Why LGBT Rights at BYU Matter in Big 12 Expansion (Whether You Agree or Not)

Posted: August 10, 2016 in Sports

Virginia v BYU

To be upfront: I’m a 100% unequivocal supporter of LGBT rights, including but not limited to marriage equality and transgender equality along with all measures to eliminate discrimination based on sexual orientation. I’ll leave it at that.

I know that I have many readers and Twitter followers that agree with me and many others that don’t agree with me at all. Ultimately, though, the personal viewpoints of me or you on LGBT rights don’t really matter when it comes to conference realignment… unless you’re the president of a Big 12 university. Remember my mantra from nearly 7 years ago when it comes to conference expansion: “Think like a university president and NOT like a sports fan.” As the Big 12 has received a letter from Athlete Ally and a coalition of LGBT groups objecting to BYU’s candidacy for the conference, LGBT issues have come to the forefront of conference realignment discussions. Whether people personally believe that these issues should be irrelevant to Big 12 expansion is, well, irrelevant. They are inherently relevant because they are the types of issues that matter to university presidents. There are few institutions in America where LGBT rights are deemed to be as critical as they are in academia. Fans can state all that they want that LGBT issues shouldn’t matter in conference realignment just as they have complained in the past that academic rankings, TV markets and cable households shouldn’t matter, either, but the reality is simply different.

For instance, I know that the Pac-12 would never invite BYU based on LGBT issues in large part. There are significant scars from the LDS financial support of Proposition 8 in California several years ago that the West Coast schools won’t get over at any point soon (if ever). Whenever I have been asked about the prospect of BYU ever being invited by the Pac-12 (and I’ve been asked many times over many years at this point), my instant reaction is “NFW” and it’s largely tied to this issue specifically (more than just a general aversion to religious schools). It doesn’t matter how much money BYU could make for the Pac-12: all of the Pac-12 schools (not just the California-based ones) are in unison here.

As you can see from my own comments from the past couple of weeks, I had been skeptical that the Big 12 would think the same way because of how they had allowed for Baylor to have its own discriminatory practices against the LGBT community up until last year. I just didn’t think the Big 12 schools would necessarily make this into a bright line issue. The more that I think about it, though, I seriously underestimated it (and like I’ve said, I’m as big of a LGBT rights advocate as you’ll find). If people believe that the University of Texas runs (or at least has disproportionate power within) the Big 12, then why wouldn’t UT (a progressive university that is probably more culturally and academically in tune with the Pac-12 than its own fellow Big 12 members) have a very large issue with allowing BYU into the league considering the school’s stances on homosexuality? This was a blind spot for me up to this point because of the presence of Baylor already being in the Big 12.

For your reference, here is the BYU Honor Code. Note that there are many religious schools, such as Baylor, that have a general prohibition on premarital sex regardless of sexual orientation. If BYU only had this type of rule that applied to all students, then the Big 12 probably wouldn’t see this as an issue. However, where BYU differs is that it has a broader exclusion of homosexual behavior that includes “all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings.” So, my interpretation is that all students at BYU must practice chastity. The problem, though, is that heterosexual students can still have public displays of affection, such as holding hands or kissing, but homosexual students and staff are prohibited and could violate the Honor Code (which could result in expulsion). This is where the discrimination charge comes in as the school is holding LGBT students and staff to a different standard than everyone else.

On a pure financial basis, BYU has long been the best choice for the Big 12. It is the most power conference-like school that isn’t already in a Power Five conference and I’ve said this for years. However, I’ve also said in the past that there’s clearly something “personal” between BYU and the Big 12 – maybe it was about their negotiation tactics, maybe it was about Sunday play, maybe it was about how they wanted more for BYUtv, maybe it was about religion itself or maybe some combination of all of the above. Unlike most realignment decisions, there have been issues between BYU and the Big 12 that were clearly not about money or else BYU probably would have been invited already. The real or perceived discrimination against the LGBT community on top of all of that could certainly be a deal-breaker for the schools that already had hesitations about adding BYU. In fact, the Dallas Morning News is reporting today that the LGBT debate could nix BYU’s candidacy for the Big 12 even in an expansion to 14 schools.

To be clear: BYU should be free to practice religion and set its code of conduct however it sees fit in accordance with Mormon principles. That is (and should always be) protected by the First Amendment. At the same time, I know many LDS members and BYU alums and find them to be a loving and caring group with a commitment to community service as a whole.

However, that doesn’t mean the Big 12 has to accept BYU simply because the school is exercising its First Amendment rights, either. The Big 12 is every bit as much as a private association as BYU or the LDS church itself, so the conference can apply whatever criteria it wants in choosing its members. As I wrote in my very first post about conference realignment, there are tons of off-the-field factors that can impact expansion decisions, such as academics, TV markets and brand value. Increased emphasis on the protection of LGBT rights can certainly be a game changer, especially when public support for LGBT causes has gone from a small minority 10 years ago to a clear majority in rapid fashion and is increasing everyday (with near-unanimity among those under the age of 40). It clearly has been a deal-breaker for the Pac-12 with respect to BYU, so none of us should be surprised if it ends up being the case for the Big 12.

(Image from The Comeback)

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Comments
  1. Carl says:

    Saquon

    Like

  2. Alan from Baton Rouge says:

    Roll (Tulane Green) Wave into the Big XII-2!

    Like

  3. houstontexasjack says:

    One doubts if Baylor would be able to get into the Big 12 if it were being initially formed today, even if it had the same clout in the high points of the legislature as it did back in the 1990’s. As you’ve pointed out, it is darn near impossible to kick out a member of a major conference once they are in. To my knowledge, expansion just takes 8 of 10, but removal must be unanimous. As a result, the acceptance of Baylor’s cultural practices probably has more to do with the fact that it is already a member and schools such as Iowa State have a vested interest in avoiding doing anything to upset the existing order (I’ve seen them as being #2 on the chopping block if there ever managed to be a vote to kick out a school).

    The idea of compromising on Cincinnati and Houston seems most likely if expansion is actually to occur, although I see no reason for the other schools to just give into that right away. Texas probably won’t get rid of the LHN, but it doesn’t hurt to see how deep their commitment to Houston, or to get the votes to block any expansion otherwise, runs.

    Like

  4. greg says:

    Go Hawks!

    Like

  5. Brian says:

    Reposting this here.

    Frank linked this article:

    http://sportsday.dallasnews.com/college-sports/collegesports/2016/08/09/even-big-12-expand-14-teams-byus-lgbt-views-keep-source-serious-issue

    Chuck Carlton says the LGBT issue is very real and may keep BYU out even if the B12 expands to 14 according to multiple sources. Also says it’s close to 50/50 whether to expand to 12 or 14.

    “It is a serious issue,” said an industry source familiar with the Big 12 discussions. “Whether it keeps them out or not, it is a serious issue.”

    The top three Big 12 expansion candidates have been viewed as Cincinnati, Houston and BYU, sources said. If the Big 12 only expands by two to 12, BYU could be out.

    “Three schools for two possible spots,” said the source. “This doesn’t help.”

    If the league goes to 14 — right now about a 51-49 proposition according to one source — BYU still might not be guaranteed a spot with schools like Memphis, Central Florida, UConn and Colorado State among those in contention.

    BYU also has a sexual assault issue:

    BYU has other issues that might give the Big 12 pause. The school announced this week it is being investigated by the Department of Education for its handling of sexual assault reports.

    After the very public issues at Baylor, Big 12 presidents may be unlikely to embrace another private school with strong church ties and potential Title IX issues.

    BYU has also drawn scrutiny with allegations its Honor Code discourages students from reporting sexual assaults. Similar suggestions have been made about the situation at Baylor, according to an Associated Press report.

    Finally:

    Any Big 12 expansion candidate needs eight votes to be added. Sources indicated that the Big 12 will probably seriously talk with six to eight candidates before decision on whether to add two or four members. Discussions with TV partners ESPN and Fox — which are believed to have favored the addition of BYU — are part of the equation, as well.

    Like

  6. Brian says:

    ccrider55 posted this link from Barry Tramel on Frank’s previous post:

    http://m.newsok.com/are-the-big-12-powers-playing-poker-with-espn-fox/article/5513165?custom_click=rss&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

    “I say the Big 12 is playing poker. It doesn’t want more members. It wants more money. Your call, ESPN and Fox.”

    I followed up with this:

    http://newsok.com/will-sugar-and-rose-bowls-be-permanent-semifinals/article/5513014

    Tramel also had this piece on whether the Rose and Sugar will become the permanent semifinals.

    The Orange Bowl once was synonymous with tradition.

    New Year’s Night. The smiley orange midfield logo. A halftime show for the ages.

    That was then.

    Here are the dates of the Orange Bowls going forward from 2010: Jan. 5, Jan. 3, Jan. 4, Jan. 1, Jan. 3, Dec. 31, Dec. 31, Dec. 30 (this season), Dec. 31, Dec. 29 (2018 national semifinal).

    The prime New Year’s Day slots can’t be touched. They are reserved for the Rose, run by the Big Ten and the Pac-12, and the Sugar, run by the SEC and the Big 12.

    And it makes me wonder. Is all this a precursor to the Rose and Sugar bowls becoming annual semifinals?

    If college football eventually reaches four 16-team conferences — and we’re closer to such symmetry than ever before — the College Football Playoff would be set for a simple four-team format.

    Four leagues. Four champions.

    Why would the Rose and the Sugar share the wealth? They already flex their muscle to keep the Orange, Cotton, Fiesta and Peach on second-class status with dates.

    Why would the Big Ten (primarily) allow its Rose Bowl to be anything but a semifinal every season? Why would the SEC (primarily) allows its Sugar Bowl to be anything but a semifinal every season?

    Big Ten champ vs. Pac-12 champ in the Rose Bowl. SEC champ vs. ACC champ in the Sugar Bowl, assuming the ACC survives and the Big 12 doesn’t, which has been an excellent assumption for several years and has never looked like a better bet.

    I can see why he might think that would happen if it becomes the P4, but he neglects ND and all the G5 schools. There has to be some possible path to the playoff for all I-A members. Because of that, there’s no way the Rose wants to give up the B10/P12 game to always be a semifinal. I could see the Rose and Sugar staying as bowls on 1/1 with quarterfinals in the other NY6 bowls and then Pasadena and New Orleans potentially hosting the semifinals a week later.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      The Big 12 and SEC own the Sugar Bowl. That makes it a little different.

      Like

    • Duffman says:

      If it happens. I said this very thing on this thread back in early 2010

      Rose with B1G and PAC ties was clear
      Sugar with SEC and At Large was clearly the #2 bowl

      @ Alan
      If the Sugar was started by Tulane when they were in the SEC, how did the ownership of the actual bowl work from that point forward?

      While I knew they shifted to the B12 recently, I was unaware the B12 had an ownership stake, and is it 50 / 50 or some other split?

      Like

  7. Keith says:

    This is a PC time and I don’t want to minimize what you’re saying because I think you’re spot on.

    It is my understanding that the Pac12 objection is/was largely different than you stated.
    There have been plenty of schools that have and foster a variety of religious beliefs and that is their right–at least in the realm of belief. For example, a group or institution may interpret the Holy Bible to say the earth is flat and under a dome. Some or all may believe it. However, in the academic realm, a responsible institution of higher learner is expected to teach the facts as indicated by scientific method. In this instance, the science department had best be teaching the earth is round.

    And that is the killer for BYU. The LDS interpretation of The Book of Mormon is institutionally supported and has turned academics upside down. In particular, Anthropology, Pre-Columbian history, and various other disciplines have been directly impacted and what has passed for “scholarship” in some of the graduate departments of BYU many academics regard as objectionable, comic, odious, or worse.

    There was no way the Pac12 was going to have any part of it, and I am frankly surprised that the Big 12 would give them any serious consideration. They are the only P5 that would.

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      Kieth:

      I believe you are correct. While it would be great for the school/church to adopt a more inclusive, non discriminatory policy on this particular issue doing so would only remove the most public and attention generating no brainer objection.

      Like

    • bullet says:

      I think the Baylor rape problems make them especially sensitive to anything else. Without the Baylor problems, the LGBT issues would be taken seriously, but would not carry as much weight. Now they are just one more thing when the presidents’ sensitivities are already heightened.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        And BYU just announced they’re under Title IX investigation, too. Add in that Baylor’s honor code was implicated as part of the problem and that BYU’s is even stricter.

        Like

        • Mike says:

          Brian,
          Nearly 200 schools are currently under Title IX investigation. That is a non-issue. Some of these others may be, however.

          Title IX source: http://projects.chronicle.com/titleix/

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Everything’s an issue when you’re asking to join a conference. It’s more of one when they just had a major sexual assault issue at a current member and are sensitive to negative PR about these issues.

            Most Title IX investigations result in nothing, but that doesn’t make it a non-issue for the B12 now.

            Like

          • Mike says:

            Brian, sorry to burst your bubble. Like I said, hundreds of schools at this very moment are under Title IX investigation. The vast majority of these investigations end up going nowhere…..just as they will at BYU.

            On the list of concerns to the Big 12 this is probably 100th. There are 99 others before it they will take into account. Like I said, non-issue.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            It’s not just me saying it.

            http://sportsday.dallasnews.com/college-sports/collegesports/2016/08/09/even-big-12-expand-14-teams-byus-lgbt-views-keep-source-serious-issue

            BYU has other issues that might give the Big 12 pause. The school announced this week it is being investigated by the Department of Education for its handling of sexual assault reports.

            After the very public issues at Baylor, Big 12 presidents may be unlikely to embrace another private school with strong church ties and potential Title IX issues.

            Like

          • Mike says:

            Brian, so a single reporter using the word “might” means it is the case? LOL.

            Like I said, Title IX investigations are routine maintenance items. A Title IX violation is a completely different matter. BYU might have some issues. This is WAY down the list, though.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Are we sure this isn’t Andy?

            Is there some minimum number of people I have to quote saying it before it’s noteworthy that it may be an issue?

            Why in the hell should we take your word that it isn’t an issue at all based on your demonstrated misunderstanding of so many things?

            A reminder of the context:
            bullet said: “Now [the LGBT issues] are just one more thing when the presidents’ sensitivities are already heightened.”

            I replied: “And BYU just announced they’re under Title IX investigation, too.”

            So the grand claim you’re fighting is that the Title IX investigation is one more thing for presidents to consider when they’re sensitivities are already heightened due to Baylor.

            And just to be clear, there’s no “might” about whether BYU has issues or not. They’d already be in the B12 if they didn’t have some issues.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            “Are we sure this isn’t Andy?”

            The world would be lucky to have only one…

            To be fair, the LDS church has made considerable positive changes regarding race in my lifetime. And it has said the honor code will be reviewed. To be sure, a change will not be forced on them (and it shouldn’t be) but rather be as a result of thoughtful deep consideration of internal philosophy. How this manifestation (the current honor code) is either beneficial or inhibitory to its intended purpose.

            Interesting article in SL Trib on what if BYU is not invited.
            http://www.sltrib.com/home/4228950-155/monson-what-happens-if-byu-is

            Mentions the ultimate option.

            “4) BYU kills football.

            This idea would be laughable had LDS Church leadership not already canceled intercollegiate sports at what is now BYU-Idaho and at BYU-Hawaii, the latter being finished after this academic year. Those schools had terrific, successful athletics programs and, yet, they were done away with.”

            Like

          • Mike says:

            Brian, you continue to show you have no clue about this.

            Other candidates that are currently under Title IX investigation include Houston, USF, UConn, and Colorado State. Current Big 12 schools under investigation include Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Texas Tech.

            This is a ROUTINE MAINTENANCE item and literally hundreds of Division I schools under investigation. Hell, I could call and make up a complaint about Texas and they’d be “under investigation” tomorrow.

            Smh. You are unbelievable. LOL.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Dealing with failure to properly respond to rape is “routine maintenance.”

            Got it.

            Like

          • Mike says:

            ccrider, who said they “didn’t properly respond to rape”? A woman taking LSD off campus who refused to press charges against her attacker?

            See, this is the thing. This is ROUTINE. There are over 200 schools until investigation at this very moment….including several other candidates and several Big 12 schools. This is will got nowhere with Title IX and it is nothing issue.

            Why do people comment who have no clue on what is going on? smh.

            Like

          • Mike says:

            ccrider,

            Read it and weep, buddy: http://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/2999634/2016-07-27-List-of-202-Postsecondary.pdf

            BYU is not on there because the case was not open as of 7/26. You’ll notice some schools have multiple investigations ongoing. Stanford has 5. Kansas State has 4. Wisconsin has 4. etc, etc, etc.

            Great BYU FINALLY made this list with……….ONE. LOL.

            Now that this foolish has been debunked onto the next item.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            I was kinda referring to Baylor, one of your “routine maintenance” list schools.

            But since you brought BYU into it I source their own statement: “The advisory council is specifically looking at potential structural changes within the university, the process for determining whether and how information is used, and the relationship between the Title IX Office and the BYU Honor Code Office.”

            https://news.byu.edu/news/update-title-ix-study

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            http://www.ksl.com/?sid=39404463&nid=148&title=byu-to-study-title-ix-honor-code-offices-handling-of-reported-sexual-assaults

            I’m glad the church and a victim have a more open mind to possible shortcomings and remedies. Or are going to “correct” the leadership and tell them no change is necessary?

            Like

  8. Daryl Robinson says:

    Saying that BYU has to agree or accept homosexuality is discrimination in it self. Religious beliefs should not be forced to accept something that they don’t believe in.

    Like

    • Jae-VT says:

      Why is everyone acting like if BYU does not get invited into the Big 12, then BYU will cease to exist? Last time I checked, BYU isn’t in a P5 conference and they seem to be doing just fine. The mormon church is not going to run out of money, so BYU should be safe, financially. Also, BYU chose to leave a conference, the Mountain West Conference, back in 2010 to pursue football independence, so it seems to me that this entire situation is one of BYU’s own making.

      But what I find most galling is that many BYU supporters are claiming that a special interest group should not dictate matters in sports, but BYU is a special interest group demanding special treatment when it comes to Sunday sports event. Specifically, that no sporting event cannot be played on Sunday. Isn’t this just a hypocritical stance by BYU’s supporters?

      Like

      • TLS says:

        The Sunday play thing is not even an issue. It’s immensely solvable. There’s nothing hypocritical about it.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          TLS,

          “The Sunday play thing is not even an issue.”

          Completely untrue. It is an issue and it inconveniences all the other schools to have to work around BYU’s scheduling dictates.

          “It’s immensely solvable.”

          Very much so. But is it worth the aggravation of solving it for a new member when there are other choices? Will BYU make some sacrifice in exchange for no Sunday play that makes it more worth the B12’s while (less money, etc)?

          “There’s nothing hypocritical about it.”

          Of course there is. BYU’s discrimination problem is immensely solvable too – stop discriminating. Change the honor code so that the same rules apply to everyone (everyone can hold hands, kiss, etc or nobody can), and apply punishments for honor code violations equally.

          Like

          • Mike says:

            Brian,
            I’m not sure you understand the definition of “discrimination”. In your application, that means every time BYU dolls out an honor code punishment that person was “discriminated against”. BYU has moral and religious views. They are not based upon hate or dislike for anyone. They are conscience based. That’s the distinction.

            BYU could doll out an honor code violation punishment to a student just viewing pornography at home. Does that mean BYU has some mean spirited hatred for anyone viewing porn? Or does it mean that BYU feels it is a moral issue? That’s the difference.

            Like

          • @Mike – Actually, you’ve encapsulated exactly why there is discrimination. Watching porn doesn’t make you part of a protected class. Drinking coffee doesn’t make you part of a protected class. Having premarital sex doesn’t make you part of a protected class. Doing all of those things would be violations of the BYU Honor Code and have nothing to do with protected classes. (Granted, the Honor Code shows that I would have clearly been kicked out of BYU within my first week of college for multiple violations.)

            The difference is that being a homosexual DOES make you part of a protected class. That isn’t an opinion – that is the law in this country. Anti-discrimination laws apply to protected classes, which protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation. This is why these debates are honestly a head-scratcher for me. If we switched out “LGBT person” for “black person” in essentially all of the hypotheticals that have been presented in this thread, then even the most conservative people would probably find it justifiable that the Big 12 would not want to associate themselves with BYU if it had a section in its honor code that called out black people in the same way that it treats homosexuals. I know that the people that are against LGBT rights don’t believe that it’s equivalent to race, but that’s just a personal belief that has no legal basis. In the eyes of the law today, they ARE the equivalent when it comes to anti-discrimination protection.

            Now, that doesn’t mean that BYU isn’t allowed to have whatever code of conduct that it sees fit based on its protected right to practice religion. However, this also doesn’t give them protection from other groups, such as the Big 12, to use it as basis to not want to be associated with them. Basically the only thing that I’ve agreed on with The Dude of West Virginia is his recent statement that membership in the Big 12 is a privilege, not a right.

            This twisted notion that LGBT groups are now somehow discriminating against a school that is discriminating against them simply because the school has the right to do so on religious grounds is ridiculous on both a legal and moral basis. This would be the same as racial minorities being told that they’re discriminating against the KKK simply because the KKK has the right to free speech and association under the Constitution, too. Just because someone has the right to discriminate doesn’t mean everyone else has to accept it. The “People need to be tolerant of my intolerance!” trope that I have been seeing lately is a really, really, really poor argument on many levels. The fact that a person has a right to be intolerant doesn’t give him immunity from public ridicule.

            Regardless, here is how the BYU Honor Code impacts the Big 12. If the University of Texas chose to kick an athlete off of its basketball team for having premarital sex like BYU has done, it wouldn’t be violating the Big 12’s own code of conduct (much less equal protection laws). If UT chose to kick an athlete off a team for drinking Starbucks, which could occur at BYU in theory, there also wouldn’t be a violation. However, if UT decided to kick an athlete off a team for being black, then I think everyone would have a big-time problem, and I believe that the Big 12 wouldn’t want to have a school in its league that didn’t allow black athletes regardless of whether there was a constitutionally protected religious justification.

            So, if being homosexual is deemed to make someone part of a protected class in the same manner as being black, how could the Big 12 NOT have a problem with it? If UT decided to kick a male athlete off a team because he was seen on campus holding hands with his boyfriend, then it would be hammered with an anti-discrimination claim just in the same way it would be if it kicked a black athlete off a team for being seen on campus holding hands with a white woman. (People can say that’s extreme, but I know there are some people old enough here to have been alive where racial segregation and bans on interracial marriage were actually codified, and the arguments that people used to justify them back then look ridiculous and insane just as the generation of kids growing up now will look at the justifications used to discriminate against LGBT people as ridiculous and insane).

            The thing is that many religious schools in this country (including all of the ones at the power conference level) practice religions that object to homosexuality but do not subject their homosexual students to a set of rules on campus that are different than heterosexual students. Notre Dame and Boston College don’t do this even as prominent Catholic institutions. Not even Baylor does this anymore (and that’s a school that only started to allow *dancing* in 1996). This is where BYU is different in its practices. It is using its religion as a basis for a code of conduct that *does* treat homosexual actions as violations even though heterosexuals would be allowed to do the same, which is the very essence of discrimination. Other religious schools (which may even still teach that homosexuality is a sin) have figured out how not to engage in that type of discrimination against its own students, so it’s a reasonable expectation that the Big 12 would ask for the same.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Mike,

            “I’m not sure you understand the definition of “discrimination”.”

            Well it’s clear that you don’t.

            “In your application, that means every time BYU dolls out an honor code punishment that person was “discriminated against”.”

            No, it doesn’t. It means that every time BYU punishes an LGBT person for something that is allowed for a heterosexual or punishes the LGBT person more severely than heterosexuals for the same violation, BYU discriminates. Requiring chastity and punishing all those who violate the rule equally is fine. Allowing some people to hold hands but not others is discrimination.

            “BYU has moral and religious views. They are not based upon hate or dislike for anyone. They are conscience based. That’s the distinction.”

            The distinction from what? It doesn’t stop it from being discrimination.

            “BYU could doll out an honor code violation punishment to a student just viewing pornography at home. Does that mean BYU has some mean spirited hatred for anyone viewing porn? Or does it mean that BYU feels it is a moral issue? That’s the difference.”

            That’s not the issue. The issue is if the honor code is the same for everyone, and it isn’t.

            Like

          • Mike says:

            Frank, you keep using the term “protected class” as if it means anything in this context. It does not. There is no such thing as “protected class” for private, religious institutions of higher learning in terms of admissions and student standards. None. The law is clear on that. Private schools can be single gender if they want! And gender is a far more protected that homosexuality in legal circles. A private institution can deny entrance for any reason it wants. That is protected under law.

            Now, this comes down to the question as to why homosexuality is against the honor code. Now, if it was a vendetta against gays I would agree that is bigoted and discriminatory. If it is simply conscience and a moral issue that is not. It’s no different that any other honor code violation. They are all the same. They all have the same basis for being instituted. That is based upon morals. Now if a school admitted females only does that mean they suddenly hate men? Does that mean men are discriminated against? Are they advocating disassociation with any University that allows men to attend?

            There are hundreds of “protected rights” under law. In these contexts, they don’t exist. The militancy of the LGBT groups into trying to FORCE BYU to alter is religious views or put up extreme political pressure to ostracize them is militant. It’s extreme. It’s where the real discrimination occurs.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            Mike, unlike a public university, they are allowed to engage in that discrimination in their school, due to their protections under freedom of religion.

            However, a conference is also allowed to take into account whether or not they engage in that discrimination. The freedom of religion from government interference does not mean that every other private organization has to agree with the dictates of that religion.

            You can be a member of a religion that says you cannot drive a motor vehicle. Somebody can advertise for a chauffeur. You cannot use freedom of religion to argue that you should get the job as chauffeur despite refusing to drive.

            You can be a member of a religion that says you cannot drink alcohol. Some people can have a private scotch tasting club, that requires members to drink scotch. You cannot demand to be admitted go the club despite refusing to drink scotch.

            The Big12, as a private membership organization, certainly has the right to refuse to invite a school that engages in discrimination, even if that discrimination is allowed due to a religious exemption from anti-discriminatory legislation.

            Like

        • Mike says:

          Brian-

          “It means that every time BYU punishes an LGBT person for something that is allowed for a heterosexual or punishes the LGBT person more severely than heterosexuals for the same violation, BYU discriminates”

          So every time BYU punishes a unmarried couple for sexual relations but is ok with a married couple that would be “discrimination” too according to your logic. It’s the same act. Different responses. BYU must be discriminating against single people then, right?

          No, like I said earlier. It is a MORAL and RELIGIOUS issue. Before anyone attends BYU they sign an honor code with outlines what is appropriate and that is based off the belief system and morals of the LDS church. Violating those standards and receiving punishment for it is not discrimination. So straight people can hold hands and gay people cannot? Well, married people can have sex and single people cannot. No difference. There is no discrimination against gays, singles, or anyone else. It’s a moral issue.

          “That’s not the issue. The issue is if the honor code is the same for everyone, and it isn’t.”

          Like I said above, the honor code is not going to be the “same” for everyone in every circumstance. It’s alright if someone has legitimate pain to take narcotic pain medications prescribed by a doctor. It’s not alright for someone who obtains them inappropriately to take them and abuse them. It’s alright for a married couple to have sex. Its’ not alright for an unmarried couple to have sex. etc. etc.

          You need to find a new word. Your use of “discrimination” implies bias and hate. You’ve lost this argument big time. LOL.

          Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            “So every time BYU punishes a unmarried couple for sexual relations but is ok with a married couple that would be “discrimination” too according to your logic.”

            No, it wouldn’t, not if it treats all married couples equally. If it said white married couple could have sex and black married couple could have sex but a mixed race married couple could not have sex due to miscegenation, that would be discrimination. Or else if it said a straight married couple could have sex but gay or lesbian married couples could not, that would also be discrimination.

            And as a private university operated by a church, it would be permitted to engage in either form of discrimination, but it does not thereby gain the additional right that all other private organizations have to ignore the fact that it does discriminate.

            “You need to find a new word. Your use of “discrimination” implies bias and hate.”

            No, it just implies bias. And the bias is clearly present.

            Like

      • bullet says:

        Well its entirely possible that if this helps scuttle their Big 12 membership, schools scheduling BYU in sports could be targeted next.

        Their accreditation is already under attack:
        http://abovethelaw.com/2016/01/is-homophobia-going-to-cost-this-law-school-its-accreditation/

        Like

        • Jersey Bernie says:

          That is insane and really is the ABA run amok. If one does not like the values of BYU Law, don’t go there. Do not ever hire a lawyer who went there. If this is the basis for a loss of accreditation, then someday if an opposite political viewpoint is in power, some “liberal” law schools will suffer the same fate.

          The issue for the law school is not whether or not you agree with them, it is freedom.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Jersey Bernie,

            “That is insane and really is the ABA run amok.”

            That’s not fair. The ABA is just investigating a complaint that was filed. You can’t blame them for that. If they punish BYU, then you might have something to complain about. But if the ABA didn’t investigate a complaint, wouldn’t that be problematic in and of itself?

            Like

          • Jersey Bernie says:

            Yes, I can blame the ABA, which is an extreme organization. If the complaint came that a law school was too vigorously supporting transgender rights (say with a major transgender legal aid clinic), there is zero chance that the ABA would even contemplate loss of accreditation. Any person making such a complaint would be deemed to be a bigot.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Jersey Bernie,

            “Yes, I can blame the ABA, which is an extreme organization.”

            The price you pay for having so many lawyers in it.

            “If the complaint came that a law school was too vigorously supporting transgender rights (say with a major transgender legal aid clinic), there is zero chance that the ABA would even contemplate loss of accreditation.”

            Other than the headline writer, who says the ABA is considering loss of accreditation? BYU has been accredited for a long time by the ABA while having the same sort of policies in place. My guess is they do a cursory investigation and then do nothing to BYU.

            “Any person making such a complaint would be deemed to be a bigot.”

            For claiming a law school was too vigorously protecting any group’s rights? That person is a bigot. That’s very different from alleging that a school is violating the ABA’s nondiscrimination guidelines. Any such complaint has to be investigated or the guidelines are meaningless.

            Like

        • Brian says:

          bullet,

          “Well its entirely possible that if this helps scuttle their Big 12 membership, schools scheduling BYU in sports could be targeted next.”

          My guess is groups have tried that but been largely unsuccessful. You’d get much stronger pushback form the right if you ostracize BYU completely. Especially since no non-LDS schools get the same treatment (people play Liberty and others). I think conference membership is about the right level to make this a concern but not on the game level.

          “Their accreditation is already under attack:”

          I’d think their science departments would be the biggest risk to their accreditation. I understand the ABA has anti-discrimination policies but it’s got to be tough to apply them to an openly religious school.

          Like

    • NeutronSoup says:

      Frank is specifically *not* saying that BYU has to accept homosexuality. To quote the article above: “To be clear: BYU should be free to practice religion and set its code of conduct however it sees fit in accordance with Mormon principles. ”

      What he is saying is that other entities (in this case the Big 12) have the option to not associate with BYU if they find their policies objectionable.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        And I believe the honor code a) isn’t specifically a relegious edict (see Holmo’s statement regarding welcoming visitors and the fact revision is being looked at) and b) in part may undergo revision due to potential ncaa and T9 conflicts. It’s the discriminatory aspects that are most objectionable.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          Well its not just the honor code. Their employment practices are being objected to as well for being discriminatory.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Bullet:

            But what makes for easy/quick understanding of a conflict for joe average sports fan? An athletic/school honor code, or discriminatory employment practices?

            Like

      • @NeutronSoup – Yes, exactly. I don’t expect or believe that BYU should accept homosexuality. By the same token, the Big 12 doesn’t have to accept BYU’s stance either. The Big 12 and every other conference is free to apply whatever criteria it wants and that could very well include an analysis of treatment of the LGBT community.

        At the same time, there doesn’t even need to be outright acceptance of homosexuality on BYU’s part. Instead, the school simply needs to apply the same standards to heterosexuals as it does to homosexuals under its Honor Code. If everyone needs to adhere to chastity, then that’s perfectly fine. No one should dispute that portion because it’s a rule that applies regardless of sexual orientation. It’s the part of the Honor Code that effectively states that simply homosexual intimacy (or PDA) in and of itself is a violation, whereas that same standard doesn’t apply to heterosexuals. If BYU wants to enact onerous rules for the entire student population and even still wants to teach that homosexuality is a sin, the school could more strongly justify its position to the Big 12 if its application of its rules is equal across all sexual orientations (which isn’t the case right now).

        Like

    • Brian says:

      Daryl Robinson,

      “Saying that BYU has to agree or accept homosexuality is discrimination in it self. Religious beliefs should not be forced to accept something that they don’t believe in.”

      That is true and nobody is saying that BYU has to change. They are saying that the B12 shouldn’t accept them as is. BYU is free to choose to hold to their current positions and not be a B12 member. But the B12 isn’t obligated to accept a member that discriminates.

      Freedom of association is just as important as freedom of religion.

      Like

  9. Jamaal says:

    Frank, you are a bigot. You hate religious people. We are witnessing the tyranny of the minority.

    Like

    • @Jamaal – Let me understand you correctly. Am I a bigot because (a) I support LGBT rights or (b) I believe that that the Big 12 university presidents will take LGBT rights into account when judging BYU? With your reflexive reaction that I supposedly hate religious people and support the tyranny of the minority based on what I’ve stated in this post, I don’t think that I’m the one being exposed as a bigot here.

      Like

    • Jae-VT says:

      @ Jamaal,

      You, sir, are an idiot.

      Like

      • Zack says:

        Jamaal could be an idiot, but you just demonstrated you are a bigot.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m someone that wants to let discussions flow freely here with no moderation because we have very good back-and-forth viewpoints on this blog, but please end the name calling immediately. There are ways to discuss the issues at hand (as touchy as they may be) while being respectful to each other. We have had an amazing track record of not having had to block commenters on this blog despite a lot of heated debates over many years. I don’t want to have to start that today.

          Like

          • We finally found a topic more divisive than the debate about the relative worth of Mizzou athletics (where has Andy been, by the way?).

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Frank may have to ban you for using a forbidden word. You should have said ” the relative worth of [redacted] athletics…”

            Like

          • Jae-VT says:

            @ Frank,

            Understood and I will refrain in the future.

            Like

          • Duffman says:

            Christian in Wylie says:
            August 11, 2016 at 9:00 am
            We finally found a topic more divisive than the debate about the relative worth of Mizzou athletics (where has Andy been, by the way?).,/i>

            Probably on some B12 board telling them how good it was that Missouri was no longer in the B12. If they have not banned him a time or two already.

