By Kirk Blad
BYU has its own version of community crusaders – Def Leppard.
“We started as an intramural basketball team, but now it’s much, much more. We’re an organization devoted to improving the quality of life in Provo,” said Craig LeSueur, 24, a senior from Tustin, Calif., majoring in international civics.
LeSueur said Def Leppard’s community service includes parties, an affordable homecoming dance, a Web site, charity dates and helping old ladies cross streets.
“The Web site is where Provo turns first for a good time,” said Kevin Barney, 24, the group’s Web master and a senior from Las Vegas majoring in history teaching.
Barney said the site posts the happenings in Provo, the “zoobie” of the week, a photo album of friends, a message board and a section dedicated to the their basketball team.
“We want to do a charity basketball game against the BYU women’s team,” said Tyler Dixon, 24, a senior from San Diego majoring in history. “We have quite a following and we feel that we could turn such a game into a successful can food drive.”
One of the group’s most heroic acts happened on Nov. 16 when they helped turn in a runaway, said Darin LeSueur, 25, Def Leppard coach and a senior from Santa Ana, Calif., majoring in communications studies.
“When we figured out that she was a runaway, we thought of Aerosmith’s ‘Janie’s Got a Gun’ song and all of the possible problems, so we wanted to help,” LeSueur said.
The group welcomed her into their home, entertained her with a trip to Movies 8 and then reported her to the police and family members, LeSueur said.
“Sometimes people just think Def Leppard is a joke, but we’re really here to make a difference,” Dixon said.
Most members of the group are returned missionaries and Eagle scouts, Dixon said.
“When I was first recruited, they told me that their main interest in me was because I was an Eagle scout, but I think the real reason was because they care about the handicapped. You see, I only have one leg,” Dixon said.
Since joining the team he has cut his mullet and has improved his self-esteem, Dixon said.
One of the most noticeable features about the team is their unique dress.
“Our outfits have a two fold mission. First, they help people to know where to turn for help. Second, chicks dig pink spandex,” said Steve Brown, a senior from Salt Lake City majoring in Latin American studies.