Summarized by Eric Bunker
HBO takes aim at BYU honor code
Deseret News 19Aug99 C4
By Jeff Call: Deseret News sports writer
PROVO, UTAH - Producers from HBO's "Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel"
are working on a news story segment that will air Sept. 16 about the
BYU Honor Code and its athletic department's handling of Non-Mormon
athletes, especially African American athletes. The focus will
center around the former BYU player Ronney Jenkins, who withdrew from
school in January following his second Honor Code violation.
It is not intended to be a "hit" piece, but some hard questions will be
asked, especially why black athletes are usually the ones dismissed. They
are also looking at the challenges BYU faces in big-time
college athletics, such as the issue of recruiting in geographic areas that
aren't predominately Mormon."
BYU officials are cognizant that the piece could paint an unflattering
portrayal. "Their concerns were with how we treated minorities in the
past," said a BYU official, who was interviewed by HBO for about an hour.
"My response was we probably could have done a better job of helping these
athletes become acclimated to the culture and lifestyle here. We've made
changes and we're doing a good job in that area."
The people from HBO stated that BYU officials have been "cooperative" in
helping them gather information for the 12-minute piece that will
coincidentally run the same night BYU faces Colorado State in a nationally
televised game on ESPN.
BYU has made some changes, which will also be included in the segment.
Among those changes include establishing the Student Athlete Center for
non-LDS players and producing a video that explains the Honor Code to
student-athletes and prospective student-athletes.