            Like

    • Brian says:

      Jamaal,

      “Frank, you are a bigot.”

      Ad hominem attack.

      “You hate religious people.”

      1. There are millions of religious people that aren’t anti-LGBT.
      2. You have no idea how Frank feels about people he disagrees with. He has certainly expressed no hate here.

      “We are witnessing the tyranny of the minority.”

      Which minority is that? The LDS church?

      Like

    • BruceMcF says:

      “Frank, you are a bigot. You hate religious people.”

      Note that there are some people who oppose discrimination against LBGT people because that is what their religion teaches. It’s not an issue with “religious people” on one side and “non-religious people” on the other.

      “We are witnessing the tyranny of the minority.”

      It would rather be tyranny of the majority, given that at present a majority, albeit slender, now supports non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. And the majority would be even greater among the faculty of a high-end research university like Texas.

      Like

  10. Zack says:

    Jamaal the only poster that has framed the argument properly.

    Like

  11. Tyson says:

    I believe Frank has in fact described the situation correctly, and you can bet that the political pressure to exclude BYU from consideration will be extreme. The animus towards faith is nowhere stronger than in the halls of academia. And having a “They Hate Gays” card gives them cover makes the discussion a non-starter. I would love for the Big 12 to invite BYU but you can rest assured they will not

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Tyson,

      “The animus towards faith is nowhere stronger than in the halls of academia.”

      Great, the poor oppressed Christians routine again. You know, the group that makes up 73% of the US and 92% of the elected federal government.

      The animus isn’t towards faith, it’s towards specific beliefs and the actions and statements of specific believers. Christians whine because academia has more diverse opinions and isn’t as dominated by all things Christian like all other parts of American life are. Christians are still the vast majority of the people on most campuses, it just isn’t as large a majority as everywhere else. Heaven forbid students be taught about a diverse set of viewpoints and then get to make their own decisions as opposed to being brainwashed by mom and dad’s personal religion from birth.

      Professors: http://religion.ssrc.org/reforum/Gross_Simmons.pdf
      Students: http://spirituality.ucla.edu/docs/reports/Spiritual_Life_College_Students_Full_Report.pdf

      “And having a “They Hate Gays” card gives them cover makes the discussion a non-starter.”

      So maybe stop hating gays and/or calling them evil or mentally ill?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mike says:

        Brian,
        Huh? And if a Christian (or any religious group) came out and told a University that they should disassociate from an LGBT group because the religious didn’t believe in it what the LGBT was supporting what would the response be from the left and the media, in general?

        This is the very thing we are talking about. It wouldn’t matter if the religious group said “LGBT’s can live their wife any way they want. We just don’t think a major public University or conference should associate with them.”

        This is the difference. LGBT is a militant organization intent on bullying and ostracizing others. Compare that to BYU’s statements on LGBT lately. Quite the difference.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Mike,

          “And if a Christian (or any religious group) came out and told a University that they should disassociate from an LGBT group because the religious didn’t believe in it what the LGBT was supporting what would the response be from the left and the media, in general?”

          Nice strawman.

          1. Nobody is telling the B12 to disassociate from anyone.
          2. Nor are they complaining about the beliefs of LDS members.

          They are asking the B12 to choose not to add BYU because of certain policies BYU has.

          “This is the very thing we are talking about.”

          No, it isn’t.

          “LGBT is a militant organization intent on bullying and ostracizing others.”

          1. LGBT isn’t an organization, it’s a classification of people. It’s like calling men an organization.
          2. As far as I know, most LGBT groups aren’t combative or physically aggressive so militant is a stretch.
          3. In what way does this small minority that is not in power bully the majority? By saying they disagree and asking others to take their side? How is that bullying?
          4. I don’t think LGBT people can ostracize BYU since BYU doesn’t want them around anyway.

          “Compare that to BYU’s statements on LGBT lately. Quite the difference.”

          Yes, they’re welcome to visit as long as they leave promptly.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Mike says:

            Brian,

            “Nice strawman.”

            This is what you say when you can’t argue the point. If a church tried to coerce a public institution into disassociating with an LGBT group that church would be under fire from the leftist media and the LGBT groups would be calling foul. When it is the other way around it’s expected everyone should just bow to the militancy. It’s a double standard. Period.

            “1. Nobody is telling the B12 to disassociate from anyone.”

            What exactly would you call it then? Telling them to just smile at them or something? Of course, that is what they are TELLING them to do. Doesn’t mean the Big 12 needs to listen. But they are still saying it. LOL. smh.

            “Nor are they complaining about the beliefs of LDS members.”

            Then whose beliefs are BYU’s that they are so vigorously attacking? LOL

            “LGBT isn’t an organization, it’s a classification of people.”

            We are aware of that. It was a typo. I meant for it to be Athlete Ally. Of course, you knew that. Why deflect?

            “As far as I know, most LGBT groups aren’t combative or physically aggressive so militant is a stretch.”

            You don’t have to be “physical” or “violent” in order to be militant. I defined militant above. This move by athlete ally is “militant”. Period.

            “In what way does this small minority that is not in power bully the majority? By saying they disagree and asking others to take their side? How is that bullying?”

            So, BYU and Mormons are the “majority” here? What? This is nothing about minority or majority. It’s one militant group bullying another based upon religious views and those with the liberal agenda appeasing it.

            “I don’t think LGBT people can ostracize BYU since BYU doesn’t want them around anyway.”

            They are using bully tactics in an effort to get others to ostracize BYU, however. It’s the “we don’t want to associate with you so we will try to influence others not to as well”. Sorry, that’s wrong.

            Nice effort, Brian. Unfortunately, your position isn’t logical so your points can’t stand up to the criticism.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Mike,

            “This is what you say when you can’t argue the point.”

            No, it’s what you say when someone presents and defeats a point that nobody is raising and pretends like it’s the actual point being debated.

            “If a church tried to coerce a public institution into disassociating with an LGBT group that church would be under fire from the leftist media and the LGBT groups would be calling foul.”

            Of course the LGBT groups would complain, just like LDS members are complaining now. But there’s a huge difference: the B12 isn’t a public institution.

            “What exactly would you call it then?”

            I called it asking the B12 not to associate with them. Disassociate presumes that they already are associated. Asking the B12 to kick out Baylor would be asking for disassociation. Since BYU isn’t a member, the B12 can’t disassociate with them.

            “Then whose beliefs are BYU’s that they are so vigorously attacking?”

            It’s not the beliefs, it’s the policy. Lots of religious schools have similar beliefs but avoid discriminatory policies.

            “LGBT isn’t an organization, it’s a classification of people.”

            “We are aware of that.”

            “We” may be but that isn’t what “we” said, so I pointed it out. When did you get elected King Mike to justify the royal we?

            “It was a typo. I meant for it to be Athlete Ally. Of course, you knew that.”

            How in the hell would I know you meant any one specific organization based on what you wrote? “Athlete Alley” would be a typo. “LGBT” is not a typo for Athlete Ally.

            “You don’t have to be “physical” or “violent” in order to be militant.”

            You do have to be aggressive and extreme and that isn’t a fair description all LGBT people and all those who support LGBT rights. It doesn’t sound like a fair description of Athlete Ally either, but perhaps you have personal experience with them that makes you feel otherwise. There are militant LGBT groups, I just haven’t seen evidence that AA is one of them.

            “I defined militant above.”

            You don’t get to define militant. It has an existing definition. And you did not define it anywhere in that comment, you just used it.

            “This move by athlete ally is “militant”. Period.”

            Writing a letter is militant? No. Just no. This is why you don’t get to have your own personal definition of words.

            “It’s one militant group bullying another based upon religious views and those with the liberal agenda appeasing it.”

            So you are now defining BYU and or the LDS church as militant? Interesting tactic. You really should learn what that word actually means at some point.

            You still haven’t explained how this is bullying. What is an acceptable manner for LGBT groups to express their point of view if they can’t write letters?

            Finally you really need to learn the distinction between beliefs and policies. All the complaints have been specifically directed at the policies. AA doesn’t try to change religious beliefs, they promote respect in sports. They are so extreme that their partners include MLB, NBA, WNBA, NBAPA, NFLPA, NCAA and GM.

            “They are using bully tactics”

            Again, letter writing.

            “in an effort to get others to ostracize BYU,”

            BYU is already not in the B12, so they aren’t asking them to start ostracizing BYU.

            “It’s the “we don’t want to associate with you so we will try to influence others not to as well”.”

            Actually AA would love to associate with BYU. It’s what they do.

            “Unfortunately, your position isn’t logical so your points can’t stand up to the criticism.”

            The irony is impressive.

            Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          Is the lgbt group requiring/advocating something that violates others protected rights (not merely offending a personally held religious sensibility)? That would be a problem.

          Exercising your rights is not a radical position, and many actual conservatives support protecting the outliers rights. Any diminution of them does the same for all. It’s a shame people feel threatened by the effort, labeling it a militant effort.

          Like

          • Mike says:

            ccrider55,
            lgbt groups are “advocating” for discrimination. They are advocating that a particular entity (BYU) not be considered by a private entity (Big 12) for the sole reason of religious and moral views. Athlete ally has a legal right to speak up. That doesn’t make it right.

            The definition of militant is to “having or showing a desire or willingness to use strong, extreme, and sometimes forceful methods to achieve something.” I think the level they have raised to in this case is militant. Using conference expansion as a means is extreme.

            Like I said, if a religious entity or church tried to get a private entity to not associate with a LGBT group because the church didn’t agree with its principles that would be a sh*tstorm of opposition from the left…..and lgbt groups crying foul all over the media. But when they do it? They request and actually expect everyone to give into their demands.

            That’s militancy. That’s what this group is about.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            “Like I said, if a religious entity or church tried to get a private entity to not associate with a LGBT group because the church didn’t agree with its principles…”

            You mean like the codified policies currently at any number of fundamentalist colleges?

            I’m done. The presidents will make the decision and we’ll probably never know if, or to what extent this concern informed it.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Mike,

            “lgbt groups are “advocating” for discrimination.”

            Not in this case. They are advocating against it.

            “They are advocating that a particular entity (BYU) not be considered by a private entity (Big 12) for the sole reason of religious and moral views.”

            No, they aren’t. They are complaining about a specific policy at BYU, not their religious views.

            “Athlete ally has a legal right to speak up. That doesn’t make it right.”

            So the “right” thing for them to do is shut up and ignore it? I don’t think so.

            “The definition of militant is to “having or showing a desire or willingness to use strong, extreme, and sometimes forceful methods to achieve something.””

            And AA wrote a letter. That’s not particularly strong, certainly not extreme and obviously not forceful.

            “I think the level they have raised to in this case is militant.”

            Then you don’t understand English.

            “Using conference expansion as a means is extreme.”

            They used a letter as means. Conference expansion provided a platform for more attention.

            “Like I said, if a religious entity or church tried to get a private entity to not associate with a LGBT group because the church didn’t agree with its principles that would be a sh*tstorm of opposition from the left”

            That would be a good analogy if that was what was actually happening here, but it isn’t. AA is complaining about BYU’s policy, not their principles.

            “and lgbt groups crying foul all over the media.”

            Something BYU supporters and others would never do, right?

            “They request and actually expect everyone to give into their demands.”

            They request that everyone give into their demands? By definition that makes it not a demand. And lots of people make lots of requests of groups.

            “That’s militancy.”

            No, it categorically isn’t.

            “That’s what this group is about.”

            Not based on evidence I’ve seen it isn’t.

            Like

          • Mike says:

            ccrider-

            “You mean like the codified policies currently at any number of fundamentalist colleges?”

            So, BYU (and other private religious schools) have “policies” that state they should try to get other private organizations from associating with LGBT people?

            That’s interesting. Your logic is not based in reality. It’s based in leftist sensationalism and militancy which implies this effort by Athlete Ally is not bigoted and hateful at all…..but that BYU’s honor code is based on hate. smh. Bizarre, man.

            Like

          • Mike says:

            Brian-

            “Not in this case. They are advocating against it (discrimination)”

            In the process doing some far worse than what they (and you) are accusing BYU of doing. BYU is not infringing on athlete ally in any way. They aren’t telling others not to associate or disassociate from them. They aren’t writing letters to public entities asking for them to be ostracized. BYU is only holding the morals they believe in on their OWN private campus. Not asking anyone else outside to change. Not asking for athlete ally to be undermined. LOL. Neither group agrees with each other. Athlete ally has taken it to a whole new level. It’s a militant, hate group.

            “So the “right” thing for them to do is shut up and ignore it? I don’t think so.”

            But when BYU or any other religious organization attempts to defend their position they are called “bigots” or these mean religious people who only hate gay people?? You can spin it any way you want but that is EXACTLY what has happened in the past. When BYU and other religious groups tried to support Prop 8 in California several years ago (which was perfectly within their legal right to campaign for something that was on the ballot) LGBT militants vandalized LDS churches and other churches. That’s an extreme, militant hate group. You don’t like what they support so you attack them. You will try to defend it but these far left issues have no defense.

            “They used a letter as means. Conference expansion provided a platform for more attention.”

            You keep referring to it as “just a letter”. As if that makes it non-militant. LOL. It doesn’t matter the means of communication. Letter, phone call, online posting. Militant is militant. When you seek the ostracize a religious entity simply because you don’t agree with them that is bigotry. When you seek to bring it to a level this prominenence and participate in sensationalism that brings it to the level of a hate group and militancy. When they say they are “scared for their safety” by going to BYU to participate in athletic events that’s sensationalizing the situation. That’s militancy. There is nothing factual to support that. Not a single event. Ever. Look at Tom Holmoe’s twitter post. Athlete ally’s claims are a farce and they are militancy.

            These are the simple facts. If religious groups speak out against LGBT simply on a moral basis then they are labeled as bigots. When LGBT groups speak out trying to force a moral change to what they believe on religious institutions they are given a free pass. That is wrong. The founding fathers would roll over in the graves knowing this is what this country has become. It doesn’t matter how many times BYU and the LDS church put out statements of “love” and implore for the non-ostracizing of LGBT groups. It simply does not matter. These groups will fight and will keep upping the ante until they get what they want. They don’t want homosexuality to be considered a sin among religious groups. If they can keep BYU out of a major conference it is fair game to them. If they can keep others from even scheduling BYU then even better (yes, I know they haven’t said it yet but you and I know it’s coming if they feel like they can get away with it like they knew they could get away with their “letter”).

            This is the problem we have. This leftist, militant view cannot be defended on a rational basis. It wreaks of hypocrisy. It seeks to ostracize. It seeks to sensationalize. It seeks to exaggerate and excuse. Meanwhile, the only thing you hear out of BYU is “all visitors are always welcome to BYU’s campus”. Amazing difference. Views such as yours undercut what the founding fathers tried to set up.

            Like

  12. Anon says:

    Frank is right. The B12 still has some left leaning leadership. The politics of institutions typically will lag the state legislators. Boren is a Blue Dog Democrat appointed in 1994. Bernadette Gray-Little was appointed by a democrat governor in 2009 and has ties to the left leaning Ford Foundation.

    I’ll repeat like Frank. I’m a supporter of LGBT rights, and the Freedom of Association protected by our constitution. I respect that private university can have their own rules, but other Universities have the right to determine who they associate with.

    I’ll leave the conservative audience with some good reading so they can better understand the situation. If you only can read one, I recommend Heterodox Academy. There are right leaning academics attempting to address the political imbalance in higher education. But you won’t find many libertarians like me taking BYU’s side on this issue. Their policies are enforce at a different standard for LGBT students and non-Mormons. I understand why public universities don’t want to associate with them.

    http://heterodoxacademy.org/2016/01/07/new-study-finds-conservative-social-psychologists/
    http://www.city-journal.org/html/billions-dollars-made-things-worse-12159.html
    http://www.slate.com/articles/sports/sports_nut/2006/03/the_secret_of_george_mason.html
    https://www.philanthropy.com/article/Ford-Shifts-Grant-Making-to/230839/
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernadette_Gray-Little

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Anon,

      “Frank is right. The B12 still has some left leaning leadership.”

      Many universities do because academia has more liberals than average in the US.

      “There are right leaning academics attempting to address the political imbalance in higher education.”

      This imbalance varies greatly by school and department. Some schools are much more liberal than others, and some departments tend to be much more liberal than others. The experiences of a history major at Cal and an ME at TAMU would be night and day different. You can’t paint all schools and departments with the same brush.

      Like

      • Anon says:

        You are correct in a couple aspects. However, you missed the point of the article. They did not look at an individual department, rather they took a survey of multiple academics from different universities in a the field of Social Psychology. The article listed did not paint any specific schools or departments. They came to the conclusion that 89% for Social Psychologist have a left of center view point taking in to account the sample size and distribution of their survey.

        Like

  13. Craig Z says:

    Go Bucks.

    Like

  14. Michael in Raleigh says:

    I used to believe that every team ought to be in a conference. I thought it was unfair that Notre Dame didn’t have to win a conference championship in order to go to a BCS bowl or to the playoff.

    Now my feeling has changed a lot. I think there should be more of a place for football independents, not less.

    The change from the 80’s, when there was an abundance of eastern and southern independent teams, to more recent decades has not necessarily helped all of them in terms of scheduling. For example, schools like ECU and Southern Miss used to be able to schedule multiple games per year against teams currently in Power 5 leagues. They would play Miami, FSU, Syracuse, Pitt, and others.

    BYU seems like the type of school that is made for football independence. It’s a shame that, in order to compete financially and for decent bowl bids that they have so much pressure to be in a conference.

    Like

    • urbanleftbehind says:

      If there was a critical mass of competitive independents (perhaps a de-facto conference number of 8-12), perhaps the lack of conference championship game could be addressed by a bracket-buster type game scheduled for the CC Saturday or even as a lead in to the Heisman (part of a double header Saturday with Army v. Navy) the following weekend.

      Like

      • I’ve been thinking the same thing ever since the NCAA relaxed the rules on CC games, eliminating the need for 12 teams, divisions, etc. What if Notre Dame, BYU, etc. created a loose alliance (let’s call it the Independent Conference), where the two highest ranked independents play each other at the end of the season? Right now that would almost certainly be ND and BYU every year (don’t see UMass or Army cracking the party anytime soon), but it could give some viability to independence, save programs like New Mexico State from having to drop down to I(too late for Idaho I’m afraid), and create a safety net for some of the lesser Big XII teams is their conference goes belly up someday. It would also give that 13th data point to Notre Dame or whoever if they were competing for a CFP spot.

        Some of the better G5 schools like Boise might even consider independence in this scenario. Maybe UConn could go independent in football and beg their way back into the Big East for other sports?

        Like

  15. bullet says:

    I just don’t see how they can possibly justify 14 without BYU being one of the 4. BYU is the only school essentially guaranteed to be average or above average in the conference. None but Houston and Cincinnati has demonstrated that they can compete consistently in football in a major conference. UConn and USF have shown a lot of evidence that they can’t.

    This taking forefront also probably increases the possibility that there is no expansion.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      bullet,

      “I just don’t see how they can possibly justify 14 without BYU being one of the 4.”

      The only way it would make sense to me is if they take both UCF and USF as a pure footprint/market grab in addition to UC and UH. Given B12 resources, one or both of the FL schools might become decent on a regular basis. UC and UH both have to compete as little brothers in a good football state, so why couldn’t UCF or USF do it too?

      Like

      • bullet says:

        That’s a possibility.

        But I think Florida is fool’s gold. Just too crowded, too many kings ahead of you in the pecking order and too many conferences ahead of the Big 12 in the pecking order.

        The general reporting has been that the Florida schools haven’t gotten much traction.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          bullet,

          “But I think Florida is fool’s gold.”

          So do I, especially due to the distance from the rest of the B12.

          “Just too crowded, too many kings ahead of you in the pecking order and too many conferences ahead of the Big 12 in the pecking order.”

          Schools:
          FL – UF (SEC), FSU (ACC), Miami (ACC), UCF/USF
          TX – UT (B12), TAMU (SEC), TT (B12), TCU (B12), Baylor (B12), UH

          UH is behind more schools than the FL schools are and the ACC and B12 are peers in the pecking order.

          Population:
          FL – 20.3M
          TX – 27.4M

          Both states have plenty of people to support these schools.

          School size:
          FL – UF (51k), FSU (42k), Miami (17k), UCF (63k), USF (49k)
          TX – UT (51k), TAMU (62k), TT (36k), TCU (10k), Baylor (17k), UH (43k)

          The FL schools are larger than UH and farther from UF/FSU than UH is from TAMU/UT.

          All 3 are in large markets and football-crazy states. Both UCF and USF have had brief spurts of success in the short time in I-A. Given time and money and their rapidly growing alumni bases they should have as much potential as UH.

          “The general reporting has been that the Florida schools haven’t gotten much traction.”

          Very true and I didn’t say it was likely. But it would be the only path to 14 that makes sense to me.

          Like

  16. I worked for the athletic departments of both San Diego State and Utah State. I lived in a small town in northern Utah for six years that was ~85% Mormon. I have HATED BYU with a passion because of their holier-than-thou Mormon BS. I’ve found them to be bigoted, judgmental, and arrogant to a degree that would make Notre Dame fans blush.

    All that being said, I never in a million years thought I would find myself pulling for BYU in ANYTHING. But this latest PC charade has made me do just that.

    BYU is a private campus, intended for people that believe in a particular set of morals and a specific lifestyle. Nobody forces a non-Mormon to apply to or attend BYU. As much as I dislike BYU, I have always shook my head at idiot non-Mormons like Jim McMahon who went to BYU and then act surprised that they didn’t have a good time there.

    I will say that in all my dealings with official BYU personnel (coaches, administrators, etc.), I was always treated with respect and courtesy. No one ever tried to convert me. They don’t sell caffeine on their campus, but no one ever said a word to me when I brought a liter of Mountain Dew to every competition I ever attended there. The Honor Code does not apply to visiting teams of fans. In fact, the only inconvenience to playing at BYU is the tailgating sucks, as it’s an alcohol-free campus and their police do enforce it rigidly. Their fans are obnoxious beyond belief, more so than any team I’ve ever encountered because of the holier-than-thou aspect on top of the normal arrogance that every successful program’s fans have.

    The Big XII technically has the right to exclude BYU because of their beliefs regarding LGBT, but isn’t that just as discriminatory as BYU? What the hell ever happened to live and let live? If you don’t like BYU’s Honor Code (and I don’t), don’t go to school there. Even better, if you’re offended by what BYU stands for, why not just cheer all the harder for your school to beat them? Are we really becoming so PC that we now will shun and exclude entire religions for not being as progressive as we are?

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      “The Big XII technically has the right to exclude BYU because …”

      No, it’s a right to not have to invite them. There are hundreds of other schools they aren’t inviting either. And that isn’t a technicality.

      Like

    • Tyson says:

      You nailed it, Single…in the current climate it is important that we shame and punish those who do not believe as we do—notice the not-so-subtle use of the word “climate”….we are rapidly moving to the point where doubting man-made climate change will be a CRIMINAL OFFENSE—just another bullet point in the thought police’s agenda.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Brian says:

        Tyson,

        “we are rapidly moving to the point where doubting man-made climate change will be a CRIMINAL OFFENSE”

        What a complete load of crap. Anyone blind enough to ignore every scrap of science that supports it deserves to be mocked thoroughly but it will never become any part of the criminal code and even you should know that.

        Like

        • Jersey Bernie says:

          Brian, really. A number of state Attorneys General were contemplating bringing CRIMINAL actions against those who do not agree with man made global warming. No matter what one feels about the issue, Galileo is turning over in his grave. The Inquisition is live and well, except that rationalily may have prevailed and the AGs are backing off. https://thinkprogress.org/state-ags-vow-to-tackle-climate-change-and-fossil-fuel-industry-fraud-c5350a4fefb6#.adasa39sc

          Like

          • Jersey Bernie says:

            Brian, really. A number of state Attorneys General were contemplating bringing CRIMINAL actions against those who do not agree with man made global warming. No matter what one feels about the issue, Galileo is turning over in his grave. The Inquisition is live and well, except that rationalily may have prevailed and the AGs are backing off. https://thinkprogress.org/state-ags-vow-to-tackle-climate-change-and-fossil-fuel-industry-fraud-c5350a4fefb6#.adasa39sc

            US AG Lynch was contemplating criminal prosecution of climate change deniers.
            http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/03/10/us-attorney-general-we-may-prosecute-climate-change-deniers/

            The State of CA had a bill proposed to allow prosecutors to punish climate change skeptics.
            http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/03/10/us-attorney-general-we-may-prosecute-climate-change-deniers/

            If it will never become part of a criminal code, it is only because at the last minute sanity prevails. It will not be for a lack of trying.

            Like

          • @Jersey Bernie – Once you get past the misleadingly alarmist Breitbart headlines, the “climate change deniers” that might be subject to litigation aren’t people off the street, but rather oil companies that are being investigated for potentially fraudulent reports and statements on how much their products might be polluting the environment. I really have no basis to state whether those cases are valid or not, but let’s not pretend that the government is trying to prosecute random individual “climate change deniers” – they’re looking at oil companies specifically.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Brian says:

            Jersey Bernie,

            “Brian, really. A number of state Attorneys General were contemplating bringing CRIMINAL actions against those who do not agree with man made global warming.”

            No. Just no. They talked about bringing actions against corporations that lied about it as fraud cases, just like they went after big tobacco for lying about cancer. Nobody is talking about going after individuals that say it as a personal opinion. It’s apples and oranges and you know it.

            “No matter what one feels about the issue, Galileo is turning over in his grave.”

            Any time people deny science he probably does that. I’m sure intelligent design had him spinning too.

            “The Inquisition is live and well,”

            How many people have been tortured and murdered by the church or government over this. Is it greater than zero? Didn’t think so. So there’s no inquisition.

            “except that rationalily may have prevailed and the AGs are backing off.”

            Eventually the lies got big enough for big tobacco to lose. It could happen to big oil/coal too. That would not represent a change in the law or its application.

            “If it will never become part of a criminal code, it is only because at the last minute sanity prevails. It will not be for a lack of trying.”

            Bull. Fraud has long been illegal but being uninformed or even holding outright idiotic opinions never has been and never will be illegal. I don’t see the jails full of flat earthers.

            Like

          • Jersey Bernie says:

            I do not wish to use this board to post the varying opinions about made made global warming, or climate change if you prefer. If that were the topic, we would never hear of the Big 12 (or B1G) again. My comment has nothing to do with whether any climate change theories are correct or incorrect. The issue is whether anyone would try to criminalize this question.

            Search Youtube for “Attorney General Lynch climate change” and you can see for yourself the AG of the US stating that they have discussed criminal charges and the FBI has looked into it. If you two really believe that criminal prosecution of those who disagree with climate change has not been considered, notwithstanding the words of Loretta Lynch, the proposed CA legislation and the AGs, nothing I can say will change that. If you cannot believe your lying eyes and ears, I cannot convince you.

            Calling it fraud to get around Brian’s assurance of no criminal prosecution is rich. Yes, I know that the science is concluded. Period. Guys, that is not how science works. Every prediction made 10 or 15 years ago regarding global warming has been wrong. Will it prove to be correct 100 years from now. I do not know. I do know that settled science changes every day.

            A few years ago , the predictions were that hurricanes would become much stronger and more frequent due to global warming. How has that worked out?

            It was settled science that margarine was much safer than butter. Now not so much. There are hundreds of similar instances.

            There is no analogy to tobacco. There the “theories” and the science agreed. There is demonstrably bad stuff in tobacco smoke that could be shown. It was not a theory proven by modeling.

            To date, none of the climate modeling seems to be correct. Again, give it 100 years and it may be right, but not to date. There are a lot of crazy people, such as the Russian Academy of Sciences that think that the sun may be a major factor. Are they correct? No one knows.

            Personally, I would love to see criminal charges brought against a big company like Exxon regarding this. It would be fun. Discovery would be a blast.

            The issue was that Brian said:

            “What a complete load of crap. Anyone blind enough to ignore every scrap of science that supports it deserves to be mocked thoroughly but it will never become any part of the criminal code and even you should know that.”

            Everyone from the AG of the US to the California legislature to a bunch of State AGs have been trying to do exactly that and use the criminal code. Perhaps Brian should tell Attorney General Lynch about the fact that it will never become part of a criminal code.

            If any of these people used a fraud argument, it would be using the criminal code.

            Anyway, respond or do not. I do not care.

            I am done with this subject and will make no further comments about it, since I really think that this board is probably better suited to deal with college sports. There are other places to deal with this issue.

            Like

          • Carl says:

            Very well said, Jersey Bernie.

            There are fundamental, systematic reasons why most published results in contemporary science — not just talking climate science — cannot be reproduced. (In other words, they’re wrong.) These kinds of problems stem from basic human nature and even show up in hard sciences like physics, and have for a long time. (See, for example, Cargo Cult Science by Richard Feynman, http://calteches.library.caltech.edu/51/2/CargoCult.htm)

            Here’s a simple introduction to the basic motivational and statistical problems that are a natural but unfortunate consequence of the current academic reward system:

            Is Most Published Research Wrong?

            > There are a lot of crazy people,
            > such as the Russian Academy
            > of Sciences that think that the
            > sun may be a major factor.

            I won’t say anything specific about the theory of AGW so as not to derail the ongoing religious arguments 🙂 except to give a reference to a recent video about how the sun/sunspots might play a role in upcoming global cooling, for anyone who’s interested:

            GWPF Interview: New Solar Research Raises Climate Questions, Triggers Attacks

            P.S. Obligatory reference to the Sandusky scandal: if we can’t even trust scientists to get it right the first — or second, or third — time, is it really reasonable to trust Freeh’s untested conclusions?

            (A: No. 😉

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Jersey Bernie,

            “The issue is whether anyone would try to criminalize this question.”

            Not true. The issue was whether anyone would try to criminalize individuals saying it, not whether fraud would be prosecuted.

            “If you two really believe that criminal prosecution of those who disagree with climate change has not been considered, notwithstanding the words of Loretta Lynch, the proposed CA legislation and the AGs, nothing I can say will change that. If you cannot believe your lying eyes and ears, I cannot convince you.”

            You’re right, you can’t convince us. Because you keep bringing up big oil cases where they are discussing fraud charges. That’s not making it illegal to deny AGW, it’s reminding people that it’s illegal to lie about something to make money.

            “Calling it fraud to get around Brian’s assurance of no criminal prosecution is rich.”

            That is what they’re calling it, and for the same reasons they did it against big tobacco.

            Yes, I know that the science is concluded. Period. Guys, that is not how science works.

            “Every prediction made 10 or 15 years ago regarding global warming has been wrong.”

            Blatantly wrong. But it’s beside the point. First, GW is happening whether people choose to deny it or not. Second, all the evidence supports that AGW is a main cause of it.

            You can make all sorts of valid arguments about how much warming will happen, what the consequences will or won’t be, what can or should be done about it and how much society should sacrifice. But denying facts isn’t helpful.

            “There is no analogy to tobacco.”

            Except for the fact the government cases you mentioned are following the exact same theory of law.

            “Everyone from the AG of the US to the California legislature to a bunch of State AGs have been trying to do exactly that and use the criminal code.”

            No, they’ve considered using the existing criminal code to prosecute corporate fraud. Get back to me when denying AGW is specifically written into the criminal code or when an individual is threatened with prosecution just for saying it (no fraud cases allowed).

            “If any of these people used a fraud argument, it would be using the criminal code.”

            I never said fraud wouldn’t be prosecuted. I said individuals wouldn’t be prosecuted just for saying it.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Jersey Bernie,

            “The issue is whether anyone would try to criminalize this question.”

            The issue was whether anyone would try to criminalize individuals saying it, not whether fraud would be prosecuted.

            “If you two really believe that criminal prosecution of those who disagree with climate change has not been considered, notwithstanding the words of Loretta Lynch, the proposed CA legislation and the AGs, nothing I can say will change that. If you cannot believe your lying eyes and ears, I cannot convince you.”

            You’re right, you can’t convince us. Because you keep bringing up big oil cases where they are discussing fraud charges against a corporation. That’s not making it illegal to deny AGW, it’s reminding people that it’s illegal to lie about something to make money.

            “Calling it fraud to get around Brian’s assurance of no criminal prosecution is rich.”

            That is what they’re calling it, and for the same reasons they did it against big tobacco.

            “Every prediction made 10 or 15 years ago regarding global warming has been wrong.”

            Blatantly wrong. But it’s beside the point. First, GW is happening whether people choose to deny it or not. Second, all the evidence supports that AGW is a main cause of it.

            You can make all sorts of valid arguments about how much warming will happen, what the consequences will or won’t be, what can or should be done about it and how much society should sacrifice. But denying facts doesn’t change them.

            “There is no analogy to tobacco.”

            Except for the fact the government cases you mentioned are following the exact same theory of the law. How many individuals have ever been prosecuted for claiming smoking doesn’t cause cancer outside of a big tobacco case?

            “Everyone from the AG of the US to the California legislature to a bunch of State AGs have been trying to do exactly that and use the criminal code.”

            No, they’ve considered using the existing criminal code to prosecute corporate fraud. Get back to me when denying AGW is specifically written into the criminal code or when an individual is threatened with prosecution just for saying it (no fraud cases allowed).

            “If any of these people used a fraud argument, it would be using the criminal code.”

            I never said fraud wouldn’t be prosecuted. I said individuals wouldn’t be prosecuted just for saying it. Maybe move the goalposts farther next time.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @Frank, but the Supreme Court says companies are people too!

            Like

    • @singlewhitealcoholicseekssame – You’ve touched upon what I believe is a bit of an unclear legal grey area as of now (although I have a pretty good feeling of where the law is heading). The threshold question: Can a group choose to discriminate against Protected Class A on the basis that Protected Class A discriminates against Protected Class B? In this case, Protected Class A in based on religion and Protected Class B is based on sexual orientation.

