are all free to have our own opinions, as long as they are the same as yours.

BTW, laughing at insane cults until you cry...yeah, I guess you are right, I heard worse things during my two years as a minion...a lot worse.


cute reply, but I'm not a bigot. At least, you haven't shown that I am. I'm criticizing both mormonism and BYU but I haven't said anything to the effect of "all mormons are stupid, or mormons in genreal are bad people," or anything like that.

oh and 5/12 of the replies? how many are mormon non-students?


@the7thscribe Your 7th post says you are not a bigot yet the preceding 6 say just the opposite. It's normal to fear the things we don't understand. I lived in the South for nearly 8 years and without exception the people who said the same kind of things you have said had little or no real knowledge of the religion they seemed to dislike so much. Without fail, when they learned a little more their attitudes changed.

Your comment about Prop 8 is factually challenged as well. Popular mythology claims Prop 8 only passed because of the Mormons. Anyone with a brain and the ability to reason and do math can easily refute that assertion. There number of votes needed for that proposition to pass far exceeded the number of Mormon voters in the state. In fact the largest group by far to support Prop 8 in California was the African American community. Bet you didn't know that.

Of course attacking them would not be politically correct especially for the far left who need the votes of that community to survive politically, but Mormons are fair game in the politically correct world we live in, so the Church gets attacked and vilified for the participation of its members. There were Mormons against Prop 8 too. Did you know that?

The fact is, members of the Mormon faith are free to exercise their political will however they see fit and for whatever political cause they may champion or believe. I have never been counseled or instructed by church leadership as to how I should act politically.


Mormons can be found in many political parties and at both ends of the spectrum. Senator Harry Reid a very liberal democrat and Senator Orrin Hatch a very conservative republican are both Mormon.

You say Mormons are hyper-sensitive and that may be true. But that's what happens when something that means so much to you is trampled and disrespected by those who know nothing about it.



And don't forget that the LDS church meddled in Salt Lake City politics to support an ordinance that outlawed housing discrimination based on sexual orientation. Go ahead and have your own opinion on Prop 8 (I do!), but the church's involvement on that issue was really about marriage itself (an institution that is older than almost everything, and will outlast almost everything), and certainly had nothing to do with hatred or anything ugly like that.


To all you BYU folks -- best of luck in the game. And just be thankful that you aren't part of the SEC. People take college sports way too seriously down here.


Not to beat a dead horse, but another thing Mr. Scribe probably didn't know was that the Catholic Church actually put more money and effort into the Prop 8 vote than the Mormon Church. I'm a Catholic and the Prop 8 efforts at my church during the time were astounding.

BTW- I went to BYU and thouroughly enjoyed my time at the university. Not everyone that goes to The Y is Mormon.

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