Readers’ Forum Jan. 19

171

A disappointed Utah fan

I’m a Utah fan and I go to BYU. Just wanted to throw that out there. But I have to say I am extremely disappointed at the University of Utah’s decision to cancel the 2016-2017 men’s basketball game against BYU.

If you’ve ever seen a girl on campus with a red laptop or wearing a Utah sweatshirt, that’s me. I’m the black sheep of the family for coming to The-School-Down-South because we’ve always bled red – it’s what we’ve done for generations. My great-grandpa taught French at Utah and raised his family on University Street across from Presidents Circle on the edge of campus. One set of grandparents lives just two blocks south of Rice-Eccles Stadium. I grew up seven minutes away from the U, and my brother didn’t speak to me for three days after I decided to come here. As their fight song says, “A Utah man, sir, will be ‘til I die.”

But as much as I love the Utes and claim to be a fan despite attending BYU, I have an awful taste in my mouth when I think about the rivalry game cancellation announcement. I strongly disagree with Utah’s behavior regarding two ethical issues:

1. Integrity

2. Transparency

Integrity

I was always taught to keep my word, and when Utah broke theirs, it broke my heart. I felt the school I loved had wronged me, the BYU men’s basketball team, BYU as a whole and fans on both sides. I’m disappointed the Utes are breaking their agreement, and I don’t think they should have because a contract had been signed. What does this teach the players about integrity and keeping promises?

BYU Men’s Basketball Head Coach Dave Rose said “money can’t replace the game” in a post-practice interview the day the announcement was made.

I agree.  Even the $80,000 Utah will pay BYU for breaking the contract won’t replace the game or repair damages made to their relationship. Once trust is lost, it is hard to regain. Both university presidents have plans to make adjustments and improve the relationship between schools, but it will take a lot to do so.

Transparency

Keeping your word is the best ethical option. But if you’re going to break a promise, being honest and transparent about it is the proper, and I might add only, way to handle it. I was sent to time-out as a child often enough to know how important transparency is.

BYU and Utah are no longer in the same conference, so the Utes have less to gain by participating in the rivalry. The Pac-12 is a tough conference and includes schools such as Washington, USC, Oregon, and UCLA. It makes sense they would want to schedule non-conference games against less difficult teams, but the U’s choice to use safety reasons as an excuse to cancel the rivalry game boggles my mind.

The rivalry game has always been an intense and heated one. That’s why people like it. We look forward to it all season because it means a lot to us, natives of the state or alumni of either school. School pride and bragging rights count for something, and it’s part of the state’s identity.

Transparency builds trust, and I have lost trust in my Utes and the way they present themselves.

— Kristen Kerr
Salt Lake City, Utah

Respect is the solution

Politically correct language is a well-intentioned practice that aims at solving offense by banning certain terminology. But by ignoring the context and tone in speech and simply relying on word replacement strategy, this method, despite its intentions, does not work. Rather than promoting respect for all people, Americans are becoming more afraid to speak for fear of offending anyone. However casual and harmless it may appear, political correctness is retarding America by limiting freedom of speech, and the effects are being felt around the country, especially at the workplace and within universities. Silence is not the solution, respect is.

— Christopher Wirthlin
Santa Clarita, California

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