      Let’s step back and apply this to the favorite strawman case that is brought up a lot these days: the Christian baker that doesn’t want to bake a wedding cake for a homosexual couple on religious grounds. The Christian baker claims that he/she is part of Protected Class A based on the practice of religion, whereas the homosexual couple claims that they are part of Protected Class B based on sexual orientation. Which protected class trumps (or drumpfs) the other in this situation? IMHO, the law is heading toward where Protected Class B is going to receive more protection in this context because it is in an environment (an open invite business that is part of interstate commerce and subject to equal protection laws) where the customer’s protected class argument outweighs the business owner’s protected class argument. In this case, the business owner has willingly submitted himself/herself to be subject to equal protection laws by participating in interstate commerce and means that he/she cannot discriminate against protected classes, whereas the customer didn’t make any type of submission. Note that business owners are perfectly free to discriminate against customers on a non-protected class basis (e.g. “No shoes, no shirt, no service”) – it’s when they start discriminating on the basis of race, sex, gender, religion itself and, yes, sexual orientation that we head into problems for the business owner. Just imagine a baker that’s a member of the Westboro Baptist Church stating that he’s not going to bake cakes for an African-American couple or interracial couple based on religious grounds – that’s simply not where the law is heading today. Ultimately, I believe that the customer’s rights outweigh the business owner’s rights (and that’s likely going to be made even clearer under the law over the coming years).

      So, where is the Big 12 on this spectrum? In a way, the Big 12 is in the position of determining of whether it can discriminate against the business owner because the business owner is discriminating against its customers. I would put it this way: if a heterosexual Mormon BYU married couple wanted to transfer to a Big 12 school (whether as a student or a staff member), then there would be absolutely no question that this would be allowed. The Big 12 clearly allows for Mormons to practice their religion on their campuses. It’s not even a discussion. However, if a homosexual UT married couple wanted to transfer to BYU, they would be explicitly denied under the terms of the Honor Code. There isn’t a reciprocation that what’s considered to be a protected class at all of the Big 12 schools would be similarly protected at BYU. The Big 12 schools certainly don’t reject Mormon students themselves, so they don’t have a problem with the LDS church in and of itself. However, that’s quite different than allowing in an institution that is rejecting homosexual students in a way that very clearly violate the anti-discrimination policies of the Big 12 conference itself along with its member schools. In essence, the rights of the last group getting discriminated against (the LGBT community in this case) trumps (or drumpfs) the discriminator in the middle (BYU in this case).

      Like

      • Also, to be clear, the Big 12 may very well ignore all of this and judge BYU based on “traditional” conference realignment metrics like TV value, fan base, brand, etc. On those metrics, BYU has long been the most valuable realistic expansion option for the Big 12. My increased feeling is that the Big 12 isn’t going to ignore this, though. The league has already had issues that have held them back from BYU in the past, so once you pile this item on top of it all, it looks like a deal-killer. I’d agree with people like Bullet that believe it would be very unlikely to see a 4-team expansion without BYU included, so we might be heading toward a 2-school expansion.

        Like

      • Frank, I apologize for taking this further off the college football topic, but I’m curious to hear your take on the legality of a pastor refusing to officiate a same sex wedding. Someone is eventually going to sue a Baptist preacher for declining to marry a gay couple.

        I believe that many protestant ministers offer wedding services to the general public, not just their congregation, and charge for the service, so that seems to fall within the open invite business parameters you mentioned above.

        So, who wins that case?

        Like

        • Michael in Raleigh says:

          Is it a charge, or a “contribution?” As I recall, the ministers who officiated my wedding at a church did not charge, per se, but it was essentially a church custom to pay $100 to each of them. There was no written or verbal “bill” from the ministers. There was no renting space in the church.

          I think that this nuance may make a difference. I don’t think the ministers would have refused to perform the service if we hadn’t been willing or able to pay.

          Like

          • @Christian and Michael – That’s a very interesting quandary. To start, it’s clear that an officiant not officiating a same-sex wedding within a church/synagogue/mosque on religious grounds is protected. There are plenty of other religious criteria that an officiant might not perform a wedding, as well (e.g. a Catholic priest will not perform a wedding for divorced person getting married again).

            So, the situation that you’re describing is that a minister offers officiant services to the general public. The distinction that Michael makes about a charge versus a contribution is an interesting one. I’ll have to ruminate about this question and see if there are similarly situated cases in the past based on race (as there were quite a few people that attempted to make religious justifications for “separate but equal” policies in the past).

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            There is the bright but ignored exception to church/state separation in that the relegious service in many/most cases is a creating the state sanctioned status of marriage. My father stopped signing but would perform the relegious ceremony after an AF cadet was booted (weeks before graduating) for getting married. The academy wouldn’t have objected to his shacking up, but marriage was barred. Minus the signature he’d have been “ok.”

            The anecdote is to illustrate that even a relegious ceremony may be a state act, and creates a blurry line.

            Like

      • Tyson says:

        I love that you chose this particular example of the baker, Frank, though your use of the term “strawman” to describe it is curious, seeing as this exact scenario has played out at least twice that I am aware of, in Oregon and Colorado…the court’s ruling that a baker cannot discriminate and deny services to a gay couple strikes me as completely arbitrary, given what I have understood the law to say. In the Oregon case, the baker stated they would provide any other baked item a gay couple would like to have, they just couldn’t “participate” in a gay wedding by providing a cake; also, they were happy to direct the gay couple to a number of other quality bakeries in the area who would be happy to bake the wedding cake. So the gay couple was not being told they would not be served, but that the baker did not want to participate in an event they viewed as inappropriate because it violated their religious beliefs. Moreover, they really weren’t being denied service at all, as the baker was going to refer them to a baker who would gladly have their business. In the end it wasn’t about having a wedding cake any more…it was about punishing a Christian couple for their beliefs.

        Like

        • @Tyson – It’s not arbitrary. Replace “gay couple” with “black couple” and “black wedding” and see if a referral to another baker would pass equal protection muster. The was the same type of argument made for “Separate but equal” justifications for racial segregation in past generations. Sure, that’s an extreme example, but once you start providing a religious exception (or any other exception) outside of completely neutral service to customers, that’s ultimately the slippery slope that courts are going to prohibit completely.

          Like

          • Frank-

            Good points, but to further the “strawman” arguments, could the Westboro Baptist Church go to a gay bakery and ask for a cake that says “God hates fags,” or a veteran family’s bakery and ask for one that says “Thank God for dead soldiers?” Could someone walk into a Jewish bakery and ask for a Nazi flag cake? Or a black bakery and ask for the Confederate flag? Could you go to a Muslim bakery and ask for a cake with bacon frosting? Where is the line where it’s no longer about equal protection and more about intentionally offending a private business owner? I honestly don’t know.

            Like

          • @singlewhitealcoholicseekssame – Remember that the protection applies to a *protected class* – that’s the key distinction. That would apply to race, sex, gender, religion, sexual orientation, marital status, age, disability, etc.

            So, the test is:

            (1) Is the customer a member of a protected class?

            (2) Is the business discriminating against that customer *because* of that protected class status?

            In all of the examples that you’ve presented, there’s only one that arguably has protected class status at all (the Westboro Baptist Church member). In all of the other circumstances, the customer doesn’t have protected class status, so they wouldn’t have any claims against the baker right off the bat.

            Just as importantly, a business has no free speech obligation to its customers. The First Amendment only applies to *government* restrictions on speech. As a result, a business can absolutely refuse services if a customer is engaging in offensive speech (or frankly any type of speech). As I’ve stated before, a business can refuse to serve someone as long as it’s not based on protected class status, such as “No shirt, no shoes, no service”, unruly behavior or objectionable speech.

            As a result, a baker cannot refuse to serve the Westboro Baptist Church member *because* of his/her religious status. However, the baker *can* refuse to serve the WBC member for the offensive statement on the cake.

            Taking it back to the original Christian baker example, that baker cannot refuse to serve a gay couple *because* they are gay (since sexual orientation is a protected class). The baker’s offer of a referral does not pass muster any more than a black person entering into a restaurant in the segregated South and being told that they can get served the same food at the “black restaurant” down the street. That’s the very essence of the “separate but equal” stances that have been rightly struck down.

            By the same token, though, if the gay couple asked for the Christian baker to bake a cake that said, “I hate Christians”, then the baker can refuse service on the basis that it is objectionable speech (which the customer doesn’t have any protection from).

            So, a business cannot discriminate against because it doesn’t like who you *are* (whatever protected class(es) you fall under). However, a business can refuse to serve you for what you do or say (speech or actions).

            Like

          • PJ says:

            @Frank – ‘Replace “gay couple” with “black couple” and “black wedding” and see if a referral to another baker would pass equal protection muster.’

            Being black isn’t immoral; according to many religions, homosexual behaviour is. Freedom to practice one’s religion – rooted in natural law – is (explicitly, in the First Amendment) guaranteed by the constitution, or at least it is supposed to be.

            From derision to boycotts, the baker can (and should, as I see it) be subjected to all sorts of social/economic pressure to accommodate gay couples. But the successful use of state coercion to prevent him from living his life in accordance with his religious beliefs means his religious freedom is effectively dead.

            Like

          • @PJ – There were (and are) plenty of segregationists that used Biblical passages as a religious justification for separating whites from blacks (and going even further back, the Bible even more directly has passages about slaves serving their masters). Mormons actually didn’t allow for blacks to be ordained as priests until 1978.

            Once again, it’s not that the Christian baker doesn’t have a a First Amendment interest. It’s acknowledged that he does. However, if he is using his First Amendment interest in a setting that’s subject to equal protection laws, then the protected class interest of the customer trumps the First Amendment interest of the business owner. It’s perfectly logical based on what we have seen on race. It just seems that many don’t want to acknowledge that sexual orientation is categorized as a protected class in the same manner of race, but that’s what federal law has stated for quite awhile (even before last year’s gay marriage ruling).

            Also, if Christian bakers were refusing to bake cakes for previously divorced couples in the same manner as they seem to care about homosexuals, this argument that “his religious freedom is effectively dead” from what you seem to be state coercion might carry some weight. Note that Jesus himself spoke directly about how divorce was effectively the greatest threat to the sanctity of marriage (with nary a word about homosexuality), including unequivocally speaking about the sin of divorce in the Sermon on the Mount. So, where is uprising of bakers against the much larger percentage of the population that has gone through no fault divorces (such as Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich and Kim Davis)? If people want to apply their religious standards on a completely consistent basis, I could at least respect that stance. However, when it’s a matter of cherry-picking the sins for which they suddenly need to use a religious basis when dealing with a gay couple, but then not applying it to others (such as divorced heterosexual people, which Jesus very clearly stated is a grave sin in contravention in marriage many times and remarriage is literally committing adultery), then it seems that they’re using religion as a tool to try to explicitly allow for discrimination. That doesn’t fly with me on a personal level and, more importantly, that doesn’t fly with equal protection principles at a legal level.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            He can choose to never serve/make a gay wedding cake in the privacy of his home. He can’t as a part of his govt. licensed business, if he is doing business making wedding cakes and the state recognizes same sex marriages.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            SingleWASS:

            I don’t think including defined hate speech could be required. Providing a cake for an event that might be offensive probably would.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            PJ,

            “Being black isn’t immoral; according to many religions, homosexual behaviour is. Freedom to practice one’s religion – rooted in natural law – is (explicitly, in the First Amendment) guaranteed by the constitution, or at least it is supposed to be.”

            And that would be relevant if someone was asking the baker to participate in homosexual activity. But they aren’t. They’re asking them to do their job and make a cake. And making a cake is either okay or it isn’t. What the customer wants to do with it is irrelevant to the act of making the cake. For all the baker knows, the hetero customers could be doing all sorts of immoral things with their cakes.

            “But the successful use of state coercion to prevent him from living his life in accordance with his religious beliefs means his religious freedom is effectively dead.”

            No it doesn’t. He wouldn’t be making cakes if his beliefs didn’t allow it. He often doesn’t know what the end user is celebrating or will do with the goods he bakes. I know of no religion that requires the person to find out the end use for every item they make in order to determine whether they can make the item or not. Nobody is asking the baker to attend the wedding if he’s against it. He can even refuse to make a profit on the cake. What some religious people seem to forget is that their rights end where someone else’s start. If a baker is that particular about their customers, then they need to stop running a public business and just work for friends and family.

            Like

          • @Brian – Exactly. If a baker is going to use the argument that he cannot properly practice his religion because of the customer’s end use of the cake, then he essentially needs every customer to fill out a questionnaire to ensure that they aren’t divorced, adulterers, premarital cohabitators, engaged in premarital sex, etc.

            Bottom line: “separate but equal” businesses are illegal in this country and it applies to sexual orientation in the exact same way as race. A baker or any other business owner has to abide by those equal protection rules regardless of any personal religious beliefs.

            Like

          • BoilerTex says:

            Can I deny marrying someone who isn’t wearing a shirt or shoes? That’s equally arbitrary but the same rule at the Burger King. It’s unfair to group folks that have religious issues with gay marriage with slavery. I’m from a religious persuasion for nearly 500 years that doesn’t support gay marriage. I completely get it biblically. On the other hand I support a left hand/right hand kingdom approach and completely believe gay couples have a legal right to marry but I also believe I have a legal right to deny that marriage in my sanctuary. I rejoice in many of my friends gay marriages. They truly deserve it. But I will fight the government to the nth degree if they force me to conduct the ceremony in my sanctuary. For folks who aren’t religious, they probably can’t understand that position, but it makes perfect sense to me.

            Like

          • @BoilerTex – As I have stated several times already, a business owner is perfectly free to not serve customers as long as the reason is to not discriminate against a protected class. People that don’t wear shirts or shoes are not a protected class, so you can refuse to bake them a cake on that basis. Sexual orientation, on the other hand, is every bit as much of a protected class marker as race and sex.

            The key distinction is that a business is NOT a “sanctuary”. When you have an open invite business, you are subject to equal protection laws and cannot discriminate against protected classes. That’s simply the law.

            The minister performing wedding ceremonies outside of a church that Christian brought up earlier is a legit question from a legal standpoint. The baker scenario, though, is pretty clear in terms of how equal protection laws apply.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            BoilerTex,

            “Can I deny marrying someone who isn’t wearing a shirt or shoes?”

            Are you a civil employee or a religious figure? A civil employee would have to marry anyone who met the legal requirements. I doubt a shirt and shoes is required but you can’t violate decency laws. A religious figure can refuse to marry couples on many grounds and can certainly demand a certain dress code for any wedding they officiate.

            “It’s unfair to group folks that have religious issues with gay marriage with slavery.”

            With slavery yes, but not with racism/segregation which is the comparison being made. It’s a little negative but it’s the most apt and recent comparison available. Blacks were physically and verbally abused and denied many rights. The same is true for LGBT people. Both groups were fighting for equal rights and the law eventually moved to their side of the issue.

            “I’m from a religious persuasion for nearly 500 years that doesn’t support gay marriage. I completely get it biblically. On the other hand I support a left hand/right hand kingdom approach and completely believe gay couples have a legal right to marry but I also believe I have a legal right to deny that marriage in my sanctuary. I rejoice in many of my friends gay marriages. They truly deserve it. But I will fight the government to the nth degree if they force me to conduct the ceremony in my sanctuary. For folks who aren’t religious, they probably can’t understand that position, but it makes perfect sense to me.”

            The key difference is that nobody wants to force a church or a pastor/priest/reverend to host or to participate in a wedding they don’t support. We’re talking about what a public business run by a regular citizen needs to do. Should a public business venue be allowed to hold Christian weddings but not allow Jewish weddings? What about just not allowing interracial weddings?

            What if a business refused to sell you something because you we’re going to use it to give it as a Christmas present and that violates their beliefs? They would sell it to other people to give as a Kwanzaa or Hanukkah present and they would sell it to you if you were going to give it for any other holiday or a birthday, but they refused to sell Christmas presents. Is that okay? What if they’re the only store in town or even in the region that sells said item? Does it change if the item is a necessity rather than a luxury?

            Like

          • BoilerTex says:

            Brian/Frank, I don’t disagree about the baker scenario. Again, I support gay marriage from a civil rights standpoint. My religious beliefs should never create a scenario where someone else’s rights are compromised. But I don’t agree that “nobody wants to force a church” to conduct a gay wedding. I think there is definitely a radical subset of folks who will absolutely force that issue eventually. To Frank’s point, I think the law pretty clearly protects a church in that scenario but I expect it to be challenged.

            Like

          • Frank- More good points, your legal mind explains things much better than most. But as you said, Westboro Baptist is possibly protected as a religious institution. So while a baker could probably refuse to make a cake with offensive language or terminology (the Nazi flag I propsed earlier), they would not be allowed to deny them service altogether, correct? So if the Church decided to hold a rally/party/whatever and wanted to have it catered, no one could refuse them?

            Even if the event wasn’t themed after one of Westboro’s notorious stances (God hating gays, soldiers deserving to die, etc.), would you as a business owner want to be associated with that group in any way, shape or form? Could a gay catering company refuse to cater an event at the Westboro church, even if it was something as innocent as a birthday party? They might have the argument that they would feel unsafe in the presence of those monsters, but considering the Church hasn’t been involved in any acts of violence that I’m aware of that probably shouldn’t be a legitimate argument. Shouldn’t they be able to refuse to do business with them merely because they find their beliefs morally repugnant?

            Another question: let’s suppose there were a major university like BYU but it was Muslim. Would it be considered discrimination by them to require all women who choose to attend the school to wear the hijab, regardless of whether they are actually practicing Muslims? If men have no similar dress code, and women are a protected group, would that be considered discriminatory?

            Sorry to hijack your board with politics, this is normally where I go to get away from all that nonsense and just read about college football!

            Like

          • bullet says:

            The end use is not a good argument. Would a gun dealer sell a gun to someone who they knew was planning to use it to assassinate a politician? With a wedding cake, its almost always obvious what the end use is. They are baked specially and decorated specifically and usually delivered. Y’all are really stretching with that argument.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            BoilerTex,

            “But I don’t agree that “nobody wants to force a church” to conduct a gay wedding. I think there is definitely a radical subset of folks who will absolutely force that issue eventually.”

            I’m sure there are radicals that may try, but they are a negligible percentage and will always be negligible. Freedom of religion is black letter law and the vast majority of the US is religious. Nobody will generate sufficient power to force priests/reverends/etc to do anything their religion forbids. The farthest the law has ever gone is to restrict certain things a religion allows.

            “To Frank’s point, I think the law pretty clearly protects a church in that scenario but I expect it to be challenged.”

            People can challenge any law. It doesn’t mean they ever stand a reasonable chance of winning. I was ignoring that fringe element when saying “nobody” because they are irrelevant. No judge would entertain the idea even if someone brought the case.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            singlewhitealcoholicseekssame,

            “But as you said, Westboro Baptist is possibly protected as a religious institution. So while a baker could probably refuse to make a cake with offensive language or terminology (the Nazi flag I propsed earlier), they would not be allowed to deny them service altogether, correct?”

            Not unless they did or said something to him or his employees that gave him a reason to deny service. He can’t deny them based on what they think or believe, but he could deny them based on their actions in his bakery if they did something objectionable.

            “So if the Church decided to hold a rally/party/whatever and wanted to have it catered, no one could refuse them?”

            Correct. Unless he could incite them to do or say something to him that justifies not serving them.

            “Even if the event wasn’t themed after one of Westboro’s notorious stances (God hating gays, soldiers deserving to die, etc.), would you as a business owner want to be associated with that group in any way, shape or form?”

            No, but a business shouldn’t get to pick and choose their customers based on who they are.

            “Could a gay catering company refuse to cater an event at the Westboro church, even if it was something as innocent as a birthday party?”

            All they’d need to do is it make it clear they are gay and the WB folks would leave.

            “Shouldn’t they be able to refuse to do business with them merely because they find their beliefs morally repugnant?”

            The problem is that opens the door to all forms of discrimination and can even become dangerous (refusal to sell medicine or provide medical care).

            “Another question: let’s suppose there were a major university like BYU but it was Muslim. Would it be considered discrimination by them to require all women who choose to attend the school to wear the hijab, regardless of whether they are actually practicing Muslims?”

            As long as it’s a school uniform, it’s fine. The Vatican has a strict dress code for visitors.

            “If men have no similar dress code, and women are a protected group, would that be considered discriminatory?”

            Since it’s a religious practice and presumably a private institution, it’s fine. Plenty of schools have dress codes and they differ between men/boys and women/girls.

            “Sorry to hijack your board with politics, this is normally where I go to get away from all that nonsense and just read about college football!”

            Hopefully it all stays on just this one post.

            Like

          • Brian-

            You make sense for the most part, but you make a couple statements of fact that I’m not sure are true.

            “All they’d need to do is it make it clear they are gay and the WB folks would leave.”

            I sincerely doubt this. The entire point of WB is to get in people’s faces, that’s why they protest outside of funerals. They’re trying to shock and offend. It wouldn’t be out of character at all for them to force a gay company to “serve” them at one of their events. And besides, that same argument could go back to the Christian bakery example: why on earth would a gay couple want a wedding cake from a baker that they know to be hostile to their beliefs and lifestyle? Quite obviously they are trying to make a point. Westboro could and would do the exact same thing.

            “Since it’s a religious practice and presumably a private institution, it’s fine. Plenty of schools have dress codes and they differ between men/boys and women/girls.”

            Is that the law? Or has it simply not been challenged yet? What happens if a transgender person wants to dress according to their chosen gender as opposed to their birth gender (I apologize if I used incorrect terminology, not trying to offend anyone)? Or, turn it around, suppose a university tried to enforce a strict “no headwear” policy. No hats for men (baseball or yarmulkes), and no headscarves for women (fashion statements or hijabs). You say it’s not discrimination if it’s evenly applied, but quite obviously it is discrimination because it only affects certain religions and cultures.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            singlewhitealcoholicseekssame,

            “All they’d need to do is it make it clear they are gay and the WB folks would leave.”

            “I sincerely doubt this. The entire point of WB is to get in people’s faces, that’s why they protest outside of funerals. They’re trying to shock and offend. It wouldn’t be out of character at all for them to force a gay company to “serve” them at one of their events.”

            They would rather starve to death than eat anything a gay baker made. They might choose to protest outside their bakery, but they wouldn’t knowingly give money to a gay baker. That would be helping the bakery thrive.

            “And besides, that same argument could go back to the Christian bakery example: why on earth would a gay couple want a wedding cake from a baker that they know to be hostile to their beliefs and lifestyle?”

            Because they aren’t afraid of straight people the way WB is afraid of them.

            “Westboro could and would do the exact same thing.”

            I think WB would rather protest at some gay wedding than pay a gay baker. That’s just my opinion, but I haven’t heard of them making any such purchases and they clearly have the chance to do it.

            “Since it’s a religious practice and presumably a private institution, it’s fine. Plenty of schools have dress codes and they differ between men/boys and women/girls.”

            “Is that the law? Or has it simply not been challenged yet?”

            Many things are the law until they are challenged and overturned, but school uniforms have been upheld by the courts even for public schools and churches have long been able to dictate a dress code even for visitors. A public school couldn’t do it but a church-run school could.

            “What happens if a transgender person wants to dress according to their chosen gender as opposed to their birth gender (I apologize if I used incorrect terminology, not trying to offend anyone)?”

            A private religious school can get away with almost any rule because they can fall back on religious beliefs.

            “Or, turn it around, suppose a university tried to enforce a strict “no headwear” policy. No hats for men (baseball or yarmulkes), and no headscarves for women (fashion statements or hijabs).”

            A public school can’t do it but a religious one could if it’s tied to their beliefs. Even the ACLU will tell you that the First Amendment doesn’t apply to parochial schools.

            “You say it’s not discrimination if it’s evenly applied, but quite obviously it is discrimination because it only affects certain religions and cultures.”

            That’s the price you pay for choosing that parochial school. It’s why BYU’s Honor Code is perfectly legal.

            Like

        • bullet says:

          I think Frank is right on where we are going with the law. What you are bringing up is where to draw the line. That probably won’t be clear for decades. There does not appear to be a line between discriminating against individuals (refusing to serve gays at all) and an event (refusing to service a wedding between homosexuals).

          I got really annoyed with John Kasich when he said, “Well of course a gay person ought to be able to buy a cupcake,” which isn’t the issue at all. But Frank is right that the trend is that the law will not see a difference between a cupcake and a wedding cake. And I think a lot of people, not only don’t see a difference, but can’t comprehend how anyone could see a difference. That argument at the dinner party at my house was over whether a group that opposed gay weddings was a “hate group.” The liberal Democrat didn’t see that he was pushing some buttons with his strongly held broad view of “hate group” in a discussion with a Republican Jew (and if you didn’t get the point-Jewish people have lots of experience with hate groups and probably aren’t a good group to lecture on what one is).

          Like

        • Brian says:

          Tyson,

          “the court’s ruling that a baker cannot discriminate and deny services to a gay couple strikes me as completely arbitrary, given what I have understood the law to say.”

          Based on your apparent “understanding” of other things, I’m not surprised.

          “In the Oregon case, the baker stated they would provide any other baked item a gay couple would like to have, they just couldn’t “participate” in a gay wedding by providing a cake;”

          So they’d happily provide a wedding pie, just not a wedding cake? Or they’d provide a wedding-like cake just not for a wedding? Would they provide rolls for the reception? Talk about arbitrary distinctions. The cake is not even part of the wedding. It’s part of the party after the wedding. So they want run a bakery but not supply party cakes?

          “also, they were happy to direct the gay couple to a number of other quality bakeries in the area who would be happy to bake the wedding cake.”

          What if there were no other bakeries nearby, or they were all inferior, or they all had the same policy and kept referring people in circles?

          “So the gay couple was not being told they would not be served,”

          Yes, they were. Just in a seemingly polite way.

          “but that the baker did not want to participate in an event they viewed as inappropriate because it violated their religious beliefs.”

          They shouldn’t be in the business if they don’t want to provide party cakes.

          “Moreover, they really weren’t being denied service at all,”

          Yes, they were.

          “In the end it wasn’t about having a wedding cake any more…it was about punishing a Christian couple for their beliefs.”

          No, it was about the couple trying to punish another couple and using their own beliefs as an excuse. What if the other couple lied and said it was for a straight wedding? Are the bakers going to investigate every wedding from now on to make sure?

          At what type of good or service do you draw line? Can gas stations refuse to sell them gas? Can doctors refuse to treat them?

          Like

          • Tyson says:

            Brian, I like how you respond line by line, but in reality don’t address the objections at all. Instead you just gloss over points of contention with your bias–that gay people’s rights trump all others—period. This is essentially what the court did in the Colorado case. I would like to address two of the more ridiculous claims you made; no, I don’t expect a baker to “investigate” every request for a wedding cake. But clearly when two “grooms” are requesting a cake he knows he is being asked to participate in a same-sex wedding–something he is not permitted to do by his religion. And to your point about gas stations and the like, obviously you didn’t read my earlier assertions that, to deny service just because someone is gay might reasonably be considered discrimination, and the baker did not do this. He gladly serves gay people routinely. He just doesn’t want to participate in a wedding. This is a critical distinction. Here’s an article that you should read, but won’t:
            http://www.nationalreview.com/article/422566/colorado-baker-gay-wedding-cake-court-appeal

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            “…he is being asked to participate in a same-sex wedding–something he is not permitted to do by his religion.”

            No, he’s being asked to provide a commercial product of his govt licensed business. One that likely will be at a reception, not in the actual wedding service. He isn’t being asked to give the groom away, or participate in the service.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Tyson,

            “Brian, I like how you respond line by line,”

            Thank you.

            “but in reality don’t address the objections at all.”

            Except for me addressing all of them, I agree completely. I can’t help your lack of understanding.

            “Instead you just gloss over points of contention with your bias–that gay people’s rights trump all others—period.”

            If you could take off your homophobic goggles for a moment, maybe you could read what people are actually writing. The guy runs a bakery that makes wedding cakes. He can’t refuse to make a cake for a customer based on who they are if that’s a protected class (race, gender, etc). He sacrificed his right not to bake such a cake when he opened a public, licensed business.

            “This is essentially what the court did in the Colorado case.”

            It’s not even remotely close to what the court did.

            “no, I don’t expect a baker to “investigate” every request for a wedding cake.”

            But if where/how it’s used is such a vital concern to him, then he should make sure he personally approves of every end use.

            “But clearly when two “grooms” are requesting a cake”

            What if two men come in because it’s the groom and his friend or brother? What if two gay men come in but they aren’t the couple getting married? What if a man and woman come in but they aren’t the couple getting married? And what if only one person comes in? Does he make inquiries into the nature of the wedding?

            “he knows he is being asked to participate in a same-sex wedding–something he is not permitted to do by his religion.”

            No, he damn well isn’t. The cake has nothing to do with the wedding. The cake is part of the reception. The wedding is a separate event. It’s just a party cake with a unique shape. No cake is necessary to have a wedding.

            “And to your point about gas stations and the like, obviously you didn’t read my earlier assertions that, to deny service just because someone is gay might reasonably be considered discrimination, and the baker did not do this.”

            Yes, he did. Would he sell them gas if they were on their way to the wedding or their honeymoon? That’s as much participating in the wedding as making a cake is.

            “He gladly serves gay people routinely.”

            Except if they want one specific product for one specific use. Are some of his best friends gay, too?

            “He just doesn’t want to participate in a wedding.”

            He wasn’t asked to participate.

            “This is a critical distinction.”

            Yes it is. Too bad you can’t wrap your mind around it.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Brian, you keep up with that ridiculous nonsequitur that they should follow up with all end use. If you knew anything about wedding cakes AND were honest instead of just trying to argue, you would quit that argument. The bakers know who the cake is for as much as photographers know who is participating in the wedding.

            Instead of arguing that it is wrong and illegal to draw a line between a cupcake and wedding cake, you are arguing that there is no line. That’s about as useless as the abortion arguments-“Its wrong to kill babies” and “A woman has a right to control her own body” when almost everybody agrees with both of those statements (even though the extremists will claim the other side doesn’t believe it).

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            “Brian, you keep up with that ridiculous nonsequitur that they should follow up with all end use.”

            It not a non sequitur. The end use matters to this baker apparently, so it’s relevant. Does he check that all the other customers have a straight wedding or non-objectionable celebration planned?

            “If you knew anything about wedding cakes AND were honest instead of just trying to argue, you would quit that argument.”

            I know people who have bought wedding-style cakes for things other than weddings. I know a pastry chef who has made such cakes for a variety of purposes. The customers don’t always tell you the end use and the assumptions you can make based on who is buying it can be quite wrong.

            “The bakers know who the cake is for as much as photographers know who is participating in the wedding.”

            Not always according to my pastry chef friend. Some clients intentionally want to keep things quiet so they use a third party for such things. Some just don’t want to tell the chef.

            “Instead of arguing that it is wrong and illegal to draw a line between a cupcake and wedding cake, you are arguing that there is no line.”

            Because there isn’t one. Both are desserts for a party. No cake is involved in a wedding. Why should the size or shape of the dessert change anything?

            Like

    • Brian says:

      singlewhitealcoholicseekssame,

      “The Big XII technically has the right to exclude BYU because of their beliefs regarding LGBT, but isn’t that just as discriminatory as BYU?”

      1. There’s no “technically” involved. There is freedom to associate with whomever you choose.

      2. BYU has never been in a power conference so why would it suddenly be discrimination?

      3. BYU discriminates between sexual orientations (not something one chooses), something most B12 members actively fight against. The B12 would be discriminating based on policy (something BYU clearly chose and could change).

      4. All decisions result in discrimination. If it wasn’t this, the B12 would be discriminating against someone else based on market size or location or fan base or something. The question is what types of discrimination are acceptable for this decision.

      “What the hell ever happened to live and let live?”

      Nobody’s forcing BYU to change a thing. That is the very definition of live and let live.

      “Are we really becoming so PC that we now will shun and exclude entire religions for not being as progressive as we are?”

      Why is it PC? We all choose not to include certain people in our social groups based on their opinions/beliefs.

      Nobody is telling BYU to stop being LDS, and not all LDS members are being excluded. They are telling the school to stop discriminating with their policies if they want to remove a hurdle to joining the B12.

      Like

      • Mike says:

        Brian,

        You begin to “get it” when you acknowledge people have the right to “associate with whomever they choose”.

        What you don’t get is that the right to “associate with whomever you want” takes on a different element when I decide to tell others they shouldn’t associate with them as well simply based up religious beliefs you don’t agree with. That’s hypocrisy. That is clear bigotry.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          So the LGBT community has no 1st Amendment rights to free speech? People have been telling groups not to associate with certain people or groups based on their beliefs (political, on an issue, whatever) for a very long time. That’s how free speech works in the US and it is an accepted practice.

          It’s not hypocritical nor bigoted when the complaint is about discrimination based on who you are (LGBT people in this case) versus what you do (BYU’s policy).

          Like

    • BruceMcF says:

      “The Big XII technically has the right to exclude BYU because of their beliefs regarding LGBT, but isn’t that just as discriminatory as BYU?”

      We may never have a chance to find out, since in this particular instance, the possible sticking point is not belief, the sticking point is discriminatory policy.

      As a private organization under freedom of association, the Big12 has the right to refuse to invite a school because they don’t like how little their faculty publishes, or because they don’t like how much their faculty publishes, or because their buildings are too old, or because their buildings are too new, or because their offensive linemen are too big, or because their offensive linemen are too little. The list goes on. The right to not invite a school that uses the freedom of religion clause to impose a discriminatory policy on their LGBT students is right there in that mix.

      It’s like a private golf club is free to exclude women. But if they do, in today’s world that really affects the likelihood that the PGA will use their course for a PGA event.

      Like

  17. bullet says:

    ESPN going back to athletics a little and talks about how competitive BYU (and others) have been relative to existing P5 schools. Maybe they remembered they have a contract with BYU regardless of whether they get in the Big 12 or not. It is about money.

    http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/17271490/the-numbers-lie-many-big-12-expansion-candidates-actually-bolster-football-play

    “….As a result, BYU came in at No. 34 on the AP ranking, which placed the Cougars ahead of 32 Power 5 programs. At 49th, Houston was slotted ahead of 19 Power 5 schools.

    As the AP poll underscored, BYU and Houston, especially, have thrived on the field, both in the past and in the present — including relative to many of their Power 5 cohorts.

    Since 1980, only Ohio State, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Florida State, Florida and Miami have won more games than BYU, and the Buckeyes (first), Sooners (second), Cornhuskers (sixth), Seminoles (ninth), Gators (10th) and Hurricanes (13th) all placed in the top 15 of the AP’s all-time ranking. BYU also captured the national championship in 1984 — something just 29 other schools have ever accomplished in the history of the sport.

    But even as college football autonomy has produced a wider gap between the Power 5 and everyone else financially in recent years, BYU has remained stout. Over the past decade, the Cougars have collected wins over Oregon, Utah, TCU, Arizona, UCLA, Washington, Oklahoma, Oregon State, Ole Miss, Washington State, Georgia Tech, Texas, Virginia, Cal and Nebraska.

    By comparison, the Boilermakers have only two wins over ranked opponents in that span. Fellow Big Ten member Illinois claims just four. Minnesota has three. Indiana has two. And Maryland and Rutgers have yet to record such a victory since joining the Big Ten.

    Conversely, Houston has four top-25 victories in 2015 alone, capped with a 38-24 romp over ninth-ranked Florida State in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl in December.

    That’s not the only area the Big 12 expansion candidates stack up well.

    During the past decade, Houston, South Florida, Central Florida, BYU, Cincinnati and Boise State have all been ranked in the top 10 of the polls at least once.

    Neither Duke, Syracuse, North Carolina State, Wake Forest nor Virginia can claim such a distinction from the ACC. The same goes for Washington, Washington State and Colorado in the Pac-12…..”

    Like

    • houstontexasjack says:

      It’ll be neat to see whether UH can capitalize on its position in the national spotlight this season. WIth OU ranked #3 and UH ranked #13 in the preseason coaches poll, UH has a chance to make some noise early on for consideration for the CFP this year–although they’d need to be undefeated to have any realistic chance at the end of the season.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      It’s a nicely biased piece in that it picks on the low hanging fruit in the ACC, B10 and P12 while completely neglecting the worst program in the P5 (KU) and one of the worst (ISU) that are both in the B12. Those examples would seem at least as relevant if not more so as they are talking about whether expansion candidates would dilute the product the B12 puts out on the field.

      All P5 conferences have some football dead weight and we know the top expansion candidates are better than them. A better analysis would’ve looked at these candidates versus the median in the B12 (something bullet has done here previously).

      Like

      • phil says:

        So, for BYU they mention their “quality” wins using the name recognition of the opponent with no mention of whether it was actually a good year for that team, then the P5 schools get judged by the wins over ranked teams.

        Then, they throw wins over ranked teams in the last decade with the parting shot taken that RU and MD haven’t beaten a ranked team since the joined the B1G, which is only 2 years of that decade. I can’t speak for MD, but RU has at least 4 wins over ranked teams in the other 8 years of that decade, along with wins over teams like Arkansas, UNC, Michigan and Louisville who weren’t that good but fit the “let’s build up BYU by throwing names out there” standard.

        Some great journalism there, ESPN.

        Like

  18. Michael in Raleigh says:

    FWIW, the Sun Belt Conference, and for that matter, Conference USA, have declined the opportunity to admit Liberty University to their respective leagues. Liberty would have a higher budget than every SBC member; I’m not sure if any C-USA members have a higher budget. They’re more “FBS-ready” than most other teams on the list of choices, including many schools counted as members right now. I have to think that the SBC, which is now only public schools, have passed on Liberty based at least to some degree on the school’s controversial policies.

    It isn’t a perfect parallel, but it’s worth noting.

    Like

  19. Doug says:

    OH IO

    Like

  20. Kenneth S Lawrence says:

    Your right after all it stopped BYU from joining the WCC, the WAC, and the Mountain West…oh wait..they were members of these confrences without issue…dang even an open door from the AAC to join…all this is racist bullying from minority groups that have a agenda and a chip on their shoulder. IF THE BIG WEAK 12 choose to bypass BYU…oh well, its been getting old watching BYU spank Texas and Oklahoma year after year anyway.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Kenneth S Lawrence,

      “Your right after all it stopped BYU from joining the WCC, the WAC, and the Mountain West…oh wait..they were members of these confrences without issue…dang even an open door from the AAC to join…”

      1. Which “it” are you referring to? BYU’s discrimination?

      2. Nobody said it had kept BYU out of previous conferences. But times change and the importance of certain issues change. The SEC wouldn’t accept a segregated school now no matter what level of football powerhouse it was, but 60 years ago it wouldn’t have mattered at all. LGBT rights matter more now than they did in the past so it’s a bigger issue.

      3. BYU is/was a big fish in the small ponds of those conferences. The B12 is on a different level and doesn’t need BYU as much as those others did.

      4. The WCC is full of small private religious schools. They are much more likely to tolerate this sort of behavior from a fellow member than the many large state schools that make up the B12.

      “all this is racist bullying”

      Racist? Exactly which race is being bullied here?

      And how is raising the issue and asking the B12 not to invite BYU bullying? That doesn’t fit any definition of bullying I’ve seen.

      “from minority groups that have a agenda and a chip on their shoulder.”

      Of course they have an agenda, they want equal rights. Many groups in US history have had the same agenda (women, blacks, Catholics, the Irish, etc) and they all had a “chip on their shoulder” because the majority made their lives miserable.

      “its been getting old watching BYU spank Texas and Oklahoma year after year anyway.”

      OU and BYU have played all of twice, once in 1994 and again in 2009 with BYU winning both. UT and BYU have played 5 whole times, twice in the late 80s (both BYU wins) and then 3 times in the past 5 season with BYU winning 2 of 3. How is that spanking them both year after year?

      Like

  21. loki_the_bubba says:

    Eliminate all of the religious founded schools, USC, Wake Forest, Baylor, TCU. Northwestern, Boston College, etc, and let Rice into the P5.

    Like

    • @loki_the_bubba – Ha! This is Rice’s play.

      Like

      • loki_the_bubba says:

        Like

        • bullet says:

          There are 17 schools to be interviewed by the Big 12. There are 3 who have not been named (or is it “shall not be named.”).

          http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/17281618/big-12-commissioner-bob-bowlsby-interview-17-schools-expansion

          “….Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby will conduct video conferences with 17 schools that have contacted the league about being considered as expansion candidates, sources told ESPN.

          Sources also said it’s “becoming less and less likely” that the league will expand to 14 teams. The most likely scenario is that the Big 12 will stay at 10 teams or only add two schools for a 12-team league with two six-team divisions, sources said.

          Last month, Bowlsby and Oklahoma president David Boren said Bowlsby would be in touch with the schools that initially contacted the Big 12. The league said it hopes to make a decision on expansion by the Big 12’s regularly scheduled board of directors meeting in October.

          The 17 schools that will make their presentations to the Big 12 include Cincinnati, Houston, BYU, South Florida, UCF, UConn, Memphis, Colorado State, Boise State, Tulane, Temple, East Carolina, SMU and New Mexico, sources said.”

          Like

          • bullet says:

            updated article includes Northern Illinois. Still doesn’t name the other two. So there’s a chance one is Rice

            (probably SDSU and UNLV).

            Like

          • bullet says:

            NIU #15, SDSU listed as #16 in the article update.

            One spot left for Rice!!!! (I still bet its UNLV).

            Like

          • Does that make NIU the first MAC team to be seriously discussed for a P% conference? (Maybe “seriously” isn’t the right word considering they’re around 15th place in a competition for likely two spots.)

            Like

          • Brian says:

            singlewhitealcoholicseekssame,

            “Does that make NIU the first MAC team to be seriously discussed for a P% conference? (Maybe “seriously” isn’t the right word considering they’re around 15th place in a competition for likely two spots.)”

            Yes. The MAC has been untouched by all of the expansion in the past 6 years. Since Marshall left in 2005, the only changes in the MAC have been Temple and then UMass being football-only members briefly.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            No room for Rice. The number 17 team according to Brett McMurphy:

            Drum roll please.

            PwC delivers the envelope.

            And yes, it is Arkansas.

            Wait, Arkansas State. (yes, I’m serious this time).

            Like

    • Brian says:

      Rice couldn’t do any worse on the field than some of those programs lately.

      Like

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      Loki – that also works for my Tulane Greenies!

      Like

  22. FLP_NDRox says:

    IIRC, the Texas Legislature was trying to bump Texas Tech up to Tier I which is why most of us thought UT-Austin would try to protect Tech. Is this the same situation with Houston? How many schools must Texas protect?

    I am secretly hoping they’ll go with Tulane and Memphis since they’re local.

    The Bearcats are a traditional hoops school with long droughts that are no better than #3 or #4 in their own market behind Ohio State, Notre Dame, and possibly Xavier. Their football team was good for a hot second. Houston does nothing but makes the conference even more SWC II.

    At least will Tulane you get a border state with excellent recruiting and very good academics. What’s the stadium situation? I forgot, but they should have an option to push the Texas game into the Superdome every other year.

    Memphis gives another excellent recruiting area in a place that’s been dominated by the SEC. The academics aren’t great, but the location is, and so is all that sweet FedEx $$$.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      There is a fund (National Research University Fund-although I think they changed the name) to provide funds to help expand research at a group of schools. They have to meet certain standards to be eligible. So far, Houston and Texas Tech are the only ones who qualify. UT-Dallas probably will next time it comes up. UT-Arlington, UTEP, UTSA, North Texas and Texas State are also eligible if they meet the qualifications. UT-Arlington is probably the only other one who will meet the qualifications anytime soon and there’s no certainty they will make it.

      Houston, Texas Tech, UTD, UTA and North Texas have all moved up to Carnegie I, Highest research, in recent years.

      Like

    • Alan from Baton Rouge says:

      FLP – Tulane has a beautiful, two-year-old on-campus stadium.

      http://www.tulanegreenwave.com/sports/2016/6/13/facilities-tul-yulman-stadium-html.aspx

      It currently only seats 30,000, but I believe it can be expanded to 40,000. Texas and Oklahoma games could (and should) be moved to the Superdome. The baseball stadium is Big-XII quality. It would probably be in the top half of the conference. Tulane’s basketball arena is very small, but Kansas, Texas, and Oklahoma could be moved to the Smoothie King Center.

      Nobody is going to come into New Orleans and steal many recruits that LSU wants, but there is plenty of D-1 talent in the area. As a Tiger fan, I’d rather see those low- four and three-star kids go the Big XII rather than the Mississippi schools, Arkansas, A&M, or Auburn.

      Like most privates not named Notre Dame, USC, and Miami, Tulane has almost no following in the city outside of its community. Tulane is further hampered by its student body being composed of mainly out of state students. On the plus side, the Sugar Bowl committee is composed of many many Tulane grads.

      I cast my vote for Tulane!

      Like

    • houstontexasjack says:

      Back in 2009, the 81st Legislature created the Texas Research Incentive Program to help “emerging research universities” reach “national prominence as major research universities” by matching certain eligible donations to emerging research universities. That legislature also created the National Research University Fund to help emerging research universities reach this level and imposed criteria the universities would have to meet in order to be eligible for funds.

      Thus far, only Texas Tech and the University of Houston have met eligibility criteria under the program and, because there is a desire to get both schools to AAU status, Texas Tech and UH have benefitted most from the program. The most recent NRUF report can be found here:

      http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/reports/pdf/7533.pdf?CFID=45966934&CFTOKEN=66233784

      UH expressed fears the proposed UT research campus in Houston (which I suspect will eventually have an undergraduate program) will cannibalize its program. The hope is that, with UH in the Big 12 able to have greater national exposure, the UT research campus would prove less of a detriment to UH’s long-term prospects of attaining AAU status.

      Like

  23. Kyle Peter says:

    Mark Blaudschun
    ‏@blauds
    If the Big 12 delays or doesn’t expand, it needs to watch out for the Big 10 making a raid. Read about it in http://TMGcollegesports.com

    Complete article behind paywall @ TMGcollegesports.com, but I like the idea.

    Like

    • Kyle Peter says:

      Clay Travis predicting that Texas will eventually join the B1G. Very interesting.
      10:43 AM – 10 Aug 2016

      Marce Porter ‏@NidjdN Aug 10
      @sooner2016 The Herd on FS1. Colin will probably post the clip on his YouTube (Colin Cowherd).
      0 retweets 0 likes
      Reply Retweet
      Like

      Like

    • Kyle Peter says:

      jessicalarson ‏@sooner2016 19h19 hours ago
      The Pac 12 Network would become apart of BTN (sold to FOX/BTN). That is all based on the Big 12 landing the Arizona schools and Colorado.
      0 retweets 0 likes
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      jessicalarson ‏@sooner2016 19h19 hours ago
      B1G West: Nebraska, USC, UCLA, Stanford, Washington, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, NW. IL and Purdue would go to the B1G East.
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      jessicalarson ‏@sooner2016 19h19 hours ago
      Surprisingly Colorado IS looking to go back. They don’t get any exposure on TV out west.
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      jessicalarson ‏@sooner2016 19h19 hours ago
      IMO, B1G would push hard for USC, UCLA, Stanford, Washington
      0 retweets 0 likes
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      jessicalarson ‏@sooner2016 19h19 hours ago
      In other words, Pac 12 schools must be getting restless about how bad their future TV revenue is looking. Big chance for the B1G to harvest

      Like

  24. Brian says:

    http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/17282288/acc-athletic-directors-undecided-conference-scheduling-requirements

    As part of the ACCN deal, the ACC has to add a 10th P5 game to their schedules by 2019. They are debating 2 plans:

    1. Go to 9 ACC games while keeping the 1 P5 OOC game rule.
    2. Stay at 8 ACC games and go to 2 P5 OOC games.

    Going to 9 games is problematic for the 4 teams with annual SEC rivalry games since they would have 11 games spoken for in the years they play ND. I’m guessing they end up at 8+2 to alleviate that problem.

    [Paul] Johnson said nine conference games “might be good for TV, but it’s not good for football.”

    Richt, the former Georgia coach who is in his first year at Miami, was blunt about his preference.

    “If I’m at Georgia, I’d want eight conference games,” Richt said. “If I’m at Florida State, I’d want eight. At Miami, I want nine league games.”

    Coaches are self-serving in their opinions on these issues? Who knew?

    I wonder how this will impact the SEC as the other 4 P5 conference will all be playing a mandatory 10 P5 games per year with an 11th in the CCG. On top of that the B10 is phasing out I-AA games. Those tougher schedules will start making the SEC SOS become a potential issue for the CFP committee (It hurt Baylor in 2014). Will the SEC feel pressured to add a 10th P5 game? I doubt they will until the SEC is left out of the playoff at least once.

    Like

  25. Mike says:

    Frank,
    I think you are making a lot of assumptions in your post about Big 12 presidents. Look at them individually. Kansas State interim president Richard Myers was appointed Joint Chiefs of Staff by President Bush in 2001. He was never a strong advocate of gays in the military.

    Baylor’s new President has never been pro LGBT and has written books about the importance of the “traditional family”.

    Oklahoma State’s president is a former Oklahoma republican nominee for governor of Oklahoma.

    Gordon Gee, at WVU, is a former BYU law professor.

    Steven Leath at Iowa State has made public appearances with Trump in recent months at ISU events. Has given front row seats at ISU basketball games to top republican politicians in Iowa.

    TCU’s chancellor has worked closely with BYU for years.

    Texas and Texas Tech’s presidents have no history of overtly supporting militant LGBT issues or leftist views. And the state of Texas, however, stated today they are suing the federal government over issues of trying to force schools in Texas to be gender neutral with bathroom policies. It is one of the most conservative states in the Union.

    That leaves Boren at OU (who has long stated that fan base is a huge issue in expansion) and KU’s president.

    I’m not sure this is the slam dunk you anticipate. This is especially true if BYU does a good job of assuaging fears behind closed doors.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Mike,

      “I think you are making a lot of assumptions in your post about Big 12 presidents.”

      I think you are, too.

      “Look at them individually.”

      Okay, but I’m just going to pick one to make a point.

      “Gordon Gee, at WVU, is a former BYU law professor.”

      He’s also the former president of Brown and was asked to run the UC system.

      http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/06/07/an-intimate-appraisal-of-e-gordon-gee/

      [His ex-wife] Constance summarizes his politics thus: “Although Gordon is fairly liberal in terms of many social issues (he is pro-choice and has some gay friends who keep a low profile with regard to their sexuality), he is conservative with regard to economic policy and the funding of social welfare programs.”

      His ex-wife has a MFA from the Pratt Institute in NYC and wrote her PhD dissertation on the NEA, so she’s not exactly a conservative either.

      http://www.ohiolibertycoalition.org/gordon-gee-throws-urban-meyer-under-the-bus-over-bible-study-group-for-players/

      President Gee also made it clear that the football coaches will not lead prayer sessions for players or invite them to such sessions.

      Earlier this month, the Columbus Dispatch reported that despite statements made in January by Urban Meyer that he would be offering OSU football players Bible study and chapel services, Gordon Gee has made it clear that there would be no such activity at Ohio State.

      http://www.nytimes.com/1993/06/05/us/campus-lesbians-step-into-unfamiliar-light.html?pagewanted=all

      And last month, after the president of the university, E. Gordon Gee, approved a recommendation to allow gay and lesbian partners to live in family housing, there was such vehement opposition from some local politicians that the Board of Trustees deferred a decision on the policy.

      http://wvutoday.wvu.edu/n/2014/10/09/statement-from-wvu-president-e-gordon-gee-on-gov-tomblin-s-view-on-same-sex-marriage

      West Virginia University President E. Gordon Gee issued the following statement regarding the state of West Virginia’s decision to no longer defend a ban on same-sex marriage:

      “I would like to congratulate Gov. Tomblin on his bold and declarative statement today agreeing with the courts that banning same-sex marriages is unconstitutional,” Gee said. “It is a thoughtful reminder to our campus community – regardless of your beliefs – that we must always respect people’s differences and promote a campus climate that promotes opportunity, equality, civility and respect for all.”

      “I’m not sure this is the slam dunk you anticipate.”

      I don’t know if it’s a slam dunk, but this is certainly a major hurdle for BYU. If they released an updated Honor Code that didn’t discriminate between hetero- and homosexual PDAs it would help them tremendously.

      “This is especially true if BYU does a good job of assuaging fears behind closed doors.”

      Hard to do when PR is a major concern.

      Like

      • Mike says:

        Brian,
        Huh? What assumptions did I make? Everything I said is factual. Gee is a baptized Mormon, former Mormon missionary who was also a law professor at BYU at one time. Gee also came back and spoke at BYU a few years ago. Last summer Gee even said “BYU would make a very fine addition to the Big 12”.

        Yes, I know Gee has some liberal views. That said, there is a reasonable chance he is sympathetic to BYU based upon his history. Based upon his life, assuming Gee is going to ostracize BYU simply because an LGBT militant group asks for it is making assumption that may not be accurate. I would definitely say that is questionable. It is possible to support more than one group with different ideologies. Crazy, I know.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Mike,

          “What assumptions did I make?”

          That every personal conservative tie would carry over to their professional decision making.

          Like

          • Mike says:

            Brian, can you copy and paste a quote where I assumed ANYTHING? Frank’s quote was “Why LGBT rights matter in Big 12 expansion”. That is definitely making an assumption about these University presidents.

            My quotes on the other hand were these: “I’m not sure this is the slam dunk you anticipate” and ” That said, there is a reasonable chance he (Gee) is sympathetic to BYU based upon his history.”

            You make this too easy, Brian. LOL.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            As an argument, this section is the shakiest: “Texas and Texas Tech’s presidents have no history of overtly supporting militant LGBT issues or leftist views. And the state of Texas, however, …”

            The headaches for the Texas President is not at 11th and Congress, it’s between E 27th Street and E MLK. It’s not the State Ledge, its the University.

            It only takes 3 to block an add. If BYU has two votes against them for other reasons (geography, travel, Sunday Play, Western vs Eastern exposure, etc.), it would only take one additional school to make it a veto.

            Like

  26. Hawkeye says:

    OU to B1G

    Like

  27. Jersey Bernie says:

    In a perhaps futile attempt to avoid all discrimination (or global warming) related issues, here is an article about Temple to the Big 12. It is not going to happen. Small private school, small stadium, no football. But what a great location.

    Right now the Philly college football market must be about 90% + B1G. Mostly PSU and some RU, since the Philly market includes southern Jersey. Pitt may have some impact in Philly, but far less than PSU. Is there room for the Big 12?

    Philly is obviously a pro sports city, but college bball is certainly on the map in Philly. I am sure that if Texas or OU came to town, Philly would be jumping. The other teams, maybe not so much. It would get UT into the northeast, though not NYC or DC.

    http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/sports/college/Report-Big-12-to-talk-to-Temple-about-expansion.html

    Like

    • vp19 says:

      Temple is a large public institution with Division I football, not that far away from WVU. A longshot choice, to be sure, but not that far-fetched. It has an on-campus arena similar in size to Cincinnati’s.

      Like

      • Jersey Bernie says:

        Temple has 28,000 students, but many of them are commuters. I have read that only about 13,000 students live on or close to campus. I do not know if that is true and have not spent the time to look for substantiation. I know that years ago, Temple was mostly a commuter school.

        Temple has announced a study to consider a 35,000 seat on campus stadium. The problem with Lincoln Field is that it is publicly owned, but controlled by the Eagles. Temple has been paying $1,000,000 per year rental to the Eagles. Now that is supposed to go to $3,000,000, which is a lot for an AAC school.

        In addition, the Eagles really do not want a college team to regularly use “their stadium”, even though it is not really their stadium.

        From what I have read, it is very unlikely that a stadium larger than 35,000 seats could be financed. Maybe they could use the Linc for Texas, Oklahoma and other big football schools and use the new campus stadium for other games.

        With all of that, I personally think that Temple is a better choice than UConn, because of the Philly location. I agree with Frank that the Big 12 will not add Temple. (Of course, I also think that they will not add UConn).

        Like

    • @Jersey Bernie – A couple of clarifications – Temple is a large public school and its main stadium issue is that it’s actually too large and off-campus (Lincoln Financial Field).

      I actually looked at Temple in the Big 12 Expansion Index a few years ago since I feel like it’s a school that university presidents tend to like more than fans (similar to Tulane). Temple is a very unlikely pick for the Big 12 (especially if it’s only a 2-team expansion), but I certainly wouldn’t pass them off completely since it has very good academics compared to most of the other Big 12 candidates and a location in a huge market that has as good of a recruiting spot as you’ll find in the Northeast. Realistically, adding Temple probably only occur in conjunction with adding UConn at the same time in a 4-school expansion (similar to how I think Colorado State’s fortunes are largely tied to being a package with BYU). At the end of the day, I’d give Temple a greater chance of getting into the Big 12 compared to, say, East Carolina or SMU, but they’re still behind Cincinnati, Houston, BYU, UConn, Memphis and Colorado State.

      Like

      • phil says:

        Temple should be UConn’s nightmare when it comes to the thought of the ACC ever adding another team. Temple’s BB is decent enough to offset UConn’s big strength there, FB recruiting in S Jersey and eastern PA is light years ahead of that in New England, and Temple sits in a huge media market that happens to be in the middle of the ACC’s big geographic void.

        Like

  28. Brian says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/judge-dismisses-ncaa-from-lawsuit-over-north-carolinas-academic-fraud/

    A judge removes the NCAA as a defendant in the case brought by former UNC athletes over fake classes.

    A federal judge on Friday dismissed the NCAA as a defendant in a lawsuit brought by former North Carolina athletes who claimed their educations were hurt due to the university’s academic scandal.

    U.S. District Judge Loretta C. Biggs said in her order that lawyers for the former UNC athletes failed to state specific claims of how the NCAA had a legal duty to protect the players from fraudulent classes. Biggs did not rule on whether North Carolina will remain a defendant in the case.

    Biggs said that just because the NCAA has eligibility requirements, that doesn’t assume it has a financial duty to safeguard the academic soundness of classes at schools, including North Carolina. While the plaintiffs said the NCAA owed athletes a legal duty to monitor the academic quality of classes, “nowhere in the Complaints have Plaintiffs alleged that the NCAA actually engaged in these specific tasks,” Biggs wrote.

    Like

  29. Brian says:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/college/mtsu/2016/08/11/exclusive-emails-show-mtsu-wants-join-american-athletic-conference/88575344/

    In other expansion news, MTSU wants into the AAC as a replacement school.

    “I will be to the point. If you look at C-USA schools as replacements for American schools who may leave to join the Big 12, you will not find a better fit/candidate than Middle Tennessee State University. No one combines the TV market, with the combined success over the last five years for football and men’s basketball as Middle Tennessee. In fact, the comparisons are not close.”

    Like

    • BruceMcF says:

      I thought that was Rice’s line?

      I’ve heard that Rice made their presentation to the Big12, and was wondering whether the main point was to get some practice in before they made it for real to the AAC, in the event that Houston gets the Big12 nod.

      Like

  30. Brian says:

    http://www.azcentral.com/story/sports/ncaaf/asu/2016/08/11/sun-devil-stadium-whats-new-after-phase-2/87669762/

    Yet another school is upgrading and reducing capacity in their stadium. This time it’s ASU, dropping capacity from 66k to 55k (actually had a peak of 75k around 1990).

    More than 13,400 seats with backs and cupholders replace bleacher seating on the lower west side (12,000) and cantilever sections in the upper west (1,400). ASU athletics Chief Operating Officer Rocky Harris said seat backs “rose to the top of the list” in importance to fans in surveys and focus group meetings about improving the almost 60-year-old stadium. Leg room is increasing an average of four inches and chairs in several sections will have arm rests.

    They’ll also install a new scoreboard that is 1 foot taller and 1 foot wider than the one at UA.

    Like

    • Mark says:

      Hopefully Notre Dame, Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue and Ohio State will follow suit. My back would appreciate it!

      Like

      • Brian says:

        At the rate Americans are growing, wider seats are becoming a necessity. The extra leg room would be nice when people walk down the row and for tall people. At least at OSU you can pay $70 extra to get a seat cushion and back attached to the bleacher as part of your season ticket. It has the benefit of defining the full width of your seat as well as providing a back support. Obviously you can pay a lot more for premium seating, too.

        Like

        • Mark says:

          A big plus in my opinion of the NFL experience is no bleacher seats. I am amazed that ND can pack in people and they keep coming back. If you gave me free ND season tickets and I lived in South Bend, I would only go to 1 or 2 games a year. There is just not enough space and if you have 1 or 2 large folks in your row it is misery.

          Like

          • FLP_NDRox says:

            I remember I got to Notre Dame stadium early one time for pregame warmups and leaned back onto the bleachers behind me.

            Ended up missing half of the first quarter at first aid pulling out splinters.

            Like

          • Ha! Those wooden bleachers at Notre Dame Stadium are truly terrible. With all of this money slushing around college sports for facilities and all of the bells and whistles, it’s amazing that many of the very richest schools still don’t believe that basic chairbacks and seating that don’t give you 20 slivers when you put down your hand is much of a priority.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Cal has renovated, but when I was in there stadium in the late 90s, it was scary. A bunch of the wooden benches were broken. The rest probably would give you slivers, not splinters. Of course, they never filled their stadium so they just seemed to ignore those areas.

            Like

    • bullet says:

      Raising prices. 8 of the last 12 years their average attendance has been higher than 55k. Kentucky is doing something similar with their shrinking. Its the pro model. Maximize revenue by limiting supply.

      Conflicts with the point of college sports which is to keep the maximum number of alumni connected so that the ones who make a lot of money remember the school with donations.

      It will push it more towards a bunch of corporate types with weak or no ties to the school.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Baseball is carrying that to great lengths. Since they aren’t a good TV sport, I think they are damaging themselves long term.

        Like

  31. Duffman says:

    Allow a moment of *tinfoil* thinking based on politics in Texas

    Early on – and identified in Frank post in 2011 or 2013 – BYU and Cincinnati seemed the next 2 candidates with Gee and West Virginia wanting somebody close to be less of an island. While Gee may not have been pro Cincinnati while at Ohio State, it makes sense as he is a Buckeye employee. Now in the employ of West Virginia, he flipped his position and he is certainly aware of the Bearcats. BYU being a private religious school would also have support in a conference with religious schools in Baylor and TCU.

    Aside from the LGBT issue now in the media, an interview about a month ago with the Houston Cougars seemed to indicate if they did not get B12 membership they would be severely affected as they were running something like a 20 to 30 million deficit on their sports even with a heavy subsidy. Suddenly Texas was ok with adding Houston in the public eye and in the background were pleas by the Texas governor and Lt governor to add SMU as well.

    Pretty much everybody knows the G5’s are the deck chairs being reshuffled on the Titanic so the few lifeboats are big deals. Like Baylor getting a spot in in the B12 in the 90’s we are seeing Texas politics over riding the other school – in this case BYU – and costing them a spot. If this is the case in the end, then using LGBT to put Houston in would not surpass me in the least even if it never makes a reporters column.

    Like

  32. Brian says:

    http://www.vanquishthefoe.com/2016/8/9/12411288/byu-big-12-expansion-lgbtq-opposition-what-it-means

    A relevant post from a BYU blog by a BYU alumnus and active LDS member. It’s well thought out and presented reasonably and rationally. How dare he? Doesn’t he know he’s on the internet?

    Quotes:

    Does BYU discriminate against LGBTQ people?

    We might as well dive into the thorniest matter first. The most complete answer to this question is that it depends. (Like I said, this is complex!)

    When attempting to discern whether or not BYU’s policies (namely, the Honor Code) discriminate against LGBT people, we need to examine things at a couple different levels. The first is the legal level — and thanks to there being an actual law with actual words that can actually be enforced, this is the most straight-forward one to understand.

    (Major caveat before we move forward: I am not a lawyer. I do not want to be a lawyer. I would not even claim to be competent at playing a lawyer on TV. So take my non-professional legal analysis for what it’s worth.)

    Based on the letter of the law as it is written right now and has previously been interpreted, the latest iteration of BYU’s Honor Code is probably legally acceptable.

    OK, so if BYU isn’t legally discriminating, this is just a frivolous complaint with no basis, right?

    Wrong. Remember how I said we need to examine this issue on multiple levels? While BYU might be (momentarily) fine at the legal level, it’s when we get beyond the lawyer stuff that things get much more problematic.

    The reality is, discrimination is much more than just a legal concept. It’s something that people experience deeply and personally in their everyday lives. As such, it’s entirely possible for people to feel oppressed or unfairly treated or unwelcome, even if the behavior causing those feelings isn’t necessarily in direct contradiction to current law.

    This is undoubtedly where LGBTQ folks would take the most issue with BYU’s policies. The Honor Code’s insistence that it’s OK to be gay only so long as you don’t actually do anything that might be even remotely in keeping with this incredibly significant piece of your identity is highly problematic from their perspective — and it’s not that hard to see why, if you try to put yourself in their shoes.

    If BYU is going to tell LGBTQ students that they can’t hold hands and kiss with a person they are sexually attracted to without facing disciplinary action, but that straight students are allowed (and even culturally encouraged) to hold hands and kiss with a person that they are sexually attracted to without fear of reprisal — that, in a non-legal sense, is discrimination. It may be well within BYU’s legal rights to regulate behavior in that way as a private entity, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t single out a particular group of people in a way that feels pretty fundamentally unfair, particularly if you are a person from that group who just wants to live an authentic life.

    And that, really, is the problem here for BYU. This issue, especially as it pertains to Big 12 expansion, isn’t really a legal one. It’s a matter of perception. Whether or not the university or its supporters agree, it’s very easy to see how BYU’s policies could be easily interpreted by LGBTQ people and their supporters (which, it’s important to remember, now represent a growing majority of the American public) as placing unfair restrictions on homosexual students and staff based solely on their sexual orientation. And it’s also very easy to see how that could cause concern from those same folks that such an official policy could provide (intentionally or not) a kind of tacit institutional approval of even more discriminatory behavior by individuals in the BYU community.

    End quotes

    Important points:
    1. BYU’s honor code is perfectly legal. Nobody relevant is challenging that in this current kerfuffle.
    2. Being legal doesn’t mean it isn’t discriminatory.
    3. BYU’s policy is the issue, not their beliefs.

    Like

    • Mike says:

      Brian,
      First, No one on either said was talking about legality of the honor code here. Nothing to discuss there. Second, discrimination implies “hate”. BYU is not hating a group. To BYU this is a religious and moral issue. Period. When BYU exercises its honor code its only exercising its religious and moral beliefs. Third, BYU’s policy is directly tied to beliefs. They aren’t going to write something into policy at a private LDS institution without it corresponding to beliefs.

      Discrimination is incorrectly used here. It implies a level of thinking and motivation which simply does not exist.

      Like

      • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

        “Second, discrimination implies “hate”.”

        —- No, it really doesn’t. Both the legal & layman definition are pretty clear.

        “Discrimination is incorrectly used here. It implies a level of thinking and motivation which simply does not exist.”

        —- Again, no. Nothing is being implied & you are relying on a personal definition that is not factual.

        Like

        • Mike says:

          Scarlet-
          Wow, still arguing. Discrimination is specifically tied into prejudice. It implies dislike at a personal and/or group level. As a result, specific actions have occurred because of this personal dislike. The biggest point in being that this is PERSONAL.

          BYU’s motivations in regards to homosexuality, pre-marital sex or any other host of issues are simply moral and religious based. It’s not about groups or individuals. It’s about what they consider actions that are right and actions that they consider wrong. It’s conscience based. And no one has the right to tell a religious organization how it should believe.

          Like

          • Mike says:

            BYU’s motivations in regards to homosexuality, pre-marital sex or any other host of issues are simply moral and religious based. It’s not about groups or individuals. It’s about what they consider actions that are right and actions that they consider wrong. It’s conscience based. And no one has the right to tell a religious organization how it should believe.

            BYU’s motivations for their policy are not relevant for realignment. The fact that it exists is.

            Like

          • Mike says:

            Other Mike, that very well may be the case. That doesn’t mean it’s legitimate or that athlete ally isn’t a bully, militant organization with this move which is seeking to oppress thought opposite their own.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            He’s not Other Mike, you are. Mike’s been around here a long time. You will hopefully disappear as quickly as you arrived.

            Like

          • Mike says:

            Brian, I am telling it like it is. You can’t create a cogent response so you hope I will be quiet. While BYU and Athlete Ally are free to believe what they want only one group here as resorted to ostracism, sensationalism, and militancy. One group has expressed compassion. Those simple facts leave your arguments impotent and illogical. Your bias prevents you from acknowledging it.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            “I am telling it like it is.”

            You aren’t even using English correctly, let alone being factually accurate.

            “While BYU and Athlete Ally are free to believe what they want only one group here as resorted to ostracism, sensationalism, and militancy.”

            Yes, BYU does ostracize LGBT people. I’m glad you admit it.

            I don’t see either side sensationalizing the issue. AA wrote a letter and BYU tweeted a response. Both seem reasonable.

            You continue to not understand what militancy means, but BYU has certainly demonstrated it in the past thuogh.

            “One group has expressed compassion.”

            Yes, AA has asked for respect for all people in sports.

            Like

          • BruceMcF says:

            “Discrimination is specifically tied into prejudice. It implies dislike at a personal and/or group level.”

            But prejudice does not mean dislike at a personal and/or group level. It means a preconceived opinion that is not based on fact or personal experience. Dislike or hatred of some group is one possible (and common) motivation for discrimination, but it is only one of many.

            And discrimination is not automatically tied to prejudice. Again, prejudice is one common motivation for discrimination, but its far from the only motivation.

            A mortgage lender could be reluctant to lend to a black family because they rightly believe that many employers will discriminate and the wage earner(s) in the black family are likelier to be the first fired in the event of a recession, creating greater financial risk. It’s still discrimination, even if there is not a shred of personal animus behind it.

            Like

      • Mike says:

        First, No one on either said was talking about legality of the honor code here. Nothing to discuss there.

        I see you’re new here. Its very common for us to post links relevant to to the topic to further discussion. If you don’t want to discuss something feel ignore the thread.

        Discrimination is incorrectly used here. It implies a level of thinking and motivation which simply does not exist.

        No its not. You may infer that, but strictly speaking discrimination doesn’t imply motivation. For example, I discriminate against children all the time. Generally its for their safety.

        Like

        • Mike says:

          Other Mike,
          Yes, it does imply “motivation”. Technically speaking you are “discriminating” against children in the example you used. The problem is that verb is RARELY used in the example you used. The verb is usually used in the same context of bigotry, bias, hatred, etc. The word has a negative connotation in the English language now. That’s the context is virtually always used in.

          That’s why you see in these references. I’m saying in this case the word does not apply because the motivation doesn’t fit under “bigotry, hatred, bias”, etc.

          This isn’t difficult. LOL.

          Like

          • Mike says:

            This isn’t difficult. LOL.

            So why are you having so much trouble then? Their motivation is irrelevant. They are allowing one group of people to do something benign and not allowing another to do the same benign thing. Americans generally have problems with that.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            In fairness, they view acting on homosexual impulses a sin. That is what those “benign” things represent. So its not a double standard from their point of view.

            Like

          • @bullet – Sure, although just because a group sincerely believes that its viewpoint is based on morals or religious doctrine doesn’t make it immune from criticism. ISIS fighters will claim that their actions are based on moral imperatives from the Koran, yet that certainly doesn’t justify their terrorism. Slave owners used to point out how the Bible (particularly the Old Testament) was very at ease with slavery, but I don’t think many people would apply what was once a common moral argument in the 1800s to apply to today’s world in the 2000s. Those might be extreme examples, but they are also instances where people legitimately believe that they are acting on religious and moral principles. A person’s point of view based on religion and morals is immune from a legal standpoint, but that doesn’t give them immunity from the beliefs of society overall.

            On this particular LGBT rights issue, viewpoints are simply changing very rapidly. How America viewed racial segregation had a complete sea change from 1955 to 1965 – what was a socially acceptable majority view in 1955 morphed into an intolerant socially unacceptable minority view in 1965. We’re seeing the same change with respect to LGBT rights – it’s a completely different world from just 2006 until 2016. I know that a lot of people aren’t keeping up with that change (or maybe just aren’t willing to change), but rest assured, it’s not going back. Whether people here agree with LGBT rights issues or not, here’s the reality that needs to be acknowledged: LGBT issues aren’t even a debate for people under 30. That is, young people today see discrimination against LGBT people as every bit as wrong as young people in the 1960s saw racial segregation. As someone that grew up after the 1960s, the TV clips from people from that era trying to claim that there are “two sides to the story” to racial segregation look absolutely insane in defending the indefensible (as we now see with the benefit of historical perspective), and kids growing up now are going to say the same when they look back at today’s clips that there are “two sides to the story” regarding issues like marriage equality. This thread is literally going to look insane because, once again, there is no debate on what is right versus wrong in their eyes.

            As an anecdote, I remember hearing Malcolm Gladwell discuss a conversation that he had with Rick Warren back in the early 2000s, who is the conservative pastor of Saddleback Church and writer of The Purpose Drive Life. He said that Warren told him at time, which was more than a decade before last year’s Supreme Court gay marriage decision, that the church had “lost on gay marriage” because young people in his own church (arguably the most influential evangelical church in the country) simply would not accept what they were teaching on homosexuality and pushed back on that specific issue. Warren was prescient or maybe just simply observant enough to predict that gay marriage was going to be accepted by society well before it actually happened even though he personally doesn’t agree with it. Nate Silver has also pointed out statistically that there are actually not that many political issues that have a strong correlation with age, but support for gay marriage had a direct correlation – the younger you are, the more likely you are to support gay marriage (and history always favors the young in the long-term at least on social issues). This is simply a major generational difference that’s not going away.

            Regardless, I would request that everyone try to place their viewpoints into the context of conference realignment (as difficult as that might be even for me). Whether one personally believes in LGBT rights or not is really beside the point. We can all go all around in circles about what we personally believe is “right” or “wrong”. What we do know is that the university presidents ARE taking it into consideration – that has been reported by several outlets. To say that “it shouldn’t be a consideration” is simply false at this point – it would be like saying that “TV markets shouldn’t be a consideration” in expansion. Yet, BYU might still get into the Big 12 with its strength on other metrics. We have seen that reported by several outlets, as well.

            To me, that’s a very interesting tension as an outside observer: a school that fits all of the financial goals of expansion that university presidents care about, but has a very glaring political problem on a high profile social issue that’s extremely important to many university presidents, too. What wins out here for the Big 12 university presidents? Several people in this thread have suggested that BYU shouldn’t compromise their principles for money, but we are also seeing a possible reverse at the Big 12 university president level where they are similarly being asked to compromise their own principles for money. What exactly will happen here? Will either party change? That’s a fascinating tension to me regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            “In fairness, they view acting on homosexual impulses a sin. That is what those “benign” things represent. So its not a double standard from their point of view.”

            Read up on the law of chastity. They consider a lot of things a sin.

            And look into BYU’s history. They were boycotted in the 70s by some schools for how they treated blacks as well as getting some governmental pressure (threat of losing tax-exempt status) and other public pressure. Magically there was a revelation soon after that it was okay for black people to join the LDS clergy. Now the church says all racism past and present is wrong.

            So why shouldn’t LGBT people start applying pressure like blacks did 40 years ago? Maybe it’s getting close to time for another revelation, at least as soon as the flow of money is threatened.

            More fun BYU history from the 70s:

            They were running sting operations, giving class credit for a student to pretend to be gay in order to catch gay students who responded to his invitations so they could catch them and get rid of them.

            Like

          • Mike says:

            Mike,
            “They are allowing one group of people to do something benign and not allowing another to do the same benign thing.”

            Some things are allowed in some circumstances under the honor code and some things aren’t (such as sex for married people vs single people). It’s the same thing. But according to your logic they must be discriminating against single people since the same act is a violation for them as opposed to no violation for the married. Damn discriminators. BYU is a bigot against the non-married, right? LOL. smh. This really is unreal.

            This same point is made over and over and you refuse to acknowledge it. The exact same acts may be okay under one set of circumstances and not okay in another. It’s based up conscience and a moral belief. Not a hatred. As soon as you can see that then you will be able to start making cogent arguments.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Not suffering a witch to live was a profoundly held moral belief a few centuries ago. Would that same belief make it ok to burn witches today? It was done sincerely to save a soul.

            Like

          • Mike says:

            Frank,
            Just because a group sincerely believes that its viewpoint is based on morals or religious doctrine doesn’t make it immune from criticism. ISIS fighters will claim that their actions are based on moral imperatives from the Koran, yet that certainly doesn’t justify their terrorism.”

            Wow. I’ve read a lot of foolish things online but this is so absurd it’s not even within the realm of reality. This is really, really bad.

            The Mormon church was instrumental into getting Utah’s landmark LGBT anti-discrimination law passed: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/03/12/utah-legislature-passes-landmark-lgbt-anti-discrimination-bill-backed-by-mormon-church/

            The Mormon church’s own stance toward LGBT: “As a church, nobody should be more loving and compassionate. Let us be at the forefront in terms of expressing love, compassion and outreach. Let’s not have families exclude or be disrespectful of those who choose a different lifestyle as a result of their feelings about their own gender.”

            Otoh, ISIS seeks to kill and murder. They seek to take away the right of others. They force people against their will to either join or be killed. No one is forced to join the Mormon church, stay in the Mormon church, or go to BYU.

            What you are saying is that because people have killed in the name of religion the Pope today is responsible for mass murder today when he does stuff in the name of religion. Pathetic.

            Your comparison of Mormonism to ISIS is just plain old bigotry. It’s disgusting. Mormons provide community service, donate to humanitarian projects, are generally decent people. Degradation by militant groups who seek to sensationalize doesn’t change that.

            Like

          • Mike says:

            ccrider,
            Same comment I made to Frank above. When the Mormon church starts hunting innocent people on the street down then you come back and we can talk about your paranoid “witch hunts”. More likely they are out doing community service, donating to charity, or helping to get land mark anti-discrimination laws passed.

            The real bigots can be nasty. LOL.

            Like

          • @Mike – You can re-read the last 2 paragraphs of my post:

            “To be clear: BYU should be free to practice religion and set its code of conduct however it sees fit in accordance with Mormon principles. That is (and should always be) protected by the First Amendment. At the same time, I know many LDS members and BYU alums and find them to be a loving and caring group with a commitment to community service as a whole.

            However, that doesn’t mean the Big 12 has to accept BYU simply because the school is exercising its First Amendment rights, either. The Big 12 is every bit as much as a private association as BYU or the LDS church itself, so the conference can apply whatever criteria it wants in choosing its members. As I wrote in my very first post about conference realignment, there are tons of off-the-field factors that can impact expansion decisions, such as academics, TV markets and brand value. Increased emphasis on the protection of LGBT rights can certainly be a game changer, especially when public support for LGBT causes has gone from a small minority 10 years ago to a clear majority in rapid fashion and is increasing everyday (with near-unanimity among those under the age of 40). It clearly has been a deal-breaker for the Pac-12 with respect to BYU, so none of us should be surprised if it ends up being the case for the Big 12.”

            As I alluded to in my post, pretty much every Mormon person that I’ve met has been exceedingly kind and generous. From my standpoint, this has nothing to do with how Mormons might personally act. Instead, this is actually about something that BYU *leaders* (AKA the people that the Big 12 university presidents have to directly interact with) have written in their honor code. Honor codes aren’t mandates that are set in stone or even directly mandated by any particular religious text (e.g. the Bible, the Book of Mormon, etc.). They can be adjusted to reflect changes in society, as Baylor itself had done in the past year (and that’s as socially conservative as a school that you’ll find at the FBS level). The fact that even Big 12 member Baylor adjusted (which, to repeat, didn’t even allow *dancing* until 1996) means that university presidents see a distinction between (a) being part of a religion that believes that homosexuality is a sin, which might be generally tolerable since that would effectively describe every Christian, Jewish and Muslim school in America versus (b) being a religious school that has rules that allows heterosexual students and staff to perform one type of behavior while not allowing homosexual students and staff to do the same, in which case BYU would be singularly unique among all power conference schools and I could see university presidents having a large problem with it.

            Once again, BYU or any other religious institution is free to use any religious or moral basis to enact whatever they want. However, my entire point is that the other Big 12 schools have no obligation at all to accept it. You might not have liked my comparisons to other ideological religious groups using moral platitudes to do horrible things, but they may sincerely believe in their moral justifications for performing those horrible things. That doesn’t make it right… and just because discrimination against the LGBT community isn’t the same as killing people doesn’t mean that the discrimination is right, either. An institution that is engaging in discrimination does not get a pass simply because it believes that such discrimination is based on what they believe to be legitimate moral principles – claiming that the discriminator is now being discriminated against is simply not a great argument. Conference realignment decisions have often been made on a lot less important issues than what we’re talking about here, so the notion that the university presidents shouldn’t take it into consideration is mind-boggling.

            You can go back to this comment that I made in the post that I wrote a couple weeks ago. As you will see (if you haven’t read it already), I have good reasons to have little sympathy for those who call LGBT people militant or other names as if those are being discriminators are now the victims. You have made it clear that you don’t like gay people, which is your right. However, I feel very confident that history won’t be judging me as the bigot in this discussion:

            https://frankthetank.me/2016/07/29/the-return-of-conference-realignment-summer-of-big-12-cya-expansion/#comment-273419

            Like

          • ccriser55 says:

            As I’ve said before the LDS church has evolved before. Here’s hoping it continues to.

            http://www.ksl.com/?sid=39404463&nid=148&title=byu-to-study-title-ix-honor-code-offices-handling-of-reported-sexual-assaults

            A victim seems to hold out hope for change. And in spite of your protestations I’d bet some are coming. You going to tell the leadership that they shouldn’t, or shouldn’t have if they do?

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Frank,

            Its a really interesting question as to why attitudes changed so quickly.

            But to some extent, we just seem to be in a society that is changing rapidly on a lot of things. The latest Pew Survey on religion showed that religious people (all faiths) dropped from 84% to 77% of the country in just 7 years, from 2007 to 2014. That is really dramatic for something so basic. And yet evangelicals increased. Mainline protestant denominations showed an even more dramatic decline.

            Universities will be at the forefront of that change and more sensitive. Ultimately it will come down to $. BYU will have to be enough better financially to overcome the negatives. We don’t have the consultant’s reports. And we don’t know how many extra $ are enough in the 10 presidents minds.

            Like

          • @bullet – I agree that there are pretty fundamental changes to how US society views religion in general. Rod Dreher is a great writer from The American Conservative that discusses the relationship between society, religion and politics frequently (and to be sure, he would probably be one of the first to criticize the Big 12 if it decided to not invite BYU based on its honor code).

            One of his points (which I largely agree with) is that there is no longer much of a societal or cultural “peer pressure” to be part of a religious community. (Granted, this is going to be more true in a place like New York or Chicago compared to a small town in the South.) That is, up through the last generation, people were simply expected to be part of a religious community (whether you were a strong believer or not) and there were fairly glaring social consequences if you weren’t. As a result, there were a lot of “social” Main Line Protestants and Catholics, which created a high rate of religious activity in this country on paper.

            As time has passed, that peer pressure to be part of religious community has lessened in society. At least where I live, if someone doesn’t attend any type of church, that’s not seen as strange or isolating whatsoever, whereas that might have been very different 50 years ago. Essentially, the “social” Main Line Protestants and Catholics are dropping out altogether. The flip side, though, is that those that choose to join churches tend to be more doctrinaire – they aren’t joining for social aspects, but rather it’s focused on religion itself. Evangelical churches, as a general matter, are pretty good about attracting these types of people, which is why they’re growing even though religious activity in the US is dropping overall.

            The upshot is that those that are part of religion today are generally more adherent and committed to religious doctrine than people in the past, yet religious communities are smaller in overall numbers. We see the exact same effect with the two major political parties – there are more independents today than ever, which creates a situation where the people continue to be members of either political party are more ideological (the “true believers”) than before. (By the way, this has bad consequences for the presidential primary process as the average ideological primary voter in either party is possibly the worst judge of what a candidate needs to do to attract independents in a general election.) In turn, that makes the political parties even more objectionable to independents.

            So, I think we’re seeing a cycle here where people are increasingly dropping out of religious groups, while the people that continue to practice are the ones that happen to be the most committed. That exacerbates the divisions on the viewpoints on all of the hot button issues that have religious undertones (e.g. gay marriage, abortion, etc.).

            Like

          • bullet says:

            On a related issue recently, the University of Texas was getting continued protests and occasional vandalism against Confederate era statues on campus. There are a series of statues on the South Mall. The original vision, before the benefactor died in the 1920s, was to have the statues (of many people the benefactor admired) together demonstrating how the north and south united for WWI, after a half century of bitterness. Since it wasn’t completed, instead you just had 8-10 statues of Woodrow Wilson, Jeff Davis, Robert E. Lee and others evenly spaced around a grassy mall.

            President Fenves, following the SC shootings and Austin protests, did not immediately order removal. He sent out a survey to thousands of alumni and students seeking input. About 6 months later they decided to remove the two most prominent, Woodrow Wilson and Jeff Davis (the one getting the most objection), with the idea of working to show the original idea in a museum somewhere on campus.

            Texas will be sensitive to the concerns of the LGBT community. But Fenves seems to be very deliberate. He’s not likely to have a knee jerk reaction one way or the other.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            And with regards to Baylor, while the administration and rules are conservative, and that is what would be relevant to college presidents in realignment decisions, there is a mistaken belief that Baylor is some fundamentalist university. If you did a survey, you would probably find Texas A&M to have more conservative faculty and students than Baylor (certainly the Texas A&M of 15 years ago). TCU and SMU aren’t particularly conservative at all (by Texas standards, not by New England standards).

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Frank,
            There’s a lot of division even in the mainline churches. The United Methodist annual conference recently had 150(!) proposals related to LGBT issues. There is definitely a regional split in the US with some conferences STRONGLY in favor of liberalizing and some STRONGLY opposed. Also, African and Asian Methodists tend to be more conservative on these issues than the Americans as a whole. Typically, the mainline churches have split on this issue into separate groups as the Lutherans and Presbyterians have. The Methodists are still one group, for now. The current rules prohibit “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” from becoming ministers.

            Like

          • @bullet – Agreed, and it’s hard to paint all denominations with a broad brush. I grew up Catholic, but now attend a non-denominational Christian church. In terms of categories, my church would be placed in the “evangelical” category, but it clearly is much, much, much different in terms of teachings, practices and temperament than many other evangelical churches (e.g. our pastors would cringe at being compared to prosperity gospel teachers). It seems that “evangelical” seems to be the catch-all for non-denominational Christian churches, but it’s such a wide group and can different wildly depending upon the pastor or flock. Our church simply doesn’t even talk about homosexuality or political issues – it’s not that our pastor would agree with “affirming” homosexuality, but he doesn’t believe that anyone should be picking and choosing sins that are prioritized over others (as people tend to ostracize the sins that they don’t do but then downplay the sins that they engage in). However, we do talk about community service and those facing difficult circumstances (whether it’s poverty, poor health or lack of educational opportunities) every week. I don’t agree with everything at our church, but it’s at a level where it fits my beliefs and personality overall.

            Speaking of which, I think that’s an advantage that other non-denominational churches have as they are effectively free to be more “entrepreneurial” in today’s religious marketplace (so to speak) – since they are not tied to a larger overall organization or leadership structure, pastors are able to adapt to their flocks in a way that wouldn’t be possible in, say, a Catholic parish. It’s much less of a top-down structure than churches in the past. That could also explain why there’s growth in evangelical and non-denominational churches right now despite an overall decline in practicing Christians in the US.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Frank,

            There is certainly less “expectation” that people be members of a church. But I would say its more than just the “social Christians” falling away. Its just not as big a part of people’s lives. Vaccines and anti-biotics have made death a less frequent visitor and perhaps separated people more from religion.

            You can see it in music. There are very few religious (unless they are negative) themes in music outside Christian radio. Yet even in the counter-culture 60s, you would have songs like “Turn, turn, turn,” (great anti-war song by the Byrds based on Ecclesiastes), “In my midnight confession” by the Grass Roots and “Let it Be” by the Beatles (“Mother Mary comes to me”). Hollywood media ignores it or paints really negative pictures. Other than Sandra Bullock’s character in “The Blind Side,” can you think of any positive Christian portrayals in the movies or TV recently? They are exceedingly rare.

            By contrast, Hollywood has put out a lot of positive portrayals of gay characters, humanizing them instead of making them evil or comedic stereotypes as they would have in the past.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Frank,
            I’m a Methodist and the Methodist Church can be very different, church by church. I think that is why its decline was so much slower than the other mainline churches from the 60s to the 90s. There are fundamentalist Methodist congregations, conservative congregations, middle of the road congregations, liberal congregations, new age left congregations, predominately Black congregations and ones that cater heavily to gays. And they might all be within a few miles of each other (you could find most, if not all, of those in Houston). Also, you could find a broad spectrum even within each congregation as it is more about individual interpretation than that of a Pope or minister. One time at work someone asked a couple of us who went to different Methodist churches what Methodists believe and we both simultaneously said, “Anything goes!” An exaggeration, but compared to many other denominations, true.

            However, recently, the Methodist Church has followed the rapid decline pattern of the Presbyterians, Lutherans, Episcopals and other mainline churches that started in the 60s for them. Supporters of gay rights feel very strongly about LGBT issues and I’m not sure the church will find a way to accommodate the two sides on this issue. They’re trying.

            I don’t consider Joel Osteen, and other prosperity ministers, evangelical or fundamentalist, but I don’t know how the Pew Research group classified them in their survey. Odd to think of the Houston Rocket’s old arena, the Summit, now being Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church.

            Like

          • @bullet – I think that churches will need to adjust to LGBT issues as a matter of survival. As I’ve noted, the younger you are, the more likely in favor of LGBT rights that you are (and that’s a trend that’s only accelerating). To young people, a church being against gay marriage is as antiquated as a church being against rock music or Harry Potter. It’s a fundamental item for young people in general (not just the LGBT community).

            Now, I do think that it’s possible for churches to adjust successfully. Look at how most churches now treat people that are divorced compared to 50 years ago. I’ve noted previously that the Bible and specifically Jesus speak many times very clearly and at length that the single biggest threat to the sanctity of marriage is divorce (whereas homosexuality is barely a footnote in the Bible by comparison). Yet, the reality is that around 50% of the marriages in this country end up in divorce, so churches would be on the losing end demographically if they decided to continue to shut out divorced people as they had in the past. So, most churches adjusted their approach to divorced people (even if some would still impose prohibitions on remarriage within the church, such as Catholics). You’ll see many otherwise socially conservative churches very openly provide divorce care or small groups for divorced people – there is no longer some type of virtual scarlet letter for that group. It’s a recognition of societal changes at large and the need to adjust teachings and approaches to the times (or else the broader message of salvation will get ignored completed). I think the same can eventually occur with respect to LGBT rights (although the demographic trends for church membership might be impacted in ways far beyond this issue).

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Frank the Tank,

            “One of his points (which I largely agree with) is that there is no longer much of a societal or cultural “peer pressure” to be part of a religious community. (Granted, this is going to be more true in a place like New York or Chicago compared to a small town in the South.) That is, up through the last generation, people were simply expected to be part of a religious community (whether you were a strong believer or not) and there were fairly glaring social consequences if you weren’t. As a result, there were a lot of “social” Main Line Protestants and Catholics, which created a high rate of religious activity in this country on paper.

            As time has passed, that peer pressure to be part of religious community has lessened in society. At least where I live, if someone doesn’t attend any type of church, that’s not seen as strange or isolating whatsoever, whereas that might have been very different 50 years ago.”

            I think a large part of that is based on the mobility of society. Most people didn’t move around much in the old days, so small towns only had a few churches and everyone knew everyone else in the town via church. As more people move, more denominations get mixed in an area and you don’t know if that person goes to a church or not. You also don’t know your neighbors as well so that peer pressure goes away. That’s why cities have been this way much longer than small towns or rural areas. As people move so often anymore, there isn’t that tight community sense that would pressure you to attend church even if you didn’t really believe in it. In many ways, it’s unfortunate that we’ve lost that tight sense of community but it’s much better for outsiders who have different beliefs (or sexual orientations, etc). The new diversity has also led to much more acceptance of others which is a great thing.

            Like

          • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

            “Regardless, I would request that everyone try to place their viewpoints into the context of conference realignment (as difficult as that might be even for me). Whether one personally believes in LGBT rights or not is really beside the point. We can all go all around in circles about what we personally believe is “right” or “wrong”. What we do know is that the university presidents ARE taking it into consideration – that has been reported by several outlets. To say that “it shouldn’t be a consideration” is simply false at this point – it would be like saying that “TV markets shouldn’t be a consideration” in expansion. Yet, BYU might still get into the Big 12 with its strength on other metrics. We have seen that reported by several outlets, as well.”

            —- I just wanted to repost that because it is the only data point that matters in this discussion. What we individually believe isn’t important, what IS important is what the people calling the shots believe.

            Like

        • Brian says:

          Mike,

          Glad to see you post. For a while I was starting to think this Other Mike was you based on the name and a similarly colored icon (I don’t remember what they all look like, but the color was right). I was wondering what had happened to make you spin off the rails.

          Like

      • Brian says:

        Mike,

        “First, No one on either said was talking about legality of the honor code here.”

        The author of that blog post did. I noted that nobody seemed to be arguing the point.

        “Second, discrimination implies “hate”.

        Learn English.

        http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discrimination

        : the practice of unfairly treating a person or group of people differently from other people or groups of people

        : the ability to recognize the difference between things that are of good quality and those that are not

        : the ability to understand that one thing is different from another thing

        “BYU is not hating a group.”

        You keep believing that. It’s no crazier than other things you believe.

        “To BYU this is a religious and moral issue. When BYU exercises its honor code its only exercising its religious and moral beliefs. Third, BYU’s policy is directly tied to beliefs. They aren’t going to write something into policy at a private LDS institution without it corresponding to beliefs.”

        No, it isn’t. They could clearly ban all premarital physical displays of intimacy but chose not to.

        “Discrimination is incorrectly used here.

        No, it isn’t.

        “It implies a level of thinking and motivation which simply does not exist.”

        I certainly agree there isn’t much thinking going on from one side of the issue.

        Like

  33. Brian says:

    http://www.pistolsfiringblog.com/vegas-byu-houston-favorites-enter-big-12/

    FWIW, someone in Las Vegas had BYU as the favorite to join the B12 as of 8/9.

    BYU – 5/3
    UH, UC – 5/2
    UCF – 3/1
    Memphis – 7/1
    UConn, CSU – 8/1
    USF – 10/1

    Like

    • Jake says:

      I feel like SDSU is underrated in this discussion. They’ve had several bursts of football relevance, and they’re in a strong recruiting state. If the Chargers leave for LA, the Aztecs have a major metropolitan region pretty much to themselves. They could be Louisville West. Of course, SDSU would then be on their own to update/replace a rather aged stadium, but with Big 12 revenue, that wouldn’t be an insurmountable task.

      Like

      • Jersey Bernie says:

        Isn’t the issue with SDSU that the Big 12 may not be interested in being in 4 time zones?

        Will SDSU invest a huge amount of money to update a stadium when there is really no P5 conference in sight?

        Without the updated stadium, will the Big 12 ever look? Certainly the Pac 12 will never add SDSU.

        Big TV market, good football, and nowhere to go.

        Like

        • @Jersey Bernie – Yes, I think SDSU’s issue for the Big 12 is its location. In a vacuum, it’s a good market in a great recruiting territory with a lower amount of direct pro sports competition. However, there’s “bad geography” (such as West Virginia in the Big 12) and then there’s “BAD GEOGRAPHY” (a league that would, at a minimum, stretch from WVU to SDSU). The one thing that a school can’t change is its location.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            For all the people pushing UConn, Austin is 1,302 miles from San Diego. It is 1,889 miles from Storrs. The average distance from the Big 12 schools to UConn is 1,516 miles.

            People in the east don’t seem to grasp UConn’s geographic challenges and that BYU isn’t so far from the bulk of the conference. BYU (1,182 average) is closer on average than the Florida schools.

            Like

          • Jersey Bernie says:

            bullet, I think that it is less mileage and more time zones. If WVU were not in the Big 12, maybe, just maybe, SDSU would be more attractive.

            Four time zones is tough – and is is not as though the Big 12 would get the top team on the Pacific Coast. Obviously, the Big 12 would take any of the four California P5 schools in a second.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Neuheisel mentioned UCLA might be interested.

            Obviously, nobody really believes that. But yes, UCLA would take about 5 seconds to admit.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Bullet:

            You’re reflecting the B12 disfunction. 5 secs? If iCal was actually available anything over one sec is risking a UCLA change of heart.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Darn, corrected one of two auto correct incorrections. Missed the first iCal…

            Like

          • Matthew Smith says:

            The other thing is, if you think CA fans are apathetic about college football already, there’s little reason to think that a singular outpost of a conference that has no real CA connection would drive substantial interest. Of course, any expansion possibility has significant downsides or risks so you roll the dice one way or the other.

            Like

  34. Brian says:

    http://www.houstonchronicle.com/sports/college/article/Baylor-sexual-assault-victims-met-with-9139709.php?t=5e4c9e6ab1438d9cbb&cmpid=twitter-premium

    The Chronicle reviewed 12 cases dating to 2004 in which sexual assault victims at Baylor University said they came forward only to be met with ambivalence or skepticism by the school. Eight of the women filed lawsuits describing how Baylor constituencies – from campus police to the university health center to a dorm chaplain – struggled to provide timely counseling, didn’t push for charges or additional protections for the victims, and failed to offer support to manage day-to-day college life.

    Five of the Baylor victims, along with their family and friends, shared similar experiences in interviews with the Chronicle. One is already suing the university; two others are planning litigation.

    “I was treated like I committed the crime,” said a woman who was 20 years old when she says she was attacked in 2013. She has hired an attorney. “No one ever made it clear to me what my rights were, or if I had any.”

    The Chronicle’s findings reveal that Baylor’s institutional failures with sexual assault victims go back more than a decade and extend well beyond the athletic department, as eight of the cases involved an assailant who wasn’t an athlete.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Article certainly reads like people suing the university. Not enough free counseling sessions? Not telling them that they could go to the police after being raped? Hard to get sympathy with a lot of these complaints.

      Unfortunately, a lot of police departments don’t take these things seriously. Its an issue beyond university campuses. I know several women who have been victims of rape or attempted rape and except for the one who was a victim of a serial rapist (who was the only one caught), they all felt like the police blew them off. One even got shot and the police comment was, “Well they’ve probably already left town.”

      Now Baylor certainly sounds pretty tone deaf. But so did FSU, Notre Dame, Montana and [redacted]. And Penn St.

      Like

      • Carl says:

        > Now Baylor certainly sounds pretty
        > tone deaf. But so did … Penn St.

        Interesting focus on tone deafness. Did you know that Penn State was indemnified by The Second Mile but chose instead to pay — out of its own pocket — (alleged) victims whose allegations weren’t believed by law enforcement and/or were outside the statute of limitations?

        And then Penn State submitted the claims to its insurance company — even though it was clear that their policy didn’t cover the claims … and Penn State was indemnified by The Second Mile?

        Fiduciary breach? Insurance fraud?

        Penn State certainly has been tone deaf, but tone deafness is way down on the list of things Penn State needs to be worrying about.

        Perhaps the same is true for Baylor …

        Like

        • bullet says:

          I was referring to the whole blindness to Sandusky as being tone deaf. They were concerned about being fair to Sandusky and ignored the victims and potential future victims.

          Like

          • Carl says:

            > I was referring to the whole blindness
            > to Sandusky as being tone deaf. They
            > were concerned about being fair to
            > Sandusky and ignored the victims and
            > potential future victims.

            Deafness, blindness, muteness … make up your mind, bullet. These are all different things.

            So are PSU’s football program, its administration, and its BoT.

            What are you talking about?

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Sounds like you are one of those irrational Joe bots who still think he was a saint in all this.

            Their behavior in ignoring the threat Sandusky posed was a disgrace. Schultz, Spanier and Curly should probably be in jail.

            Is that clear enough?

            And before you go off on a rant, any long termer here can tell you I was one of the least critical of Penn St. and Paterno.

            Like

          • Carl says:

            > Sounds like you are one of those
            > irrational Joe bots who still think
            > he was a saint in all this.

            Ad hominem? Is that the best you’ve got? Sounds like you’re pounding the table, bullet.

            “When the facts are on your side, pound the facts. When the law is on your side, pound the law. When neither is on your side, pound the table.”

            > Their behavior in ignoring the
            > threat Sandusky posed was a
            > disgrace. Schultz, Spanier and
            > Curly should probably be in jail.

            You still believe the Freeh report, eh?

            Your opinion would have at least a little credibility if you had ever demonstrated any understanding of the actual facts of the case, bullet. (When’s the last time one of your claims was correct?)

            > Is that clear enough?

            Yep, it’s what I was trying to get on record. 🙂

            > And before you go off on a rant,
            > any long termer here can tell you
            > I was one of the least critical of
            > Penn St. and Paterno.

            What can I do to communicate more clearly that I don’t care about uninformed opinions?

            Keep watching, bullet! 😉

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Carl:

            Please leave.

            You actually are causing me, one who felt multiple problems happened with the investigation/response, to hope my concerns are shown irrelevant. And even if not I’m now (because of the sanctimonious defenders) hoping all penalties stand.

            And bullet was an even stronger sympathizer/defender of PSU than I. Good job of antagonizing allies…

            Like

          • Carl says:

            Just to be clear, ccrider55, I’m not trying to convince you of anything.

            Like

    • Carl says:

      > The Chronicle’s findings reveal that
      > Baylor’s institutional failures with
      > sexual assault victims go back more
      > than a decade and extend well
      > beyond the athletic department, as
      > eight [of 12] of the cases involved
      > an assailant who wasn’t an athlete.

      Hmm. Maybe this is why Baylor hired Pepper Hamilton to say that there was “a cultural perception that football was above the rules”?

      And fired the football coach?

      And didn’t release the report?

      And then paid the football coach $40 million?

      P.S. To be clear, I’m not saying Baylor football was innocent here. (I just don’t trust unseen, unvetted reports.)

      Like

  35. Brian says:

    http://www.sltrib.com/home/4228950-155/monson-what-happens-if-byu-is

    What if BYU doesn’t make the B12? The article includes a poll.

    Here, then, are the possible routes for BYU, should Bowlsby’s rose go to less-deserving contestants:

    1) Everything stays the same.

    BYU continues its football independence and most of the school’s other sports stay in the West Coast Conference. The difficulties of this path have already by articulated by officials at BYU, who have uttered those now-infamous words: “Football independence isn’t sustainable.”

    2) BYU waits, hangs on for dear life over the next decade.

    The Cougars can forge ahead, competing as best they can, continuing to demonstrate their commitment to football, hoping to get into one of four superconferences, once the current system evolves into that format. Already, BYU is better than many P5 teams, without the advantages those schools currently have via their membership. Perhaps it could edge in, at the right time, among 64 superconference teams.

    3) The Cougars join a lesser league and face their fate.

    BYU left the Mountain West in search of more money and more exposure, particularly the latter.

    Returning to the MWC, or some other limited-scope conference, is an option the Cougars might be forced to ponder — unless the same pressures pushing hard against BYU in its quest for the Big 12 might also arise in any potential affiliation. That would have to be considered a step backward for a football program with big ambitions, a 63,000-seat stadium, a trophy case filled with national awards, including a national title trophy, along with a fan base spread from coast to coast.

    This path would only be taken if scheduling got to an impossible point, a point of no return in which the opponents the Cougars could schedule in independence were no better than the ones they could build rivalries with inside a lesser league.

    4) BYU kills football.

    This idea would be laughable had LDS Church leadership not already canceled intercollegiate sports at what is now BYU-Idaho and at BYU-Hawaii, the latter being finished after this academic year. Those schools had terrific, successful athletics programs and, yet, they were done away with.

    Online polls are nearly meaningless, but the current results FWIW:

    2. Tough out independence to make a superconference – 33.4%
    4. Drop sports – 25.8%
    3. Rejoin MWC – 19.8%
    1. Stay independent – 19.3%

    I doubt BYU fans or many alumni are choosing option 4. That’s probably Utah fans.

    Like

  36. Brian says:

    https://twitter.com/flugempire

    Greg Flugaur had dinner with his BTM (Big Ten Man) and had lots of tweets:

    BTM:Boren & Bowlsby goal is too make B12 as attractive to”new media” as possible for 2024. Other schools in B12 not in Texas faction agree

    BTM:”It’s clear that if a future can be carved out for B12 beyond 2024 ESPN will play little or no part in its future”.

    BTM: “Boren is of 2 minds. (1) To save B12 beyond 2024 (2) If #1 can’t happen..make sure OU has no hindrances in leaving Conference in “24”

    BTM: “But Boren & Bowlsby have acknowledged where B12 stands with ESPN in pecking order..now..but even more importantly in 2025…dead last”

    BTM:”So what is this new media that will want to distribute B12 content streaming on multiple different platforms? Who? Who the hell knows”

    BTM: “It won’t be ESPN. Disney just bought some parts of streaming company with the chance to but all of it in future”

    BTM: “But ESPN tells B12 there is no future for any digital B12N.”

    “If B12 survives it does so because of Google..Netflix..Hulu…somebody”

    BTM: “ESPN makes their investment into ACC. ESPN goes in on 2nd part of B10 Tier 1&2 contract”

    BTM: “This acknowledgement from leaders in B12 outside of Austin has changed the landscape on the ground in B12 offices”

    BTM: “Boren got his CCG..now is going full throttle in expansion. Wanting to create attractive B12 for new customers in B12”

    BTM: “This is about 2024.So what can Boren & Bowlsby do? Shake Schools,who are interested in joining B12, into showing what they bring in 24

    BTM: “Eyeing a future away from ESPN is daunting.But a future with ESPN past 2024 keeps B12 the most unstable conference in P5”

    BTM: “Candidates for B12 expansion must show large fanbase. Must show decent media market. Must show decent Alumni numbers of participation”

    BTM:”OU contacts believe BYU must make a public statement in regards to changing Honor Code. Must give B12 Presidents political cover”

    BTM:”The change in Honor Code wording,if BYU decides to go in that direction,has to be public. So we will all know if BYU is stil candidate”

    BTM:”Without the public statement, without the political cover for B12 Presidents, the BYU candidacy is dead in the water”

    BTM: “OU Contacts, because of the need of B12 to create attractivness, value, without little or no ESPN beyond “24”…UCF is hot”

    BTM:” All the negatives UCF had…ESPN not wanting P5 FL school outside of ACC/SEC (ACCN investment) is no longer negatives in eyes of B&B.

    BTM:”FOX (if expansion has to head to 14) sees it best case scenario of UCF/UCONN/CINCY….now viable”

    BTM: “So 2 questions remain.(1)Does BYU make a public change in Honor Code?
    (2) Does Texas attempt to stop climb to 14 if UH/UCONN/UC/UCF”

    BTM: “This Big 12 expansion story is very difficult for ESPN to cover”

    The problem with Western Expansion (outside of BYU) it doesn’t attract FOX for beyond 2024. B12 Presidents are aware of this…

    And when BTM said ESPN is having troubles covering this story…he did not mean with ethics.

    It’s a tough story.

    Investments in Streaming is being made by FOX..ESPN..and others.

    But B12 content at this time is not in plans for any of these investments

    Big 12 knows where it sits with ESPN (outside of Texas) and this truth has rattled some writers/bloggers…

    Sorry.

    It is what it is…

    On an unrelated note, some hockey expansion news:

    BTM also said Minnesota State expects a positive answer soon from NCHC. Expectations of realignment are sky high

    Like

  37. Brian says:

    http://www.espn.com/olympics/story/_/id/17286336/top-10-greatest-us-summer-olympic-gold-medalists-all

    A list of the 10 greatest US Olympians ever.

    1. Carl Lewis
    2. Michael Phelps
    3. Jesse Owens
    4. Wilma Rudolph
    5. Bob Mathias
    6. Jackie Joyner-Kersee
    7. Simone Biles
    8. Florence Griffith-Joyner
    9. Mark Spitz
    10. Bob Beamon

    Notes from the author:

    * The rest of this Olympics could change the list (move Biles up, add Adam Eaton, etc).

    * FloJo would be higher except for the persistent rumors of doping although she never got caught. Her WR in 100m and 200m from 1988 still stand and it’s very rare for sprint WRs not to get beat in 26 years. Either she’s really great or she got away with something, so he compromised on her ranking.

    * Beamon is the only single medal winner on the list but he beat the WR in long jump by almost 2 feet. It would be like someone running a sub-9.00 in the 100m. I never heard doping allegations against Beamon and he was in Mexico City (7382′ altitude) which helps a lot.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Last night they were talking about Bolt as being among the greatest Olympians along with Phelps and some others. Somehow they never mentioned Lewis. Like mentioning great baseball players without mentioning Babe Ruth.

      I was looking last night. Lewis did dominate the long jump. But it was amazing how much 100 m times have gone down. His best, a world record, was 104th now after being one of the very best for about 15 years. Bolt, Gatlin, Asafa Powell, Tyson Gay and Yohan Blake have the top 28 times and 89 of the top 103, all in the last 9 years. All but 5 of those 103 ahead of Lewis have been done in the last 9 years (Maurice Greene had 3, Donavan Bailey 1 legal one and Bruny Surin-Canada-had one).

      I did see mentioned he had an 8.85 anchor leg on a 4X100 relay. So there is still room to get down from Bolt’s 9.58.

      Lewis had 9 golds and a silver. He won 4 long jumps in a row and might have won 5 if Carter hadn’t boycotted the 1980 Olympics. Lewis was on the team. A dropped baton in prelims kept him from another gold in 1992 in the 4X100. And he was, in a controversial move, kept off the 1996 4X100 team, which got the silver.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        bullet,

        “I was looking last night. Lewis did dominate the long jump. But it was amazing how much 100 m times have gone down. His best, a world record, was 104th now after being one of the very best for about 15 years. Bolt, Gatlin, Asafa Powell, Tyson Gay and Yohan Blake have the top 28 times and 89 of the top 103, all in the last 9 years. All but 5 of those 103 ahead of Lewis have been done in the last 9 years (Maurice Greene had 3, Donavan Bailey 1 legal one and Bruny Surin-Canada-had one).”

        I wonder how much is due to improvements in track surfaces and/or shoes? Certainly Jesse Owens would’ve been a lot faster if he didn’t run on cinders.

        Obviously training has improved a lot over the years and much more is known about nutrition and supplements, but part of me also wonders how much doping is going on.

        “I did see mentioned he had an 8.85 anchor leg on a 4X100 relay. So there is still room to get down from Bolt’s 9.58.”

        http://www.espn.com/olympics/trackandfield/story/_/id/17106676/speed-limit-how-fast-human-being-run-100-meters

        Someone for ESPN thinks we could get to about 9.27, maybe even by the next Olympics.

        “Without a doubt [the world record] can still get lower,” he said. “If we can get the tallest sprinters to strengthen their hip flexors and the shorter sprinters to contract their muscles faster, then we should be able to see times around 9.27 seconds.

        “It’s certainly not possible for Rio, but maybe by Tokyo. Having said that, I doubt we’d really get past 9.2, because the loading involved at those speeds would force us to have super heavy bones, but then of course the weight becomes a negative factor.”

        “Without a doubt [the world record] can still get lower,” he said. “If we can get the tallest sprinters to strengthen their hip flexors and the shorter sprinters to contract their muscles faster, then we should be able to see times around 9.27 seconds.

        “It’s certainly not possible for Rio, but maybe by Tokyo. Having said that, I doubt we’d really get past 9.2, because the loading involved at those speeds would force us to have super heavy bones, but then of course the weight becomes a negative factor.”

        http://www.theroar.com.au/2016/08/15/humans-cant-bolt-much-faster-usain-science-says-100m-world-record/

        A Stanford professor did a statistical analysis and determined that 9.48s might be the limit.

        The men’s 100m world record back in 1891 when these things were first reliably recorded was 10.8s. So it took 118 years and quantum leaps in sports science, preparation, conditioning, apparel (not to mention sponsorship and media dollars) etc to shave 1.22s off the mark.

        It’s unlikely that we’ll see the current record lowered by 1.22 seconds ever – let alone within the next 118 years.

 Stanford biologist Mark Denny used a statistical analysis to cap the 100m world record for men at 9.48s, a mere one tenth of a second lower than Bolt’s current time.

        Another professor says sub-9.0 may be possible.

        But the medals are handed out for running not hopping. Maximising running speed requires a trade-off between hitting the ground hard and maintaining stride frequency.

Hitting the ground with maximum force requires the sprinter to spend more time in the air, which slows down the strides he/she can make per second. The optimal combination of stride frequency and ground force varies with individuals depending on their size, leg length, and the speed they run, Weyand says. There is no golden ratio.

        Although reluctant to give a definite number on the fastest human running speed possible because “science is not good at making predictions of extremes,” Weyand suggests 9 seconds flat is “definitely possible”, but not much faster. Regardless of whether they’re clean or doped up to the eyeballs.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          With Lewis running an 8.85 in the relay, you could analyze up from there by figuring out reaction time and time to top speed. Bolt seemed to take about 40 yards the other day to get to top speed. Gatlin got there much quicker. Gatlin (and a couple others on the inside) were working very hard to accelerate. Bolt seemed to be smoother. Could be a trade-off there between getting tight with a quick acceleration vs. a smooth transition to the full speed stride. Was reading something about Phelps’ underwater dolphin kick and the trade-off there:

          http://motherboard.vice.com/read/michael-phelps-gold-medal-dolphin-kick-turn

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Remember Carl Lewis taking off 20+ pounds (juicing was part of it) and becoming faster? Most others were trying to build on more muscled, also with the same end in mind.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            From a couple years ago, but relevant to the current subject;

            Like

          • bullet says:

            Interesting video cc.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Bullet:

            If you recall, in the past I’ve I posted about Big Hawk Chief who was documented to have run a measured mile in 3:58 (twice, because they couldn’t believe – thought either measurement or timing was off on first) as a cavalry scout in 1876. I found this ultrarunning article that mentions him among a number of Native American running feats of the past.

            “In 1876 Big Hawk Chief ran from the Pawnee Agency to the Wichitas, a distance of 120 miles, inside 24 hours. His claim to have run such a distance was not believed. The Wichita chief arranged to ride back with
            him, sending a relay horse to the 60-mile point so that he could change horses there. Before the 60-mile point, the Wichita chief’s horse was forced to stop and rest, but Big Hawk went on. The Wichita chief
            eventually reached the Pawnee village before sunrise, less than 24 hours after their start, and found Big Hawk asleep. He had come in around midnight, covering the 120 miles across mountains, hills, and streams
            in about 20 hours.”

            https://www.ultrarunning.com/features/destinations/in-the-beginning-native-americans/

            Like

    • Jersey Bernie says:

      Simone Biles may very well belong on that list, but can’t we wait until her first Olympics are over?

      Like

      • vp19 says:

        She’s a female gymnast, and like figure skaters, the rules don’t apply to her. As for me, I’m a diabetic and can’t stand those ultra-feminine “sports.”

        Like

      • Brian says:

        Jersey Bernie,

        “Simone Biles may very well belong on that list, but can’t we wait until her first Olympics are over?”

        People that know gymnastics have been calling her the greatest of all time for a while. She wins meets by unprecedented margins and does things nobody else can do, apparently. She won 3 straight World Championships before winning the Olympics, too.

        Biles won by 1.759 points (2.90% since scoring has changed over the years). And the runner up had a margin slightly larger than that, while the gap was about the same from 3rd to 12th and 12th to 24th. You have to sum the margins of victory from every champ from 2012 back through 1976 (that’s 10 Olympics worth) to get a higher point total or cumulative percentage of victory. The largest prior victory out of those 10 Olympics was by 0.7 points (0.89%) in 1976, so less than one third as large as Biles had and against much less competition. Only 2 other women have won by more 0.250 of a point or 0.50%.

        Like

        • Jersey Bernie says:

          Brian

          I am more than aware of the record of this wonderful gymnast, Simone Biles, and do not question why she would be called the world’s best gymnast. The World Championships count for that title.

          If one wishes to call her the best Olympic gymnast ever, I would understand that even if she stopped right now and never did another Olympic event.

          I still think that she needs to finish one Olympics before she is one of the ten best Olympians ever. There are many athletes worthy of consideration among the top ten ever.

          In what other endeavor could a person be one of the ten best of all time without ever completing the said activity even once? Wait one more week for the Olympics to end, then she can be called one of the ten best Olympians.

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Jersey Bernie,

            “If one wishes to call her the best Olympic gymnast ever, I would understand that even if she stopped right now and never did another Olympic event.

            I still think that she needs to finish one Olympics before she is one of the ten best Olympians ever. There are many athletes worthy of consideration among the top ten ever.”

            His list has 7 track and field athletes, 2 swimmers and 1 gymnast. If you admit she’s at least in the running for the GOAT of gymnastics then why can’t someone put her in their top 10 list? 5 of his 10 made it based on 1 Olympics. She’s already won 3 golds and that’s as many or more as 4 of the other 9 on the list. Did Mark Spitz really need to wait until after his 7th gold to make the list or would anytime after 6 have been fine?

            “In what other endeavor could a person be one of the ten best of all time without ever completing the said activity even once?”

            She could fly home now and would make his list. That’s the point. She’s on his list with or without her floor exercise performance (or even her vault gold and beam bronze). Is it okay with you if she makes after that or does she need to wait for the closing ceremony?

            “Wait one more week for the Olympics to end, then she can be called one of the ten best Olympians”

            If that’s your criterion, more power to you. I don’t understand why you feel others need to share such an idiosyncratic criterion. How does a few days of her sitting around in Rio change anything?

            Like

          • Jersey Bernie says:

            I knew that you would comment, Brian since you have a compulsion to have the last word in every exchange. Please do not assume that when people do not respond to you it means that they agree with you, since there is no point in continuing many of these threads, which could be endless.

            Ms. Briles is a wonderful gymnast. If you think that she is the greatest athlete of any type in the history of the world, you may be correct. There is no way to truly compare Simone Briles to Michael Jordan or Babe Ruth, for example.

            If Briles had won five golds and someone wanted to call that one of the greatest athletic achievements in history, I would not argue with that. Perhaps four golds is worthy of the same conclusion.

            Briles certainly seems to be an extraordinarily nice young woman. She showed true joy for Laurie Hernandez winning the silver yesterday, even though Briles must have been very disappointed with her own bronze. To me, Briles reaction toward Herndandez was one of the more impressive things that I have seen this week – as a human being, not as an athlete.

            Is Briles really a better Olympian than say, Kerry Walsh Jennings? I do not know. What if Women’s Beach Volleyball pulls off an upset and Walsh Jennings wins her 4th Olympic gold at the age of 38, with three children. Is she in the conversation? Maybe not. Clearly Briles has much more competition to get to this point than Walsh Jennings did. Is that determinative? I do not know.

            I think that Briles should have to finish one Olympics before being crowned. Is that a crazy posture? What if it is? It is my opinion. I did not say that no one could have a different opinion. I just disagreed with this conclusion. So?

            Brian, this is my last comment on this issue.

            If you wish to tell me that everything that I say is stupid, crazy, etc., etc. Guess what, I don’t care. I have spent my life having ideas that people think are crazy. I am no doubt one of the oldest people on this board and my crazy ideas have worked out reasonably well so far.

            Thanks. Feel free to have the last comment on this issue. I will enjoy your response, no doubt, but I will not continue the conversation.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Jersey Bernie,

            “Is Briles really a better Olympian than say, Kerry Walsh Jennings? I do not know. What if Women’s Beach Volleyball pulls off an upset and Walsh Jennings wins her 4th Olympic gold at the age of 38, with three children. Is she in the conversation? Maybe not. Clearly Briles has much more competition to get to this point than Walsh Jennings did. Is that determinative? I do not know.”

            I don’t know either, but then I didn’t make the list. I think his list is slanted towards track sprinters who can compete in multiple events. Al Oerter won the discus in 4 straight Olympics, retired for about 8 years and then almost made the US team again. Edwin Moses won 122 straight races over 10+ years and 2 Olympic golds (he missed the 1980 Olympics due to the boycott) plus a bronze in his final race. Nobody has been that dominant in a single event to my knowledge. Those are just a couple that jump to mind easily. What about Jim Thorpe winning the pentathalon and decathalon in 1912? Certainly Walsh-Jennings is also worthy of discussion.

            “I think that Briles should have to finish one Olympics before being crowned.”

            She has finished it now, FWIW.

            “Is that a crazy posture?”

            I don’t think it’s crazy, but I do think it’s idiosyncratic. If she’s already done enough to merit making the list (in the opinion of the list maker), why should the list maker wait for the end of the Olympics? He can always redo the list after the Olympics as he indicated that he might. As a writer he has to get this piece written while people still care about the Olympics and the caring stops almost exactly when the NBC telecast stops.

            “It is my opinion. I did not say that no one could have a different opinion. I just disagreed with this conclusion. So?”

            So you asked if “we” couldn’t wait. I wouldn’t have said a word if you’d just said that you would wait until afterwards, but using we gets into how others should act (or so it came across to me).

            “I am no doubt one of the oldest people on this board”

            Maybe, maybe not. I’ll take your word for it.

            Like

    • Jake says:

      Jim Thorpe just wants his medals back.

      Like

  38. loki_the_bubba says:

    Dennis Dodd ‏@dennisdoddcbs 2h2 hours ago
    Filed to CBS Sports: Remember those 18 schools on @Big12Conference expansion list? At least 1 doesn’t know how it got there.

    Like

  39. Mike says:

    This is a few days old but I didn’t see it posted here. Not the worst idea I’ve seen.

    http://newsok.com/tramel-merger-with-sec-or-pac-12-is-the-big-12s-only-chance-for-stability/article/5513732

    Except twice in the last six months, prime decision-makers in our state, independent of each other, have floated an idea to me. An influential person at OU, then the same from OSU.

    Merger. Merge with preferably the SEC, but if not, the Pac-12. Not a split. Not six schools heading west, like was discussed in 2010. A merger. Ten Big 12 schools join the SEC to form a 24-team conference, or join the Pac-12 to form a 22-team conference.

    Seems like a longshot. Why would the U.S. annex Mexico? Why would an enterprise that everyone is trying to enter take on an enterprise that everyone is trying to exit?

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Why would the SEC merge with the B12 when they really only want 2-4 schools from there? Likewise, the P12 doesn’t want WVU or ISU or KSU or Baylor or TCU. I don’t see how such a merger benefits anyone but the B12.

      They’d have more leverage in TV negotiations, but the SEC is more valuable than the B12 so any bump would mostly go to the B12 schools. And since ESPN and Fox already split the B12 and P12 deals, how much leverage would a merger really add?

      And how would a merger work, exactly? Do B12 schools get votes on how the P12 or SEC do things even though they don’t really play each other much if at all? Do all the non-revenue sports need to play schools from both conferences? How do you handle the SECN/P12N since the B12 can’t play along?

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        Wasn’t there a similar idea floated by a different sports reporter (dodds? Trotter?) that we pretty much universally dismissed a month or two ago? Or is this de ja vu all over again?

        Like

    • Zach says:

      As a side note, if Mexico said “can we be part of the US” I think the US would be happy to annex them.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        I’m not so sure. A large part of this country (and 1 political party for sure) wants no part of that. We haven’t been rushing to add Puerto Rico.

        Like

  40. urbanleftbehind says:

    This is like a John Hughes movie with a teenage love triangle PAC 12 is the thirsty one, the Big XII is the object of PAC 12’s desires and the SEC is the homecoming queen who doesnt know the Big XII exist

    Like

    • Jersey Bernie says:

      Unless, in a different permutation, UTexas is the homecoming queen, Oklahoma is the very hot first runner up and then there are the not so hot friends. All of boys desperately want to date the queen and might be very interested in the hot first runner up. But what do the other boys do with the not so hot friends. Do the queen and the runner up dump their friends?

      Oh the drama.

      Like

  41. loki_the_bubba says:

    Add Rice to the list of B12 supplicants. Apparently we’ve made our pitch.

    http://www.fox26houston.com/sports/192263333-story

    Like

  42. bullet says:

    Since we’re talking Big 12, I found a great (and long) article talking about the formation of the Big 12. There are quotes from about a dozen people involved. And Chuck Neinas said (and this is one of the things that everyone assumed was maybe Texas and OU making the decision) ESPN decided to leave 4 of the SWC behind.

    “ESPN did not want all the members. They wanted eight from the Big Eight and they’d take four from the Southwest Conference. Obviously, the two they wanted most were Texas and Texas A&M. I received a call from Loren Matthews, who was a key executive with ESPN with whom I had developed a good relationship. And Loren told me, he said, “Here’s my problem. We want the Big Eight, but we don’t want all of the Southwest Conference.” I said, “Well, just let me make some phone calls, and I’m sure they’ll get back to you.” So I called DeLoss Dodds at Texas, Donnie Duncan at Oklahoma and Bill Byrne at Nebraska, and the rest is history. ”

    http://www.campusrush.com/big-12-conference-oral-history-swc-merger-1974972078.html

    Like

  43. bullet says:

    Loki;

    Rice hasn’t been left out. Either there are 19 or one of the 18 was not actually on the list:

    http://www.fox26houston.com/sports/192263333-story

    Like

  44. Mike says:

    Stories like this (note the similarities to Baylor) won’t make it easier on the Big 12.

    http://www.sltrib.com/news/4186603-155/students-byu-honor-code-leaves-lgbt


    While multiple current and former students have told The Salt Lake Tribune that rape victims at BYU may be investigated for potential discipline, a half-dozen LGBT students described unique challenges they faced when they were assaulted while attending the flagship school of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    BYU’s Honor Code forbids homosexual behavior, which the school defines as “not only sexual relations between members of the same sex, but all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings.” Holding hands and kissing, while allowed between men and women, are widely understood to be subject to discipline; BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins said the language of the Honor Code “speaks for itself and relies on students to use good judgment.”

    But advocates for LGBT students say coming out brings such scrutiny that even people who have no intention of dating tend to seek support in secret, often online.

    That has created an underground social scene in which predators can take advantage of silent and largely inexperienced victims, according to several LGBT students who have told The Tribune they were raped while enrolled at BYU. LGBT students who are assaulted by a member of the opposite sex say they fear their orientation remains a liability should they try to report the crime.

    Like

  45. Mike says:

    Accounting? At least he didn’t say we live in our mom’s basements.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Well BYU has a really good accounting program. They brag about responding obnoxiously to any twitter they don’t like.

      Like

      • Well, the University of Texas is historically the #1 or #2 accounting school in the country depending upon the year. (My University of Illinois is always the other one competing for the top spot.) So, touting accounting credentials could be a good way to impress the Big 12.

        Like

        • bullet says:

          I’ve frequently seen NIU in the top 10 of those lists of accounting programs (along with a couple of other MAC programs like CMU and Miami). Maybe that’s why they got the invite to present!

          Like

  46. Stuart says:

    Without BYU, doesn’t this whole exercise degenerate into a shakedown of FOX and ESPN to add a few more bucks to have the B12 not expand?

    It’s hard to see the value in expansion without BYU. But it’s hard to see BYU adjusting their honor code when the world is watching. It’s quite possible the LDS leadership is OK with quietly removing the specific anti-homosexual paragraph and simply having it vaguely covered by Chasity and Modesty, but it’s extremely hard to see them willing to make that change from what looks like outside pressure. It’s a face saving issue for them too.

    It’s a sort of “after you”, “oh no, after you” scenario where neither can be seen as acting before the other.

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      Reviewing this was announced I believe in April. Dealing with the social/relegious acceptance issue is the attention grabber, but creating/assuring a complete separation of the T9 sexual assault reporting office from the honor code office seems to me to be critical. It would remove the appearance (and past examples suggest it’s more than appearance) that suffering and then reporting an assault may result in honor code violation investigation.

      Doing that should provide enough cover for B12, while allowing BYU to continue it’s self reflection on the underlying concern and choosing at their own time to institute (or not) changes to what many (including many LDS) find objectionable.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      Stuart,

      “Without BYU, doesn’t this whole exercise degenerate into a shakedown of FOX and ESPN to add a few more bucks to have the B12 not expand?”

      Even with BYU, isn’t that really what this is anyway? BYU is getting around $6M from ESPN right now. If they had P5 value they’d get paid a lot more.

      “It’s hard to see the value in expansion without BYU.”

      I think it’s hard to see it with BYU. They’re just the most valuable of a bad set of options.

      “But it’s hard to see BYU adjusting their honor code when the world is watching. It’s quite possible the LDS leadership is OK with quietly removing the specific anti-homosexual paragraph and simply having it vaguely covered by Chasity and Modesty, but it’s extremely hard to see them willing to make that change from what looks like outside pressure. It’s a face saving issue for them too.”

      They made changes under pressure in the 70s to let blacks into the clergy. Now they say all racism is and always was wrong.

      Like

      • bob sykes says:

        The President of the Mormon Church had a revelation from God. Do you doubt that God is still talking to us? The function of the Holy Ghost is to guide the Church.

        Like

        • Brian says:

          Is there some reason he couldn’t talk to them now on this topic?

          Like

          • Brian says:

            Did he forget to mention racism being bad to LDS leaders until 1978 when secular pressure came to a head?

            Like

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          Sure, it seems reasonable that GOD waited until 1978 to tell Mormons that racism is bad.

          The fact that the church was making a major push into countries with significant black or mixed populations was probably mere coincidence.

          Like

          • Zack says:

            No matter what you think about race and the Mormon church it best to put some perspective to the announcement on 1978 that all worthy male members could to participate in priesthood potions with in the church. There was never a policy against Blacks being members of the church or participating as a members. So, looking back to Blacks in relationships to being pastors or priests in varying Christians churches was a more recent development and was not unique to the Mormon church. I would say you could find many churches, majority in the south that did not allow blacks to be either members or prohibited them from being pastors, bishops or ministers. I would say churches from 1900’s in the 70’s. made baby steps in full ingratiation of blacks into Christian churches of our day, The worst you could say is they (Mormon church) were slower by matter of years or if you want to stretch it, a decade or two.

            Like

          • Doug says:

            PLEASE Almighty and Merciful God inspire Frank to write a new article.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            That’s a fair point. Probably more applied in practice than actually codified. I remember in the early 80s reading about my Grandparents’ church being the first “all-white” Methodist church to have a Black pastor (of course my Grandfather and a good number of other members of the congregation were Hispanic in a majority Hispanic neighborhood and there were a couple of Blacks in the congregation too-but the media never lets facts get in the way of a good story). Now there were many Black ministers at the time, but they were almost all in predominately Black congregations.

            Like

  47. ccrider55 says:

    BYU has some fans with a sense of humor. Holmo’s statement BYU would follow the B12 concussion protocol was taken by some as a good sign re admission. Others thought maybe not. One actually worried about the ramifications of following the B12 model:

    “First they have a meeting to discuss if they want to evaluate a player for a concussion.

    Then they put off that decision until a future date.

    Then they find out that the ACC’s concussion protocol has proven quite beneficial and so they decide that they definitely want to evaluate the concussion they just don’t know which doctor should do the evaluation.

    Instead of inviting the best, most available neurologist they decide to open it up to any and all available doctors anywhere. “You got your degree from Hollywood Upstairs Medical College? Awesome, you’re on our list.”

    Then, against everyone’s best interests, they drag out this evaluation to the point where the concussed player dies confused and alone.”

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Well at least they aren’t making him sit in a dark locked closet like Leach!

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        Leach is…different. But James and pops are too, in other ways.

        I could be wrong but wasn’t it a self diagnosed concussion? And got the benefit of being reported by Craig James employer as if it was Leach was overruling a Dr’s order? Also wasn’t the dark closet actually an equipment room? Again, not a leach fan, but concerned at how the influence of ESPN reporting effects memory/reality.

        Like

  48. Brian says:

    http://www.foxsports.com/college-football/story/mailbag-why-the-big-12-might-not-expand-after-all-081716

    Stewart Mandel think there is a 40% chance the B12 doesn’t expand. If it does, he thinks it is BYU, UC and UH for 2 spots.

    This was in response to a UH fan who said his sources in the UH AD think the expansion talk is just a PR job to deflect talk from Baylor’s scandal and that they’ll decide to do nothing once the season starts.

    Like

  49. Brian says:

    http://www.bcftoys.com/chartball-sos

    A cool way to visual SOS for CFB teams. It let’s you see how elite (top 5), good (20-25) and average (55-65) teams would do against a given schedule. You can sort it multiple ways, too.

    Like

  50. bullet says:

    Interesting survey (mostly on politics), not that fans make any decisions:

    http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2016/08/texans-down-on-cruz.html

    “Finally we covered some sports issues:

    -Texas leads the state in college sports loyalty with 26% to 16% for Texas A&M, 12% for Houston, 9% for Texas Tech, and 6% each for Baylor and Texas Christian. Both Longhorn fans (36/9 approval for Charlie Strong) and Aggie fans (38/9 approval for Kevin Sumlin) give pretty limited support to their coaches- there aren’t that many totally unhappy with them but there aren’t too many thrilled with them either. 43% of voters in the state support allowing Houston to join the Big 12 to only 7% who are opposed to that. What’s maybe more interesting though is how fans in the state’s existing Big 12 fan bases feel about adding Houston- Texas fans support it 47/5, Texas Tech fans support it 56/10, Baylor fans support it 67/3, and TCU fans support it 65/1. It’s safe to say there’s not much resistance at least from the fans of rival schools for letting the Cougars in.

    -Cowboys fans outnumbers Texans fans in the state 46/33. Tony Romo has a 39/24 favorability rating in the state but voters aren’t too impressed with his football skills. Only 30% think he is a elite Quarterback to 35% who say he is not elite and 35% who are not sure. We also asked who people think would do the best job at QB for the Cowboys in the year 2016 and only 28% picked Romo to 27% who picked Troy Aikman (who’s 49 years old) and 19% who picked Roger Staubach (who’s 74 years old).

    -The Rangers win out on baseball loyalties 44/31. Jeff Bannister has a 31/5 approval spread with Rangers fans, while AJ Hinch is at 30/8 with Astros fans.”

    Like

    • urbanleftbehind says:

      This is only micro-tangentially related to the topic of your posting – I think the Chicago ’16 Olympic bid would have succeeded had they planned to repurpose US Cellular in reverse – moved the Sox to a closer-in South Loop park prior to the 2014 season and then refashioned the Cell into an Olympic track/field venue. It was much closer to the Olympic Village (old Michael Reese hospital) than the planned temp stadium at 59th and Cottage Grove – and they could have kept the multi-color swirlilng scoreboard and used that as part of the Games logo.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        No US bid will win until we start matching the bribes to the IOC that everyone else pays. Besides, the Olympics are terrible business. Most hosts lose tons of money. You’re better off just spending a fraction of the money on your actual infrastructure needs.

        Like

    • Brian says:

      Leath also addressed recent concerns by LGBT advocacy groups over BYU’s possible inclusion, saying, “If we get to considering BYU seriously, that will be a topic that comes up.”

      “I’m getting considerable input on both sides of the issue,” said Leath, referring to emails he’s received. “It’s a school of integrity, they play by the rules, quality program, and people that have been there had great experiences and we should consider BYU. I’m getting an equal number that send me their Honor Code, their [discomfort] with a number of their social issues. And then there’s a smaller group that says from a logistical standpoint, the fact they can’t compete on Sundays, the complexity especially of schools as far as away as West Virginia make it unworkable.

      “I’m getting more input from individuals on BYU than any other school.”

      Like

  51. Jersey Bernie says:

    ccrider. You are correct that Ga State should immediately become a Big 12 target. What is truly unfair is that only 18 or 19 G5 schools are being “interviewed” or “considered”. What about the other 40 or so? Isn’t there an obligation to give them a chance to meet with the Big 12.

    I also think that only about 9 of the AAC 12 teams are in the mix. What about the last 3? This is just evil and unfair.

    A touch more seriously, it does show how out of whack the system is when nearly every team in the AAC supplicates itself to grab onto a P5 league, even it that league may be quite shaky in seven or eight years.

    Utah and Rutgers really did manage to get the last seats on the lifeboats away from sinking leagues. I wonder how those fools on the Rutgers boards who are complaining about the amount of their B1G payoffs would be acting right now if they were begging for membership in this league that is mostly 1000 miles or more away from NJ.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      You are totally wrong. 10 of the 12 AAC schools ARE being considered! All but Navy and Tulsa. And there is a token MAC (NIU), a token CUSA (Rice), a token Sun Belt (Arkansas St.) and an Independent (BYU). Maybe with all this politically correct inclusion of all the G5 conferences, BYU has something to fear!

      Like

      • Jersey Bernie says:

        bullet, I stand corrected. I understand that Navy is a special case.

        I think Tulsa is getting screwed. This is terrible. Tulsa has the same right to be rejected and disappointed as the other AAC teams. I bet that OU and OkState are afraid of the competition from Tulsa. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

        The Big 12 certainly could have three football teams from the State of Oklahoma. After all there are four teams from Texas, so why not three from Oklahoma?

        It is good that all of the G5 conferences are at least represented in this ridiculous farce called Big 12 expansion.

        Like

    • vp19 says:

      If Syracuse had been more diligent about its AAU status, SU’s superior athetic tradition probably would have enabled the Orange to leapfrog Rutgers as Maryland’s partner.

      Like

      • ccrider55 says:

        Doubtful. As expansion was beginning to be contemplated in late eighties and research being done Rutgers was surprisingly showing up in the very short list of desirable (non athletic) institutions. Add that they’re the only D1 in the post populous area in country, SYracust not likely to have supplanted them.

        Like

      • Jersey Bernie says:

        I am not sure why Syracuse would really be in the mix for the B1G. Cuse is 240 miles from NYC, or further than Washington, DC or Boston are from NYC. Cuse does not bring the NYC market.

        Syracuse is a private university and certainly not a representative of the State of NY. Being a flagship state research university certainly is important to the B1G.

        As far as tradition, Cuse’s football tradition is there, but goes back a long way in time.

        If we are giving out AAU memberships, wouldn’t UConn be as good a choice or better than Cuse for the B1G? (Yes, UConn zero football, but basketball arguably even better than Cuse) . Connecticut is probably a better TV market than upstate NY. (And I still think that there is no basis for UConn to be invited).

        Further. neither upstate NY nor Connecticut do anything for recruiting.

        Rutgers was invited for the NYC and NJ markets. Period.

        With Maryland, the B1G grabbed control of the NYC to Washington area. Lots of recruits and lots of TV eyeballs.

        Last thing, are you sure that Syracuse is interested in the AAU? Cuse research funding is tiny.

        http://www.syracuse.com/su-news/index.ssf/2015/07/syracuse_university_looks_to_r.html

        Like

    • phil says:

      I call BS on Jersey Bernie.

      When a fool surfaces on the RU Rivals board complaining about the payouts they are quickly drowned out by the multitudes who understand the B1G was the best thing to happen to Rutgers.

      Like

      • Jersey Bernie says:

        Phil, excuse me, did I say that EVERYONE (or even most people) posting about RU say that the B1G should give more money to RU? Do you read the NJ.com boards? When the issue comes up a meaningful minority complain – at least 1/3 of the posters complain about the amount of money to RU. Many others, myself included, try to explain it to them, generally to no avail.

        My statement was, ” I wonder how those fools on the Rutgers boards who are complaining about the amount of their B1G payoffs would be acting right now if they were begging for membership in this league that is mostly 1000 miles or more away from NJ.”

        Exactly which part of this is incorrect? My point was and still is that the people complaining would probably be crying the loudest now that it is unfair. I did not say that all posters were fools, only those complaining about the B1G share.

        Like

  52. Brian says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/ranking-2016-college-football-nonconference-schedule-strength/

    Ranking the OOC schedules for all the P5 teams by conference and the top 10 nationally.

    The Big Ten has not been able to dethrone the SEC on the field, but there is one area of SEC dominance that now belongs to the Big Ten – scheduling home nonconference games. No league schedules more home nonconference games year in and year out than the SEC, and it’s rarely close, but this season, the Big Ten will play a whopping 81 percent of its 42 nonconference games at home. And that doesn’t count the LSU-Wisconsin game in Green Bay, which is considered neutral. Beginning with this season, Big Ten teams are playing one fewer nonconference game, and it appears that most teams cut road games.

    You really can’t blame teams like Purdue and Illinois for scheduling only home games. They need any advantage they can get. But what’s your excuse, Michigan? You too, Iowa. Not only are the Hawkeyes playing only home games, but their toughest foe may be five-time defending FCS champion North Dakota State. In fact, the Bison are arguably better than any of the nonconference opponents of Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota and Purdue.

    That doesn’t mean there are no marquee games. Ohio State will play at Oklahoma in a game that figures to have major playoff implications, and Michigan State will travel to Notre Dame. Also, while it’s not necessarily a big game on the national landscape, Penn State and Pittsburgh are renewing their rivalry, which hasn’t been played since 2000.

    1 Ohio State Bowling Green, Tulsa, AT Oklahoma
    2 Michigan State Furman, AT Notre Dame, BYU
    3 Wisconsin LSU, Akron, Georgia State
    4 Penn State Kent State, AT Pittsburgh, Temple
    5 Nebraska Fresno State, Wyoming, Oregon
    6 Rutgers AT Washington, Howard, New Mexico
    7 Illinois Murray State, North Carolnia, Western Michigan
    8 Northwestern Western Michigan, Illinois State, Duke
    9 Maryland Howard, AT FIU, AT UCF
    10 Indiana AT FIU, Ball State, Wake Forest
    11 Iowa Miami (OH), Iowa State, North Dakota State
    12 Michigan Hawaii, UCF, Colorado
    13 Minnesota Oregon State, Indiana State, Colorado State
    14 Purdue Eastern Kentucky, Cincinnati, Nevada

    Like

  53. Brian says:

    http://www.campusrush.com/college-football-superconference-podcast-money-down-1978031349.html

    A podcast discusses a fun issue: Which 8 schools would you pick if you had to form your own superconference?

    If you were starting a conference from scratch and could pick any teams you wanted, which schools would you choose? That is the question hosts Andy Staples and Lindsay Schnell debate on the Campus Rush Podcast. Do they opt for the best games, the most money or an even geographical distribution? They each pick the eight schools they’d want for the Andy Athletic Conference and Lindsay’s Great Eight Conference.

    Lindsay: AL, UF, Clemson, OSU, MI, USC, UT, OR
    Went for best games, ignored geography

    Andy: OSU, AL, UT, MI, USC, ND, LSU, FSU
    Went for max $

    Noted that they left out: UGA, OU, PSU

    It’s really hard to limit it to just 8.

    My first attempt: OSU, MI, ND, USC, OU, UT, UF, AL

    Like

    • houstontexasjack says:

      Based on the biggest names in the biggest markets and only really concerned with football.

      Texas, USC, Florida, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Alabama (smaller market but impossible to ignore given their history and recent results).

      Just missed out:

      Oklahoma, Georgia, LSU, Florida State

      Like

    • bob sykes says:

      Just remember, you have to flesh out the conference with schools like Purdue and Rutgers so that the kings can demonstrate their kingliness. In a conference with only kings, everyone would go 6 and 6, and no one would qualify for the playoffs. They would barely qualify for the lesser bowl games.

      This, by the way, is well-known to the kings in every conference, and it is the reason they stay with the princesses.

      Like

      • Brian says:

        I’m assuming that’s one reason for keeping it to 8 teams. You can balance them with 8 others of lesser football status. Otherwise it means 7 conference games at most with 5+ OOC games to pad the schedule.

        Like

      • bullet says:

        Well then you could balance USC, Texas, Oklahoma, Ohio ST., Michigan, Florida and Alabama with North Carolina.

        Like

    • loki_the_bubba says:

      Rice, Tulane, Vandy, Duke, Miami, Wake Forest, Navy,Tulsa

      Like

  54. houstontexasjack says:

    @Brian It occurs to me our only differences were Penn State and Oklahoma.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Yep. I really considered PSU, but I decided they had been down and ND brought many of the eastern fans anyway. I tried to keep regional rivalries together as much as possible so I kept OU to play UT. It felt too B10 biased if I kept PSU.

      There are other conferences I’d like to make, though:

      A. Old time B10 for OSU – OSU, MI, IA, WI, IL, MN, PU, IN

      I had to cut 1 school and there really wasn’t a clear choice. MN is the farthest away and OSU’s least frequent opponent, but they have 3 big rivalries. I settled on NW because they are the lone private school, have only been good again for the past 20 years or so and OSU doesn’t have all that many alumni in Chicago. The down side is that NW was a much more frequent opponent than some of the schools I kept.

      B. Geography matters – OSU, MI, PSU, ND, WI, MSU, IA, NE

      Like

  55. http://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/big-12-expansion-prez-sheds-light-on-byus-role-process-may-extend-into-winter/

    I’m still shocked that Bullet brings up A&M almost every post. 15 years ago UT still had a lesbian coach that was sleeping with students and yet UT still claims those national titles. 15 years ago gay marriage wasn’t even on the political radar. So yes, 15 years ago A&M was much more conservative as was Texas.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      You definitely sound like a typical paranoid Aggie. I’m not sure when I last mentioned A&M on here. Months? Only an Aggie would be offended by being called something they pride themselves on being, conservative. A&M is without doubt the most conservative major public university in the country. Since I’m conservative, I’m not insulting A&M by calling them conservative.

      And being an Aggie, you think everything is about you. It was a comment that Baylor isn’t nearly as conservative as everyone assumes them to be. They draw a lot of typical suburban, middle class kids. The 15 year comment was because A&M has added 10,000 students and grown and changed quite a bit and been impacted by the 10% rule. It probably still has more conservative students and faculty on average than Baylor, but I am less certain of that than of their relative positions 15 years ago.

      And you make up and distort stuff as is another Aggie tradition. Bev Kearney had a consensual relationship with a single track athlete who was over the age of consent. Texas fired her for crossing the line of coach/student-athlete. And she sued Texas claiming SHE was a victim of racial and gender discrimination. That suit is ongoing.

      Like

  56. Brian says:

    http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/17345898/ken-starr-resigns-law-professor-severs-ties-baylor-bears

    Ken Starr has resigned from Baylor entirely. Curious how this happened in small steps rather than in one big headline-making step.

    Like

  57. Brian says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/baylor-wide-receiver-shown-in-video-brutally-disciplining-dog/

    Lloyd Carr is stepping down from the CFP committee due to health issues so there will be only 12 committee members this year.

    Like

  58. ccrider55 says:

    I guess Tramel should just be lobbying for FB only invites.

    “The fewer round-robin sports that BYU and UConn would bring into the Big 12, the better. That’s harsh. That’s hardball. But that’s the reality. Texas Tech or OSU don’t want to send their softball team or soccer team to New England on a regular basis.”

    http://m.newsok.com/tramel-why-uconn-should-join-byu-as-big-12s-best-expansion-candidates/article/5514715?custom_click=rss

    If this happened it’s a sign of a dead conference walking, IMHO. Here, join us and make millions more. Just don’t bring your athletic dept. We want to select which conference sponsored sports you can participate in. (Psst, you’re not really members. Shhhh)

    Like

    • Brian says:

      I have a lot of issues with what he wrote.

      The Atlantic Coast Conference consistently has skipped over UConn, for reasons both valid (lethargic football) and invalid (politics; the Boston Globe reported that Boston College blocked Connecticut from the conference). But if given a redo, the ACC almost surely would prefer UConn to Syracuse or Boston College.

      I don’t agree. If the ACC really felt that way they wouldn’t have avoided adding UConn. They would’ve ignored any complaints from BC.

      You are known by the company you keep. Academically, Connecticut and BYU are ahead of the other candidates. For what it’s worth, U.S. News & World Report’s 2015 rankings of American universities has Texas 52nd, UConn 57th and BYU 66th.

      What it’s worth is exactly nothing.

      ARWU (US rank):
      27. UT
      79-102. UC, UH
      103-125. BYU, UConn

      Times Higher Ed (US rank):
      25. UT
      92t. UC, UConn
      99t. UH
      Unranked. BYU

      The changing face of television means traditional network contracts will become less important and digital distributions will become more important. Cable homes won’t mean as much. Homes that will purchase Big 12-specific events will mean more. UConn in the Big 12 would mean more digital sales than Houston or Memphis or Cincinnati could provide.

      I don’t think traditional network deals are going anywhere. Digital value will be important in the future, but how many UConn fans will pay for football games? UH and UC have lots of football fans and basketball fans.

      If the state of Connecticut was just north or east of Kansas, or just east of Texas and Oklahoma, all would be grand. But Connecticut is just east of New York and just south of Massachusetts. So some concessions are necessary.

      Starting with this. UConn and BYU should be encouraged to drop some of the sports that require round-robin schedules. Sports like baseball, softball, women’s volleyball and women’s soccer conduct weekly conference competition. Sports like tennis, golf, track and swimming don’t.

      The fewer round-robin sports that BYU and UConn would bring into the Big 12, the better. That’s harsh. That’s hardball. But that’s the reality. Texas Tech or OSU don’t want to send their softball team or soccer team to New England on a regular basis.

      This is the lesson learned from West Virginia. The Mountaineers had a virtually dormant baseball program when they entered the Big 12. WVU built a new stadium, improved the program and has done a great job with baseball. But the conference would have been better off if West Virginia had dropped the program and focused its resources elsewhere. That way, there would be no cross-country trips every week in the conference.

      Here I quoted more context. Have schools drop sports to join? Drop women’s sports? Has he heard of title IX? I agree he’s making a case for football-only members without realizing it.

      But would any of the Big 12 candidates be a solid football addition, other than BYU? Not much chance, with the possible exception of Houston.

      Here’s what we’ve learned about conference realignment. Schools perform in their new leagues very much like they performed in their old leagues.

      You are what you are. A conference can change a school’s budget and profile. It’s not likely to change its football fortunes.

      UC’s finishes in conference lately (in reverse order): 3rd*^, 1st*, 3rd, 1st*, 1st*, 7th, 1st, 1st, 3rd*, 4th*

      * – tied for position
      ^ – in division (all other years there were no divisions)

      UConn’s finishes in conference lately (in reverse order): 3rd*^, 10th*, 6th*, 6th*, 6th, 1st*, 4th*, 5th, 1st*, 7th

      In the same conference, UConn beat UC in the conference race only twice plus had 1 tie. By his own theory, UC should project as an upper third team in the B12. UC topped UH in 2 of the 3 years they shared a conference, too.

      Like

  59. Brian says:

    http://collegefootball.ap.org/poll

    The AP pre-season poll is out:

    1. AL – 33
    2. Clemson – 16
    3. OU – 4
    4. FSU – 5
    5. LSU – 1
    6. OSU – 1
    7. MI – 1
    8. Stanford
    9. TN
    10. ND

    12. MSU
    17. IA

    The top 7 all have #1 votes as shown above.

    By conference:
    SEC – 6
    ACC, B10, B12 – 4
    P12 – 5
    Other – 2 (ND, UH)

    Like

    • Brian says:

      http://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/ranking-the-10-biggest-preseason-ap-top-25-poll-flops-over-past-10-years/

      The 10 biggest AP preseason poll flops over the past decade.

      So let’s dig into how right and wrong these rankings are.

      * Beware, No. 1 Alabama. No preseason AP No. 1 has finished No. 1 since USC in 2004. Eight of the past nine preseason No. 1s didn’t reach the College Football Playoff or play for the Bowl Championship Series title. Only Florida State in 2014 cracked through — and then got trounced by Oregon in the semifinals. Five of the past eight preseason No. 1s finished ranked No. 7 or lower, though that hasn’t happened yet in the playoff era.

      * Here’s a friendly reminder of how last year’s final AP top 10 teams were ranked in the preseason, in order: Alabama (No. 3), Clemson (No. 12), Stanford (No. 21), Ohio State (No. 1), Oklahoma (No. 19), Michigan State (No. 5), TCU (No. 2), Houston (no votes), Iowa (no votes), Ole Miss (No. 17). In other words, the media went 4-6 in correctly picking top-10 teams. Coaches would get fired with that kind of record.

      * For nine straight years, at least three preseason AP top 10 teams finished the season with four or more losses. Or to put it another way: 36 percent of the preseason top-10 teams since 2007 ended with four to eight losses. The odds are that three of these teams will be a major disappointment in 2016: Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma, Florida State, LSU, Ohio State, Michigan, Stanford, Tennessee and Notre Dame.

      * There’s a more alarming, but not surprising, stat for coaches. Since 2007, 19 percent of the preseason top 10 coaches were out of a job within two years, either by getting fired, forced out or retiring amid struggles.

      The list of 10 all started in the top 10. 6 lost 6 games (5 went 7-6, 1 went 8-6), 2 went 5-7 and 2 went 4-8.

      Like

    • Brian says:

      http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/rankings/2016/08/21/college-football-preseason-ap-associated-press-poll-amway-coaches/89072872/

      Comparing the AP and Coaches polls.

      As with the Amway Coaches Poll, the media voting in the AP poll picked Alabama No. 1. And for the second year in a row, the same 25 teams occupy both preseason polls.

      In the AP poll, Alabama got 33 of 61 possible first-place votes (54 percent), followed by Clemson (16), Florida State (5), Oklahoma (4) and LSU, Ohio State and Michigan (1 apiece).

      The coaches were more certain about the Tide’s chances to repeat, even though No. 1 defending champion has started the season at the top and finished there since USA TODAY began administering the Coaches Poll in 1991.

      Alabama received 55 of 64 first-place votes (86 percent) from the coaches. Clemson (7), Florida State and Tennessee (1 apiece) got the others. At No. 2, Clemson has its highest preseason ranking in both polls.

      Both polls have the same 10 teams in the top 10. But after No. 4 Florida State, everything is flip-flopped.

      In the AP poll, No. 5 LSU is ahead of Ohio State instead of vice versa, Michigan is ahead of Stanford and Tennessee is ahead of Notre Dame. The same switch occurred at Nos. 11 and 12 with Michigan State and Mississippi.

      The coaches have Houston two spots higher than the AP, and they did the same with Iowa, Georgia, Oklahoma State, North Carolina, Baylor and Oregon. The coaches have Washington four spots lower at 18 instead of 14.

      The AP has UCLA at No. 16 and Louisville at No. 19. The coaches have those two teams at Nos. 24 and 23, respectively.

      If you expand the coaches poll to look at any team that received a vote, it breaks down as SEC 10, Big Ten and Pac-12 eight, ACC seven, Big 12 five, AAC four and Independents, Mountain West, Conference USA and MAC two apiece and Sun Belt 1.

      The AAC, ACC, Big Ten, C-USA, MAC, Pac-12, SEC and Sun Belt each had one more team receiving votes in the coaches poll, but that is partly due to the coaches poll having 64 voters and the AP poll 61.

      Like

  60. ccrider55 says:

    Kyle Snyder, Ohio State heavy wt. NCAA wrestling champ and world 97kg champ, is now Olympic 97kg champ.

    And only 20 years old.

    Like

    • Brian says:

      Youngest US FILA Junior World Champion in 20 years
      Youngest US Beat the Streets All-Star wrestler ever
      Youngest 2-time Junior World medalist ever
      Youngest US World Champion wrestler ever
      NCAA heavyweight champion as the lightest man in the field (226lbs – max is 285)
      Youngest US Olympic Gold Medal winning wrestler ever

      He won the World Championship, NCAA title and Olympic gold in less than a year, and he still has 2 years left in college.

      Like

  61. Mike says:

    Back to the topic at hand. Remember, you can’t have it both ways. Either BYU and the LGBT groups are both wrong. Or BYU is right and LGBT groups are wrong.

    You can’t claim BYU has bigotry for defending a moral tenet they believe in and then defend LGBT groups which try to ostracize BYU because they don’t agree with BYU. If BYU’s religious tenets are bigotry then the LGBT groups are involved in religious bigotry. No group has the right to tell a religious organization that’s its stance on which sexual acts are okay and which aren’t okay must change “or else”. That means LGBT groups are involved in religious bigotry and discrimination by imploring, first the NCAA, and then secondly the Big 12 to reject BYU.

    The bottom line is that these militant groups want BYU to be completely eliminated as an athletic entity (and probably as a University) unless BYU revokes its religious tenets and and accepts that the sex acts are okay that these militant groups are espousing. And that is a gross injustice.

    Like

    • bullet says:

      Its not really supposed to be the topic. The topic is the impact on expansion.

      And there is no “wrong” except for the people thinking there is only one obvious answer. There are different moral codes at issue here and moral codes are not by their nature “right” or “wrong.” You can only judge “right” or “wrong” by your own choice of values and the relative weight you put on your values.

      Like

      • Mike says:

        Bullet, you are right in saying no one can say what the right answer is. Everyone’s opinions are jaded and everyone has different values. That what makes America great. The diversity of opinions, beliefs, and differing morals. BYU says let us live our religion and LGBT groups can live what they believe, too. LGBT groups don’t give BYU the same courtesy. That’s religious bigotry.

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          Nothing is preventing BYU from living their chosen religion. Some of their supporters aren’t accepting that how it effects others (and their just as strongly held moral convictions) is just as viable a concern. I’m sure leadership is well aware of this, and that consequences may very well attach. It has nothing to do with relegious bigotry and everything to do with conforming with the norm of a group you want to join as a condition of joining. No one is forcing them to join. In fact, quite the opposite.

          Like

      • Tyson says:

        “And there is no “wrong” except for the people thinking there is only one obvious answer. There are different moral codes at issue here and moral codes are not by their nature “right” or “wrong.” You can only judge “right” or “wrong” by your own choice of values and the relative weight you put on your values.”

        Bullet…this is moral relativism and it is one of the primary drivers of the decay of societal norms today. By abandoning the moral code found in Judeo-Christian scripture we have become a nation of “free agents”, morally speaking…in such a climate, no belief or value can be dismissed and all must be accorded the same standing. In other words, ISIS and their ilk, to name just one example, has just as legitimate a claim on truth and virtue as you do.

        There actually IS truth and it is the Word of God. This deeply offends some people–it always has–but that doesn’t change the fact that God has given us a complete set of guidelines regarding moral law. And no, that doesn’t mean there won’t be room for argument/interpretation even among the faithful. But at the very least there must be recognition that the final word on such matters does not lie within our own capricious whims

        Like

        • bullet says:

          I’m speaking more specifically about this issue. How much priority do you place on treating everyone the same? How much priority do you put on freedom of religion? People who value everyone treated the same will deny freedom of association to bakers and photographers if they refuse participate in a gay wedding against their beliefs, but will argue freedom of association to put economic pressure on fundamentalist Christians or Mormons. There may be hundreds of bakers and photographers but they see it as discrimination that must not be allowed. There may be 1 P5 conference expanding, but they see it as freedom of association because they value what they see as fair treatment more than freedom of religion.

          Personally, I think the economic pressure by the left (not necessarily in BYU’s Big 12 case, but definitely in their accreditation issues), is threatening freedom of religion and freedom of speech. If you don’t have freedom to speak and earn a living, you don’t have “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” People are getting fired (and not just TV personalities) for expressing widely held religious and conservative views, not just extreme viewpoints.

          Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Liked by 1 person

          • ccrider55 says:

            A little blunter than I’d phrase it, but that pretty much states what free speech protection doesn’t mean.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            And since you put that in here, I’ll put this (***warning***-political article-but it expresses concern about Clinton AND Trump AND the American people as well): http://thefederalist.com/2016/08/22/the-coming-free-speech-apocalypse/
            “Among younger Americans—millennials—the polls indicate a staggering opposition to freedom of speech: out of 800 students polled at colleges across the country, more than a third believed the First Amendment does not protect “hate speech,” with a third also claiming the First Amendment is “outdated;” more than half believe colleges should have speech codes to police the speech of students and professors.”

            1/3 of those students believe the 1st amendment is “outdated.” 1984 needs to be required reading.

            Remember, individuals CAN be charged with the crime of violating people’s civil rights, not just the government.

            And to tie it in to the blog, the Presidents have to deal with those students who may view BYU’s honor code as “hate speech” that should not be protected in any way. As the article points out, other western countries do not have the same protection of speech that we have.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            I didn’t realize our free speech rights began in 2010. Who knew?

            Interesting, but looks like an assumption that HRC wins and the corporate defense of Citizens United is already starting. Speech = money. Do we have a 1st amendment problem with those supporting foreign interests acting against the US interest? Are there rules limiting/prohibiting certain uses/transfers of money?

            A commercial corporation is a person when it signs up for selective service, produces a live birth document, etc. not when its board decides to financially support any (left or right) particular political effort. Every owner/investor is free to support from their own pocket, in whatever way they choose (pooled or individually), but only after the money has left the corporation and has become the personally controlled property of an actual living, breathing person.
            At least that’s my opinion. But as Frank might say, think like a S C Justice…and that’s well above my pay grade.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            bullet,

            “I’m speaking more specifically about this issue. How much priority do you place on treating everyone the same? How much priority do you put on freedom of religion? People who value everyone treated the same will deny freedom of association to bakers and photographers if they refuse participate in a gay wedding against their beliefs, but will argue freedom of association to put economic pressure on fundamentalist Christians or Mormons. There may be hundreds of bakers and photographers but they see it as discrimination that must not be allowed. There may be 1 P5 conference expanding, but they see it as freedom of association because they value what they see as fair treatment more than freedom of religion.”

            Or people could see absolutely no freedom of religion issue in this specific case. Bakers bake cakes and photographers take pictures. It’s what they do. If they choose to create a licensed business that includes weddings, then they need to treat all weddings as equal. They are not part of the event and so their religion is not a factor. They can freely practice their religion by refusing to work on the sabbath, dressing appropriately, etc. What they can’t do is pick and choose weddings based on certain things like race or sexual orientation. If they don’t like that, then they should stop servicing weddings.

            “Personally, I think the economic pressure by the left (not necessarily in BYU’s Big 12 case, but definitely in their accreditation issues), is threatening freedom of religion and freedom of speech.”

            I think that’s very much the opinion of a majority member starting to feel a touch of what the minorities have felt for a long time. How do you think the 1 person of another religion felt when all the Christians around him talked about their views as obviously correct and how sinful and evil people who disagreed were? Did that make for a fun work environment? You can sub in the 1 homosexual or the 1 transgender person and get the same idea. Even worse was being the 1 racial minority since they usually couldn’t hide being different. But ask some of the blacks that used to pass for white in the 50s and 60s what life was like listening to a roomful of white people that hatred blacks talk. Majority members are used to getting what they want and trampling those who are different without thought. When their rights start to become equal suddenly freedom has been lost.

            “If you don’t have freedom to speak and earn a living, you don’t have “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” People are getting fired (and not just TV personalities) for expressing widely held religious and conservative views, not just extreme viewpoints.”

            The xkcd cartoon is perfectly correct about what freedom of speech means. You’ve never had the right to say whatever you want to whomever you want and be immune from consequences. Otherwise all of us would’ve talked very differently to some of our bosses, neighbors and co-workers over the years. There’s a reason why they used to say one should never discuss politics or religion in polite company. Those discussions are best had amongst people who already agree or are looking to argue for the sake of arguing since nobody ever changes their mind.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Ignore the trump angle. Here’s an example of religious (in)tolerance. To your point about the youth not understanding, isn’t that always the case? Not sure whether to be encouraged or discouraged by the last line.

            http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2016/08/covington-s-planned-mosque?fsrc=scn/tw/te/bl/ed/

            Like

          • Tyson says:

            Bullet, you are 100% correct. The interesting thing is, Christians have had it so easy for so long, it will be interesting to see what positions people take when the real persecutions begin. What we are seeing now is just the tip of the iceberg. The secularists have a “religion” and it is based on sexual deviance and their fervor and zeal is as intense as anything you will witness from ISIS. Its tenets are 1) sexual preference is genetic, can’t be chosen; 2) sexual identity is fluid and is a decision; 3) marriage is an antiquated construct, and the traditional nuclear family is an anachronism; 4) abortion on demand can never be limited. Any viewpoint which contradicts these beliefs is anathema and cannot be tolerated and will be punished. And make no mistake, this is the prevailing view among a majority of young people. And it is carrying over to other areas which will ultimately allow for state control of our lives –health care and climate change. There are actually movements afoot to make the assertion that man-made climate change is a hoax a criminal offense!
            But back to your original point, when the rubber meets the road will be when Anti-Christ requires us to submit to the mark of the Beast in order to participate in commerce, etc. Will believers sacrifice their soul to remain part of a corrupt, evil world order? It’s decision time for all of us.And sadly, even among the Church today, there are many pulpits preaching only what “tickles the ears” of the listeners, rather than giving them the Truth

            Like

          • I remember Bullet had mentioned earlier in the thread that there weren’t many depictions in Hollywood of religion. The New York Times TV critics actually just had a discussion posted today about this very issue of the difficulty in finding many depictions of faith on television in general:

            http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/28/arts/television/greenleaf-oprah-winfrey-transparent-the-path.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

            I agree with the portion where they note that comedies actually can (and do) depict religion better than many dramas, such as The Simpsons, Jim Gaffigan, South Park and black-ish, since they often show religion as incorporated into everyday lives in a manner that’s similar to real life. In contrast, dramas often use religion or religious characters as specific plot points. Anyway, it’s an interesting read.

            On a side note, if any of you have ever seen The Book of Mormon musical written by the South Park creators (HIGHLY recommended as it was probably the funniest 3 hours of my life), it managed to be both a searing critique of religious doctrine itself (e.g. it essentially challenges the audience to consider how is it possible that people believe what Joseph Smith claimed that he saw, which in turn also makes you question how is it possible that people believe any story that any religion provides in literal sense) while also being incredibly supportive of how much hope that religion as a whole can provide to people (which the world needs). Essentially, the broad principles and hope that religion provide to people are quite important and needed in this world, whereas those that are strictly dogmatic and get lost in literal doctrine are not seeing the proverbial forest for the trees.

            Like

          • bullet says:

            @Brian;
            You make a point I was thinking about. In the McCarthy era in the 50s, conservatives were weeding out “undesirables” and liberals were concerned they would be caught up and were concerned about people’s rights. Now the roles are reversed with liberals trying to weed out “undesirables.”

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            Bullet:

            I don’t think liberalism allows for such an effort, at least in my understanding of it’s meaning. I know many efforts defending expression of conservative, and even near universally considered objectionable (ACLU defending nazi right to march). I know a number of conservative defended liberals rights half a century ago.
            I think you’re ascribing the dogmatism backing the flavor de jour as an essential part of that flavor. Dogmatism on either end is equally unhealthy to open expression.

            Like

        • Jersey Bernie says:

          bullet, sadly the media, major newspapers, TV stations, etc., are doing nothing to protect freedom of speech. Papers like the NY Times, Wash Post, etc., agree that the Citizens United case was wrongly decided.

          The problem that the media seems to be ignoring is that if freedom of speech is restrained, they are next. Freedom of the press in the Constitution related to pamphlets, etc. The NY Times has no special protection under the 1st Amendment, even if they think that they do.

          In theory, every blogger is as much part of the press as any newspaper. Thomas Paine would be very surprised to know that one must be employed by the Associated Press to be entitled to freedom of the press.

          Instead of educating people, the press pretty much agrees on restrictions of speech – so long as it is the wrong speech- and they decide what is right and what is wrong. That is a very dangerous road to follow.

          The fact that a huge number of college students think that “hate speech” is unconstitutional merely shows that their education is sadly lacking. In many cases, they have learned propaganda, not what the Constitution really says or how it has been interpreted by the US S.Ct.

          Like

          • Jersey Bernie says:

            ccrider, then we must presume that the NY Times is a person when it registers for the draft.

            Freedom of speech and freedom of the press go together. As I said in my prior email, freedom of the press in the Constitution protected pamphleteers, not just those who had formal newspapers.

            And unions should also be precluded from political donations or political speech, since a union cannot register or give birth.

            What is the legal distinction between a corporation and a union for this purpose? It is not that union membership is voluntary, since membership is generally not voluntary.

            Is it that shareholders own a corporation, members own an LLC, and no one “owns” a union? Why does that impact speech?

            If that is the difference, then it has nothing to do with being a natural person, as opposed to an entity.

            If there were really full total public funding of elections, and newspapers were required to publish news and not opinion (impossible and unconstitutional), then corporations and unions could be banned from giving money to campaigns.

            Another problem is that as badly as big money controls politics now, unless all money is banned from politics, banning corporations or unions could just allow super wealthy people to have even move influence.

            Like

          • Jersey Bernie says:

            Not prior email, prior message. Oops.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            JerseyB:

            A union IS the people. A corporation is a legal business entity that people may create and/or purchase a part (or all) of and thereby “own”(like real estate or a vehicle).

            That said, I have no problem with union members having to opt in (with no penalty for choosing not to) to contributing to a political cause. Same for corporation stock holders. It should make Union leaders, and investors aware of and control over political use of their dollars. In theory the result would be a more responsive leadership.

            Like

          • Jersey Bernie says:

            ccrider, I agree with you that if union members had an opt out on political contributions, they would be different than corporate entities. Now that is generally not the case. As far as opt out by corporate shareholders, it seems that is not possible. The shareholders could vote to have the entity make no political contributions, but I cannot see how one s/h could opt out.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            JerseyB:

            1-Court says Union members not required to contribute to political effort, but must petition for return of that money. Not an opt in/out check box.

            2-therefore a corporation (and its money) is not a person. The actual people that own shares should use their own money to contribute alone, or to a dedicated political entity representing like minded shareholders – not the company.

            Like

          • Jersey Bernie says:

            ccrider, yes, union members have the legal right to opt out. As a practical matter, many union members either do not know it or, for whatever reason, do not use that right.

            As Forbes magazine has stated”

            “According to the Center for Responsive Politics, 92% of unions’ political spending went to Democrats in the last presidential election cycle. Meanwhile, 40% of union households voted for Mitt Romney in 2012.”

            You are correct regarding the legal right. My issue is that as a practical matter, union members do not have much more right than shareholders to opt out.

            In any event, I believe that the court was correct in “Citizens United”. You may disagree.

            I cannot say that you do not have a legitimate point, even though I disagree.

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Jersey Bernie,

            “You are correct regarding the legal right. My issue is that as a practical matter, union members do not have much more right than shareholders to opt out.”

            Which is why neither group should get to donate money to campaigns. All federal elections should be purely publicly funded and all the BS with super PACs and PACs needs to be halted.

            “In any event, I believe that the court was correct in “Citizens United”. You may disagree.”

            It is widely considered one of the worst SC decisions ever, including by members of the court, so it’s not just cc who disagrees.

            Like

          • ccrider55 says:

            “My issue is that as a practical matter, union members do not have much more right than shareholders to opt out.”

            No, union members can. Shareholders can’t. Whether union members exercise that right or not is immaterial. As to them not knowing they can, BS. Multiple times a day, for years, I’ve heard the ads promoting exercising that right on fox, sports and talk radio.

            “I cannot say that you do not have a legitimate point, even though I disagree.”

            Thanks. Who knows what the future may bring. I’m sure I won’t be asked my opinion by anyone of actual influence.

            Like

          • Jersey Bernie says:

            Brian, what does widely considered mean? Yes, people who disagree with it think that it was terrible. The NY Times and Wash Post think that it was wrong. I am not sure that the Post went this far, but the Times went nuts over this case. The Times and Post disagree with the ruling. So? They do not get votes on the S. Ct. the last time that I looked.

            Hillary Clinton hates it because it actually related to criticism of her. OK, I understand that.

            There are plenty of scholarly works that criticize Citizens United and plenty of other works that support the ruling, but the authors do not get votes either.

            Do you have a basis for saying that is Citizens United is “widely considered” to be anything, expect by people who disagree with it? I would imagine that people who agree with the decision “widely think” that it was correct.

            A large number of people went crazy. Another group thinks that Citizens is absolutely correct.

            Did any members of the S Ct who voted with the majority now state that it was wrongly decided, or are there now members who voted in the minority who now claim that they were correct? That would not be surprising.

            Are you talking about retired Justices who were not on the Court to hear the case? Determine the voting pattern of each of those retired Justices and it might be easy to guess their opinion on Citizens United.

            By the way, we know that there is no popular vote regarding the correctness of Supreme Court opinions.

            Justices at times think that opinions were wrong. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one of the most liberal members of the Court, thinks that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided. Many people think that Roe was correct and others think that it was wrong. So? It is what it is. There will be no popular vote on the validity of Roe.

            Was Roe wrong because of Ginsburg’s current opinion?

            Bottom line, I think that there can be a good faith disagreement regarding Citizens United (or many other S.Ct. opinions).

            Do you disagree?

            Is there no legitimate basis upon which one can disagree with Brian?

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one of the most liberal members of the Court, thinks that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided.

            Justice Ginsburg does not think that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided. Unlike the rest of us, she has had multiple opportunities to cast votes that would undermine or overrule it, and she has not done so.

            She believes the right to an abortion grounded in the Equal Protection Clause, rather than the Right to Privacy. She has also suggested that the Roe Court went too far, too fast. But make no mistake about it, she does believe there is a Constitutional right to an abortion, as any fair reading of her opinions and interviews makes perfectly clear.

            Like

          • Jersey Bernie says:

            Marc, Ginsburg has made it clear that she thinks that Roe was wrongly decided. Yes she is absolutely pro choice, but as you stated, she thinks that the decision went too far too fast. Many people agree that the country was not ready for Roe. Here is her quote

            “That was my concern, that the court had given opponents of access to abortion a target to aim at relentlessly,” she told students at the University of Chicago Law School, as reported by The Associated Press. “My criticism of Roe is that it seemed to have stopped the momentum that was on the side of change.”

            http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/ruth-bader-ginsburg-roe-wade

            So, Ginsburg felt that Roe was not properly decided. The article reaches the following conclusion.

            “The nature of Ginsburg’s beef with the Roe decision reflects her work as a pioneering legal advocate for gender equality since the 1960s, bringing about important progress for women’s rights. Even so, Ginsburg has voted to uphold the findings under Roe as subsequent abortion cases have come before the Supreme Court during her tenure. An increasingly conservative court has gradually weakened the rights that were recognized in Roe, most notably in 2007 by upholding the federal ban on late-term abortion.”

            While this is one random article, I believe that it accurately reflects position of Justice Ginsburg.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Marc, Ginsburg has made it clear that she thinks that Roe was wrongly decided.

            I am sorry…no, that is flat-out wrong. Justice Thomas and the late Justice Scalia thought that Roe was wrongly decided: they voted repeatedly to overrule it. So did the late Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justice Byron White. Those four are the only Justices who have ever said that Roe was wrongly decided. They voted and wrote accordingly. Justice Ginsburg thinks that Roe was correctly decided: she has voted and written repeatedly to preserve it.

            Justice Ginsburg does not entirely agree with the reasoning that the Roe Court used, to reach a holding she nevertheless supports. If she had been on the Court at the time, she might well have written a concurring opinion—the type of opinion a judge writes when she agrees with the outcome, but not entirely with its reasoning. There is no room for doubt, based on her actual votes and opinions at the Court, to say nothing of a fair reading of her interviews and speeches, that she support’s Roe‘s result.

            Obviously, it is a lot more fun to say that the Court’s arguably most liberal member agrees with the conservatives that it was flat-out “wrongly decided,” but that gives a very wrong impression. Unlike almost all conservatives, she thoroughly supports the outcome, but would have reached it on different grounds. No conservative has ever agreed with her about that, because the result is a Constitutional right that she believes, but that they they do not believe, exists.

            Like

          • Jersey Bernie says:

            Marc, it is well documented that Ginsburg felt that Roe went “too far too fast”. She did not just disagree with the ultimate conclusion, but some of the reasoning and with the tactic. It stopped the momentum. Those are her words, which have been widely quoted.

            If Ginsburg were forced to vote for or against Roe, she would been stuck in the majority and then had a concurring opinion. She might not have even accepted the majority opinion, but just voted with them with her own concurrence. Certainly, if forced to vote, there is no question that she would have upheld abortion rights. That is not the question.

            As Ginsburg indicated, the country was coming around to the pro choice view, so it would have been better to let that trend continue. Further, I believe that her theory was that if the laws moved forward, there would not have been decades of acrimony.

            I interpret as saying that Ginsburg has criticized the case as wrongly decided, since she feels it should not have been decided at all, and, if so, on different grounds. Clearly she does not agree with the Justices who feel that the case is just flat out wrong.

            As an aside, personally, I think that Ginsburg is correct. Roe ultimately may not be a great decision for the pro choice side, due to increasing restrictions by the Court. That is her fear and it may be well founded. It may take many more years to find out if her fears are realistic.

            Like

          • Marc Shepherd says:

            Marc, it is well documented that Ginsburg felt that Roe went “too far too fast”.

            Yes, I heard her say that long before Frank founded a sports blog. But, to say she would have issued a concurring opinion with different reasoning, is not the same as “wrongly decided.” That is why you will search in vain for her uttering those exact words; to anyone who knows what they are talking about, that would connote opposition to the Constitutional right that Roe found, and which she has consistently supported.

            I interpret as saying that Ginsburg has criticized the case as wrongly decided, since she feels it should not have been decided at all, and, if so, on different grounds.

            Maybe this is because you don’t spend much time reading Supreme Court opinions. “Wrongly decided” is a phrase that means “opposite result,” not “same result with different reasoning.”

            As an aside, personally, I think that Ginsburg is correct. Roe ultimately may not be a great decision for the pro choice side, due to increasing restrictions by the Court. That is her fear and it may be well founded. It may take many more years to find out if her fears are realistic.

            This is a tactical battle that has been waged with every great Civil Rights issue. Some people thought that the gay marriage cases were brought too soon, for very similar reasons. But Ginsburg’s argument was over the means of getting there, not over what the result should ultimately be. This is why, although she might not have preferred to see the Court take the case as early as it did, she has never voted to overrule it, despite numerous opportunities.

            Like

          • Jersey Bernie says:

            Marc if “wrongly decided” is too strong, how about saying that Ginsburg criticized Roe as being a “faulty decision”. She certainly criticized the opinion. http://www.law.uchicago.edu/news/justice-ruth-bader-ginsburg-offers-critique-roe-v-wade-during-law-school-visit

            Like

          • Brian says:

            Jersey Bernie,

            “Brian, what does widely considered mean?”

            That many people hold that opinion. Did you really have to ask?

            On this specific issue it shows that not only do many disagree with the decision, but they think it’s so wrong as to be up there with Dred Scott, Plessy v Ferguson, and Korematsu.

            “Yes, people who disagree with it think that it was terrible.”

            It’s not just people disagreeing. it’s people comparing it to the worst decisions ever. Lots of decisions get some disagreement without being called one of the worst decisions ever.

            “They do not get votes on the S. Ct. the last time that I looked.”

            At least 1 SC justice declared it one of the worst decisions ever.

            “Many people think that Roe was correct and others think that it was wrong. So? It is what it is. There will be no popular vote on the validity of Roe.”

            I’d say there have been a lot of popular votes based on Roe’s validity, just none that can directly overturn the decision.

            “Bottom line, I think that there can be a good faith disagreement regarding Citizens United (or many other S.Ct. opinions).

            Is there no legitimate basis upon which one can disagree with Brian?”

            You weren’t disagreeing with me. All I did was point out the ccrider55 was far from alone in his opinion. As for the decision, I don’t consider myself sufficiently knowledgeable about the law to say whether the CU decision was terrible from a legal standpoint or not. It may have been a reasonable application of the law from a judge’s POV. But a lot of people who do know the law think it was a terrible decision, not just a wrong decision. And that’s all I said in my comment.

            Like

        • Brian says:

          Tyson,

          “Bullet…this is moral relativism and it is one of the primary drivers of the decay of societal norms today.”

          1. You’ve provided no evidence of a decay in societal norms.
          2. What is the evidence that moral relativism is a primary driver of any such decay?
          3. I’m not even sure what a decay of societal norms would mean.

          Societal norms used to include killing people for not being heterosexual Christians, practicing slavery and not allowing women to vote. If those norms have decayed, I don’t see the problem.

          “By abandoning the moral code found in Judeo-Christian scripture we have become a nation of “free agents”, morally speaking”

          We’ve always been free agents. It’s in the First Amendment. The founding fathers believed in the separation of church and state. We’ve had non-Christians in the US since well before it was the US. Never did everybody here hold the same JC moral code. That’s a fantasy world the religious whip up to talk about the good old days.

          “in such a climate, no belief or value can be dismissed and all must be accorded the same standing.”

          Wrong. We dismiss lots of values, like believing in inherent superiority based on who you are (race, gender, sexual orientation, height, hair color, etc).

          “In other words, ISIS and their ilk, to name just one example, has just as legitimate a claim on truth and virtue as you do.”

          No, they really don’t. Except in their own little world.

          “There actually IS truth and it is the Word of God.”

          There is truth and it results from science. Religion is all faith and opinion. 3 major religions share some of the same religious texts and still disagree about the truth, and all 3 of those religions have splintered into subgroups because they disagree with others of the same main religion.

          No more than 30% of the world agree on whether there is a god or what his/her/its word may be. When you convince all the other religions that they’re wrong and you’re right, get back to me.

          “but that doesn’t change the fact that God has given us a complete set of guidelines regarding moral law.”

          If by that you mean it doesn’t change that that isn’t a fact at all but instead your personal opinion, then sure.

          “But at the very least there must be recognition that the final word on such matters does not lie within our own capricious whims”

          Royalty used to use the same sort of talk to justify oppressing the peasants. They were full of shit, too.

          Like

    • Brian says:

      Mike,

      “Either BYU and the LGBT groups are both wrong. Or BYU is right and LGBT groups are wrong.”

      Or BYU is wrong and LBGT groups are not wrong.

      “You can’t claim BYU has bigotry for defending a moral tenet they believe in and then defend LGBT groups which try to ostracize BYU because they don’t agree with BYU.”

      Of course we can. It’s the same way you treat racial or gender bigots, isolating them to help them understand that many people don’t agree with them and that they need to change their policies (not beliefs, policies) and behavior if they want to be a full member of modern society.

      “No group has the right to tell a religious organization that’s its stance on which sexual acts are okay and which aren’t okay must change “or else”.”

      Bullshit. Every group has that right. It’s called free speech. Only the government doesn’t have that right, and even the government can force certain practices to be changed or stopped (bigamy, for example).

      Like

  62. ccrider55 says:

    Mike:

    That’s not the issue here. As Frank wrote right after his stating his personal position, “Ultimately, though, the personal viewpoints of me or you on LGBT rights don’t really matter when it comes to conference realignment… unless you’re the president of a Big 12 university.”

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      And the highest “threat” to BYU continuing as a D1 athletic program comes from within. See: BYU Idaho, and now BYU Hawaii.

      Like

  63. Brian says:

    http://247sports.com/Season/2017-Football/CompositeTeamRankings

    With the season fast approaching, here’s a last look at where the B10 recruiting classes for 2017 stand so far.

    These are the 247 composite rankings (average of all the major services) with per player averages (out of 100).

    In order of total class points:
    1. OSU – 18 x 95.14
    7. MI – 19 x 89.11
    20. PSU – 15 x 87.40
    21. UMD – 15 x 86.41
    22. IA – 16 x 86.07
    26. RU – 20 x 84.47
    27. MSU – 16 x 85.86
    30. NE – 13 x 86.71
    31. NW – 18 x 84.49
    42. WI – 11 x 86.16
    52. IN – 14 x 83.04
    59. PU – 13 x 82.21
    71. IL – 9 x 84.36
    72. MN – 11 x 82.16

    Resorted by per player average (ranks are still by total class points):
    1. OSU – 18 x 95.14
    7. MI – 19 x 89.11
    20. PSU – 15 x 87.40
    30. NE – 13 x 86.71
    21. UMD – 15 x 86.41
    42. WI – 11 x 86.16
    22. IA – 16 x 86.07
    27. MSU – 16 x 85.86
    31. NW – 18 x 84.49
    26. RU – 20 x 84.47
    71. IL – 9 x 84.36
    52. IN – 14 x 83.04
    59. PU – 13 x 82.21
    72. MN – 11 x 82.16

    The West classes are generally smaller right now but that’s not a problem per se. They tend to get players that decide later. Some of them also redshirt a lot more people and/or have very low roster turnover so they end up with smaller classes on average (NW especially). Both KSU and KU trail MN, but they’re the only P5 schools that do. Other P5 bottom classes are 66. Vandy, 67. GT and 70. ASU so IL and MN aren’t on their own. IL will be hurt some in this class by the late hire of Smith, so next year is the first time you can really evaluate him and his staff on recruiting.

    A lot can change before early February based on how teams do, who gets fired or hired elsewhere, which players go pro early and which teenagers change their mind. Even then raw talent is only a part of the package, but the best teams tend to have the best talent so it’s a good place to start.

    Like

  64. Mike says:

    http://krcgtv.com/news/local/mizzou-enrollment-numbers-take-huge-hit-with-new-school-year

    The University of Missouri released it’s preliminary enrollment numbers for the 2016 school year on Monday. Those numbers show a huge drop in total enrollment and incoming student population from last fall.

    According to the MU News Bureau the total enrollment for Fall 2015 was 35,050 students, this year was 32,777. That’s down 2,273 (6.70%).

    The freshman enrollment to the university was down nearly a quarter. In 2015, the university said 6,211 freshman enrolled., this year there were 4,799 students enrolled. That’s a drop of 1,412 (26.65%).

    Like

    • Jersey Bernie says:

      Parents may have very little control over day to day happenings at universities, but they can sure “vote with their feet”. I also believe that Mizzou has serious problems in the state legislature.

      If this continues another year or two, the school will either be in a terrible financial bind, or will drop standards drastically to bring in bodies. Either way, it is big trouble.

      Yes, I know that there were one or two other “issues” at Mizzou . It seems that the biggest catalyst at Mizzou came from a grad student (whose father reportedly makes more than $8 million per year) who went on strike partly because of cutbacks in healtcare for graduate assistants (mandated by Obamacare) .

      The administration buckled to this guy and look at the chaos created by that. Even if Jonathan Butler had a point (which I do not believe that he did), he really hurt the school.

      I have read that people at the athletic department at Mizzou have said that, in retrospect, they wish that they had forfeited the football game.

      It is a lot easier for a private school such as Oberlin to give in to demands, which most of their student body supports anyway. (And even schools like Oberlin are being hit by donors and alums). Very hard for a major public university to give a small group the power to drive out the university leadership.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Well their enrollment gets hit from 3 sides. The BLM and football team convinced people that the school is racist so that drove people off. The school’s capitulation and the professor’s effort to get the reporter manhandled convinced lots of others that they are intolerant left wing nuts, driving others off. And the chaos was just something others wanted no part of. They wanted an education, not drama.

        Like

  65. urbanleftbehind says:

    Interesting. Might lend credence to the Berry Tramel mindset on this.

    http://www.rumbleinthegarden.com/2016/8/22/12267864/report-mutual-interest-between-uconn-big-east-big-12-expansion

    Like

    • Brian says:

      As Blaudschun points out, the Huskies main goal is to find a spot in the Power 5. UConn is currently seeking an invitation to the Big 12 Conference.

      But what happens if the Big 12 expands without Connecticut? Blaudschun writes that UConn is finished dwindling in the American Athletic Conference.

      One possibility he mentions is UConn seeking a football-only membership in the Mid-American, Conference-USA, Mountain West, or Sun Belt, while placing all other sports in the Big East.

      If they move all other sports to the Big East, why not try to keep football in the AAC? The AAC could say no, but wouldn’t that be the best option?

      Aside from the stellar basketball UConn would bring the Big East, the Huskies could also be a tremendous asset for the conference fiscally.

      Back in 2013, Fox Sports 1 offered the Big East $500 million to broadcast their basketball games. So far, the Big East has had a tough time attracting viewers with an average on FS1 of 93,000 last year. Although this is an increasing number, this is no where near the average viewership of a college basketball game on an ESPN network. ESPN networks drew an average of 448,000 eyeballs per college basketball game last season.

      Adding UConn should help those television numbers. The Huskies bring tons of television sets from the Hartford-New Haven market, which Nielsen lists as the 30th largest media market in America.

      UConn would help ratings but they wouldn’t quadruple the average viewers per game. UConn’s market is about average for the Big East so I don’t see a sizable gain there.

      More importantly, I don’t see how UConn can afford to take the financial hit of dropping from the AAC. The AAC will make the NY6 fairly often, meaning a big chunk of change to share with each team. Their other CFB options have very little chance to do the same. Unless UConn drops to I-AA I don’t see how this works.

      Like

      • urbanleftbehind says:

        I dont get the term “dwindling” …unless both Cincy AND Memphis end up in the BXII. That would leave only Temple as a close conference rival. ODU might be a good filler for the east 1/2 of that conference. Stony Brook (L.I. State) might be a dark horse.

        Like

  66. Brian says:

    http://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/2016-big-ten-expert-picks-overrated-underrated-predicted-order-of-finish/

    CBS’s CFB “experts” examine the B10 – overrated, underrated, bold predictions and predicted order of finish.

    Most overrated:
    MI – 3
    MSU, MN, OSU, WI – 1 each

    Most underrated:
    NW – 3
    MI, MSU, MN, NE – 1 each

    East:
    1. OSU
    2a. MI
    2b. MSU
    4. PSU
    5. IN
    6. UMD
    7. RU

    West:
    1. IA
    2a. NW
    2b. NE
    4. WI
    5. MN
    6. IL
    7. PU

    Like

  67. Brian says:

    http://www.espn.com/blog/bigten/post/_/id/135588/big-ten-2016-season-predictions-j-t-barrett-offense-tough-to-beat

    ESPN.com’s B10 CFB “experts” make their B10 predictions.

    CCG:
    East:
    MI – 3
    OSU – 2

    West:
    IA – 3
    NE – 2

    East over West – 5

    OPotY:
    Barrett – 4
    Barkley – 1

    DPotY:
    Lewis – 2
    McDowell, McMillan, Walker – 1

    CotY:
    Harbaugh – 3
    Meyer, Riley – 1

    FotY:
    Gary – 2
    Corley, Jordan, Weber – 1

    Like

  68. bullet says:

    http://www.mystatesman.com/news/sports/bohls-romneys-pushing-byu-one-ap-voters-pushing-te/nsK6D/

    Latest update:
    “1. Bob Bowlsby remains very mum about the process that could lead to Big 12 expansion, but one Big 12 school official said 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has called power brokers, including Oklahoma State’s T. Boone Pickens, lobbying for support for BYU to join the conference. Romney is a BYU grad. Bowlsby said there are fewer than 20 interested candidates as has been reported, but declined to say if any Power 5 conference schools have expressed interest. He’s almost done going through applicants’ one-hour video presentations and has had “several calls” with Big 12 presidents to update them. Asked how the presidents are feeling about the process, Bowlsby said, “It depends on who you ask. I think there continues to be an open mindedness about it. I think some have developed their positions and probably aren’t sharing it. If it was a clear path, it wouldn’t have taken so long.” “

    Like

  69. Cincinatti: you down with OPP?

    all schools not in Texas should be so straight up.

    Like

  70. Brian says:

    http://www.si.com/college-football/2016/08/17/big-ten-preview-picks-hot-seat-2016

    SI’s B10 preview.

    East:
    1. OSU 8-1
    2. MSU 8-1
    3. MI. 7-2
    4. PSU
    5. IN
    6. UMD
    7. RU

    West:
    1. IA 7-2
    2. WI 7-2
    3. NE 6-3
    4. NW
    5. MN
    6. IL
    7. PU

    CCG:
    OSU over IA

    Like

  71. Brian says:

    http://www.foxsports.com/college-football/gallery/cfb-coaches-on-hot-seat-lsu-texas-auburn-les-miles-charlie-strong-gus-malzahn-082416

    The 11 hottest seats in coaching:
    1. Hazell (PU)
    2. Malzahn (AU)
    3. MacIntyre (CO)
    4. Petrino (ID)
    5. Clawson (WF)
    6. Mason (Vandy)
    7. Stoops (UK)
    8. Strong (UT)
    9. Sumlin (TAMU)
    10t. Miles (LSU)
    10t. Holgorsen (WV)

    Like

  72. Brian says:

    https://www.classy.org/fundraise?fcid=738362

    Stewart Mandel has started a small fundraising drive for Baton Rouge flooding victims.

    Like

  73. Brian says:

    http://thecomeback.com/thestudentsection/football/15-games-that-will-decide-the-college-football-playoff-participants.html

    15 games that will decide the CFP participants.

    4 involve B10 teams (MSU v MI, MSU v OSU, MI v OSU, OSU v OU).

    Games by conference:
    5 – SEC
    4 – B10
    3 – B12, P12
    2 – ACC, Other (UH and ND)

    Games by team:
    3 – AL, MS, OSU, OU, Stanford
    2 – FSU, LSU, MI, MSU
    1 – UW, OR, ND, UH, TCU, Clemson, TN

    11 of the 15 are conference games.

    Like

  74. Brian says:

    http://thecomeback.com/thestudentsection/football/four-scenarios-that-will-make-the-selection-committee-answer-some-tough-questions.html

    4 scenarios that could make the CFP committee really work this year.

    Scenario 1 – BYU or Notre Dame finish the season undefeated. All five power conference champions finish with one loss.

    Scenario 2 – Clemson finishes the regular season undefeated, but loses to Miami in the ACC Championship game. To further complicate things, Florida State finishes with only one loss, handing the Hurricanes their only defeat of the year.

    Scenario 3 – Houston defeats Oklahoma, but loses a game in AAC play. The Sooners rebound to beat Ohio State in week 3. All three teams win their respective conference championships and finish with just one loss.

    Scenario 4 – Alabama beats LSU in a close game. Ohio State wins the Big Ten, but loses to Wisconsin during the regular season. LSU finishes with one loss and defeats Wisconsin soundly in the season opener.

    Like

  75. Brian says:

    http://thecomeback.com/ncaa/stanford-bans-liquor-from-parties-in-response-to-brock-turner-conviction.html

    Stanford is banning hard liquor from all on campus parties due to the rape committed by Brock Turner.

    Like

  76. Brian says:

    http://rukkus.com/blog/college-football-player-hometowns/

    Where do I-A recruits come from? This map shows the hometowns for all 2016 players and you can sort by conference. They also have heat maps that make it easier to see.

    Pick just the B12 and you’ll see why they might prefer to expand to the east rather than the west. Selecting everyone shows the same thing – there are a lot more players in the east.

    Selecting the B10 will show the value of NJ and MD for recruiting.

    Like

  77. bullet says:

    https://www.rt.com/news/356848-study-sexual-orientation-fixed/

    Not putting this out here to debate its conclusions, but to provide an alternative to “commonly accepted facts” that many of you firmly believe.

    “Drawing on studies in fields varying from neurobiology to social sciences, the authors wrote that “The understanding of sexual orientation as an innate, biologically fixed property of human beings – the idea that people are ‘born that way’ – is not supported by scientific evidence.”

    It goes on to say that biological factors DO have an influence, but to an unknown extent (giving me a fit on cutting and pasting, so I’m doing some paraphrasing).

    It also notes than many contributors to the paper insisted on anonymity, “fearing reprisals from their own universities for engaging such controversial topics, regardless of the report’s content-a sad statement about academic freedom.”

    Like

    • ccrider55 says:

      So, anonymous contribution is the basis of scientific research and results?

      Yes, fearing reprisals is discouraging. You know what’s more discouraging? Giving in to those fears. It’s difficult to prove or disprove reprisal with no opportunity.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        The point is that people believe it. And from the attacks on people’s facebook and other posts, its an extremely reasonable position to fear if you are in academia.

        Like

    • Mike says:

      Russia Today? Seems legit.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        The study is not in RT. Its in the New Atlantis. RT is reporting about it. But then it justifies your preconceived notions to attack RT, which is totally irrelevant to the article.

        Like

        • ccrider55 says:

          Isn’t that the nature of publishing a study, to have it questioned/examined in order to test its validity and compare/contrast with other papers on same subject?

          Authors, researchers, and contributors are significant pieces contributing (or not) to a papers authority.

          Like

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          The study is not in RT. Its in the New Atlantis…

          Neither of which is a credible source of scientific thought.

          Like

    • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

      A non-peer reviewed paper that omits recent research, authored by Paul R. McHugh (long time gender reassignment opponent), for New Atlantis (the publishing arm of conservative christian advocacy group) and reported on in RT (propaganda organ of the Russian government).

      Bullet, did you recently enroll at Baylor?

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Ah, so because he opposes surgery on minors to change their gender, that discredits all his research? Actually you just discredited the idea that you can objectively look at anything related to this topic. I could use the same argument to ignore anything ever published by anyone who supports gay rights on the topic. Its ludicrous.

        Like

        • Scarlet_Lutefisk says:

          Pretty weak attempt at a straw man, seems someone is a bit touchy that his poorly vetted link came back to bite him in the ass.

          You really don’t want to be playing the objectivity card right now.

          Like

          • bullet says:

            You are hardly one to be talking about straw men. Try reading your own critique. Or maybe actually try to read the article. I guess I shouldn’t play the objectivity card since you are clearly close-minded and hopeless on this one issue. Brian has strong opinions of this, but he is actually thinking instead of reacting.

            Like

    • Brian says:

      bullet,

      “Not putting this out here to debate its conclusions, but to provide an alternative to “commonly accepted facts” that many of you firmly believe.”

      They’re commonly accepted because they’re commonly accepted by the experts in the field. If their consensus changes, ours will too. But for now I’ll err on the side of the scientific consensus.

      “Drawing on studies in fields varying from neurobiology to social sciences, the authors wrote that “The understanding of sexual orientation as an innate, biologically fixed property of human beings – the idea that people are ‘born that way’ – is not supported by scientific evidence.””

      Others have pointed out the problems with the source of this article. I’ll simply say that you can find a scientist to disagree with the consensus on anything.

      “It goes on to say that biological factors DO have an influence, but to an unknown extent.”

      Which could thus be up to 100%, no?

      But let’s be more precise about what the article actually says:

      The study does not claim that being gay is a choice, merely that stating the opposite may be wrong.

      And perhaps the most important part of the article:

      The authors noted that their paper touches upon controversial issues and insist that first and foremost it is about science and the need for additional evidence in the field.

      There’s a huge difference between a lack of evidence (and the experts have long admitted they don’t know the details of how sexual orientation or gender identity are formed) and evidence to the contrary. There is far less evidence supporting the theory that SO and GI are choices and some evidence that contradicts that.

      “It also notes than many contributors to the paper insisted on anonymity, “fearing reprisals from their own universities for engaging such controversial topics, regardless of the report’s content-a sad statement about academic freedom.””

      It is a sad statement, but again let’s be clear:

      “Some feared an angry response from the more militant elements of the LGBT community; others feared an angry response from the more strident elements of religiously conservative communities,” he said. “Most bothersome, however, is that some feared reprisals from their own universities for engaging such controversial topics, regardless of the report’s content—a sad statement about academic freedom.”

      Plenty of blame to spread around, but being anonymous does hurt the scientific value of the paper to an extent.

      Like

      • bullet says:

        Brian, I think you got the point of the study. Its a literature review. You frequently hear from LGBT advocates that it is a scientific fact that being gay is biological. The author disagrees about it being “scientific fact” as his conclusion is that science is not conclusive on the issue.

        Like

        • Marc Shepherd says:

          Because I do not have time to become an expert on “what the literature says,” I choose instead to consider the reliability of the source. In this case, the article is published in a journal backed by religious ideologues, written by a man associated with gay and trans hate groups.

          While I consider myself open-minded as to the ultimate source of sexual orientation, this is not the place where I would expect to find a scientifically unbiased exploration of that topic.

          Like

        • Brian says:

          bullet,

          “Brian, I think you got the point of the study. Its a literature review. You frequently hear from LGBT advocates that it is a scientific fact that being gay is biological. The author disagrees about it being “scientific fact” as his conclusion is that science is not conclusive on the issue.”

          I think this is one of those times you have to be very careful interpreting what a scientist says. The common use of the word “fact” greatly differs from the scientific use of “fact.”

          https://ncse.com/library-resource/definitions-fact-theory-law-scientific-work

          Science uses specialized terms that have different meanings than everyday usage. These definitions correspond to the way scientists typically use these terms in the context of their work. Note, especially, that the meaning of “theory” in science is different than the meaning of “theory” in everyday conversation.

          Fact: In science, an observation that has been repeatedly confirmed and for all practical purposes is accepted as “true.” Truth in science, however, is never final and what is accepted as a fact today may be modified or even discarded tomorrow.

          Hypothesis: A tentative statement about the natural world leading to deductions that can be tested. If the deductions are verified, the hypothesis is provisionally corroborated. If the deductions are incorrect, the original hypothesis is proved false and must be abandoned or modified. Hypotheses can be used to build more complex inferences and explanations.

          Law: A descriptive generalization about how some aspect of the natural world behaves under stated circumstances.

          Theory: In science, a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can incorporate facts, laws, inferences, and tested hypotheses.

          If I was a scientist in the field, I wouldn’t consider the issue scientific fact either. They have no evidence for the exact mechanism of how orientation is formed or any direct way to measure it other than asking the person. The brain is still a black box in many ways and that makes a good scientist cautious about reaching definitive conclusions. But as a layman I can recognize that the vast majority of evidence and expert opinion favors that position and accept it as provisionally correct until contradicting evidence appears.

          People from psychology to brain specialists all lean towards orientation being fixed by early childhood. People can choose to act outside of their orientation (see men in prison) or not fully explore their orientation (a bisexual may be afraid to act on some of their attractions), but that doesn’t mean adults “choose” to be gay.

          And part of my stance is probably based on choosing to be gay being about the riskiest/dumbest possible decision a person could make in this world until just the past few years. For most of recent history gays have been bullied, assaulted, raped and killed for being who they are. They had to hide their attractions and seek partners in hidden ways. They’re rates of suicide, sexual assault and murder and much, much higher than those for heterosexuals. Who would choose that? It’s like choosing to be black in the 1960s in the US.

          There is some evidence that orientation is more fluid in women than men, but nothing definitive. It’s more like women are more likely to be bisexual but don’t necessarily identify that way.

          Like

  78. Brian says:

    http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/17379567/why-college-football-blue-bloods-matter

    Why blue bloods matter in CFB.

    And there are only eight blue bloods in college football: Alabama, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas and USC.

    No PSU despite being #7 in wins with 860 and the only power in the northeast? Ouch. That list includes all the other members of the 800 win club except TN (820, the lowest of the group). On the other hand, PSU has a 0.685 W% and the rest are over 0.700. Only MI joins PSU as having just 2 AP titles and MI was dominant before the AP poll started.

    Also no nouveau riche members from FL (UF, FSU, Miami) despite them combining for 11 AP titles.

    They have won 44 of the 80 Associated Press national championships. If you are talking bloodlines, then the dominance necessary to become a college football blue blood must span not just coaches but generations, because history and tradition have cast a spell upon this sport.

    This is what hurt PSU. So much of their history is just JoePa, not that Engle wasn’t also good.

    History and tradition? The blue bloods won every AP title from 1961-75, when scholarship limits were at their loosest. The only one of the eight that did not win an AP title in that era was Michigan, which brings up a dilemma. What makes a blue blood?

    A good question with no easy answer. You know one when you see one.

    If you set a minimum standard — say, winning at least two national titles in the last 50 years — then Michigan is not a blue blood. The Wolverines’ share of the 1997 national title (with Nebraska) was their first since 1948. While that’s a fact-based argument, it also ignores a vast amount of history, tradition and just plain common sense.

    The school that won the first Rose Bowl, a 49-0 victory over Stanford on Jan. 1, 1902; the school that went 55-0-1 from the beginning of the 1901 season until the last game of 1905; the school that, upon its return to the Rose Bowl 46 years later, beat USC by the same score of 49-0; the school that won or shared 13 Big Ten championships in Bo Schembechler’s 21 seasons; the school that gave us “Hail to the Victors” and those wonderful winged helmets; that school is a blue blood, national championships or not.

    Notre Dame has the longest championship drought among this group, 28 years and counting, and if you care to make an argument that Notre Dame is not a blue blood, don’t bother. It might be ironic that the Fighting Irish, discriminated against well beyond the first half of the 20th century because of its Catholicism, are inscribed in college football’s Social Register. But it is undeniable.

    In the modern era of scholarship limits, when talent has spread across more programs, the blue bloods still dominate. They have won at least a share of 10 of the last 19 national championships (USC’s AP title in 2003 counts), including both of the newly installed College Football Playoffs. But winning in the modern era is not enough.

    They are correct that titles aren’t everything. I think too many fans get obsessed with national titles to the exclusion of all other data.

    The teams that fell just short of blue-bloodedness are the nouveau riche: Florida State has been a dominant player for fewer than 30 years, Florida has ebbed and flowed for 25 years, and Miami’s reign barely lasted 20.

    Other powerful programs have risen and fallen. Do the names Minnesota and Pittsburgh mean anything to you, besides the name of NFL teams? The Minnesota Golden Gophers and Pittsburgh Panthers dominated the 1930s. Minnesota even came back and won the national championship in 1960, its fourth, which to this day is one more than Florida State.

    Pitt also won an AP title in 1976 (since they didn’t mention it).

    One other thing to consider, and it’s a hopeful thought for the climbers who didn’t quite measure up: Blue blood is not forever.

    We’re talking to you, Nebraska. The Huskers have not dominated the Big Ten the way they dominated the Big 12 and Big Eight and Big Six. That might placate the Seminoles and the other not-quites. Let’s see Penn State climb back to the top under a coach not named Paterno. Let’s see Tennessee (or LSU or Georgia or Florida or Auburn) overtake Alabama in the Southeastern Conference.

    Until then, these eight teams are the sport’s blue bloods.

    NE has a little cushion being #3 in total wins (890) and about to join MI in the 900 win club (and ND is at 892) as well as having 4 AP titles including 2 just over 20 years ago. Another decade of mediocrity would be hard to explain, though. I think PSU may well get on the list in the next 10-20 years if they hire the right coach. At least 1 other SEC team will join the ranks, too (LSU, UGA, TN or Auburn).

    The FL schools just need more time to develop some history. UF just hit 700 wins and is #22 on the list with 701. I think they need to get to at least 800 wins and the top 15 in wins to qualify (#14 has 727, #15 719 so it’s very doable in the next decade – by which point at least MI will be at 1000). FSU is #82 with only 522 wins and it’s almost all Bowden like PSU with JoePa. Miami is #50 with 596, and just like FSU Miami was only great for about 20 years. Both schools need prolonged periods of greatness to become blue bloods.

    It might give solace to the fans of the schools on the outside looking in: Without blue bloods, who would college football fans agree to root against?

    Like